How to Sew Your Own Baby Bibs

finishedbib.jpgThis fun, easy and inexpensive sewing project makes a great baby shower gift. Maybe you’d like to sew these for yourself if your baby is ready to start on solid foods. Step-by-step instructions and picture illustrations guide you through to a rewarding finished product. A few different fabric combinations give ideas for boy, girl and unisex bibs. The measurements are readily adaptable but these produce a bib with extra coverage and long bib ties for ease of use.

Supplies for one bib:
~ two 11×10 inch scraps of coordinating cotton print fabric (depending on the width of the fabric–generally 42, 54 or 72 inches–and the fabric print, you can get 12 or more bibs from one yard of each of the two fabrics)
~ one 13×12 inch piece of polyester quilt batting of desired thickness
~ 36-inch strip of solid fabric or wide (7/8 in.) single-fold bias tape for bib tie
~ thread
~ straight pins as desired to pin fabric in place for sewing
~ scissors or rotary cutting tool
~ cardboard or pattern paper

Difficulty level:
Easy for beginning sewers. I recommend that you read all the instructions through before choosing fabrics and again before starting to cut and sew.

Time needed, not including shopping and time to wash, dry and iron the fabric:
2 hours per bib, more or less depending on your sewing experience. (If you make several bibs all at once, it’s most efficient to cut all the fabric first, then quilt and sew each bib, then sew on all the ties.)

Bib care:
Machine wash warm, tumble dry low. These bibs are meant to be used and abused! If desired, choose a dark fabric with a busy print to help hide any stains.

Cut out a template from cardboard or pattern paper. Mine looks a bit rough and uneven after I used a rotary cutting tool to cut out about 70 pieces of fabric but you get the idea. The height is 11 inches, the width is 10 inches, the top sides are 2.5 inches each and the cut-out for the neck is two inches deep/in height. As I said, these measurements are easily adaptable to your own wishes.

Cut out the two coordinating prints with the template and cut the batting slightly larger than the fabric. Sew one of the pieces of fabric right-side up to the batting. You can quilt it however you’d like. In this case I took the easy way out and sewed down three of the straight lines on the print.

Lay the remaining piece of fabric right-side down on the other fabric and batting and sew the edges with a quarter-inch seam, remembering to sew the top edges but keep the neck cut-out open so you can flip the fabric right-side out again.

Trim the excess fabric and batting, leaving the quarter-inch seam around the edges.

Flip the fabric inside-out through the open neck hole. In this picture, I show how to use your index finger to push out the corners.

Here’s what the bib should look like at this stage (front and back).

Here’s another example of coordinating fabrics that would be nice for a girl’s bib.

This unisex bib illustrates an optional finished touch. You can iron the bib on low heat and then sew around the edge. I chose a scalloped edge for an interesting decorative detail.

For the 36-inch long ties (35 inches finished), either cut a strip of solid fabric (1.5 inches or more wide–the wider it is the easier it is to iron and sew) or buy wide (7/8 in.) single-fold bias tape. Bias tape is fabric cut on the bias, which means that the strip’s fibers are at a 45 degree angle to the length of the strip. That makes it easier to sew around the curve of the bib’s neck. If you use regular fabric, you can cut it on the bias (again, 45 degree angle) or not as you wish, and then fold it in on each edge and iron it to look like the bias tape.

Sew the neck of the bib closed as you sewed the other edges (but without any finished detail like the scalloped edge, because you will be sewing the bib tie over this portion anyway). Sew on the bib tie, finishing the ends by folding each end back half an inch and stitching along the length and width of the folded portion. I confess that sewing the ties is my least favorite step and I usually get my wonderful, more patient husband to complete it!

kidinbib.jpgIf you’re lucky, you get a finished product admired by a child like this! The trick is to use this two-sided bib to your advantage: the question is not, “Do you want to wear a bib?” but rather, “Which side do you want to wear, bunnies or stripes?” My child happily chose bunnies and there was no fight about her needing to wear a bib!

Note that fabrics are available with prints of children’s favorite television, movie and book characters. They’re a bit more expensive, but if Winnie the Pooh, Dora the Explorer or Raggedy Ann will get your child to wear a bib, they’re worth it!

If you sew a bib from this project, please consider sending me a photo of your finished project (preferably with the bib worn on your adorable child or grandchild) for publication on the blog!

For more fun and inexpensive projects, see:

How to Sew Your Own Baby Sling
How to Make Your Own Beaded Nursing Necklace

Credit: My husband’s aunt gave us bibs like these when my daughter was born. I liked them so much I figured out a way to reproduce them!

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    • Ruth

      I am amazed at the clarity of your instructions! What a nice project you have explained, and everyone in the family can participate in some way!

    • Angela

      Thanks Ruth! I had fun putting this post together.

    • cheryl bordelon

      I am looking for a pattern with measurements for a crew neck over the head baby bib. I don’t know how big to cut the hole and how long to cut the stretch ribbing. Can you help?

    • Angela

      Wish I could help! I’m pretty much a beginning sewer and to create this pattern I simply traced another bib given to me. Good luck!

    • melissa

      I am interested in making your bibs but was wondering what material to use on the back to make them waterproof. My daughter has reflux and soaks her bibs which in turn soaks her clothes unless they have the plastic liner on the back. What would you recommend for the liner on the back?

    • Angela White, J.D., breastfeeding counselor

      Melissa, you could try PUL — the fabric used for many cloth diapers. I was able to buy it online. It comes in different thicknesses and if I recall correctly I used the 1 mm to make a waterproof mattress protector. Good luck! Let me know how it turns out!

    • Elizabeth

      This comment is for Cheryl — I have a really easy pattern that I use for the over-the-head bibs. If you email me, I’d be happy to send them to you. Please, though, use a subject of “Bib Pattern” so I don’t mistakenly delete your message as junk.

    • Loretta Flood

      Would you please email the pattern for the over-the-head bib, too? Thanks!

    • Rachel Busby

      I would love the pattern for the over-the-head bib, too! Can you e-mail it to me? Thanks girl!

    • She

      I would love to have an e-mail for the over-the-head bibs also! UR the GR8EST!

    • Angela White, J.D., breastfeeding counselor

      Loretta, Rachel, and She, I have forwarded your requests for the over-the-head bib pattern to Elizabeth. Hope you get it!

    • Geannene

      Could some email me the pattern for the over the head bib also. Thanks

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    • JC

      I would love to get the pattern for the over-the-head bib from Elizabeth, but I didn’t see her e-email address. Thanks!

    • Deanna

      Could you also forward my message to Elizabeth for the over-the head bib pattern.


    • Angela

      could someone email me the over the bib pattern also?

    • Angela White, J.D., breastfeeding counselor

      Anyone looking for a crew neck, over-the-head, pullover bib can see the full pattern and instructions here:

      Thanks again Elizabeth for sharing the pattern with us!

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    • Deb

      Thanks for this bib pattern! I have made a bunch of them in the last week for my son, since the velcro on the little ones we have are too easy for him to take off after all the washings. My DH now asks, ‘Where are your homemade bibs?’ whenever he is feeding him!

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    • Lori Martin

      I would love you to email me this pattern & the one for the pull over the head one. My daughter is having her first child, would love to make her some.

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    • Angela

      I was excited to find this pattern. I remember seeing family members have these kind of bibs when I was young. I want to make some for my grandchildren as a couple of them are messy eaters and tend to pull regular bibs off. Thank you for putting this out here for others to see.

    • Courtney

      Thank you for this! I’m actually working on making a laptop case, and I was struggling with visualizing how to sew in the batting. This tutorial completely cleared everything up!

    • cheap jerseys

      What a great bib !O(∩_∩)O~

    • Nelda

      Im loking for a free downloadable bib pattern that looks like a vest or tux.. thnks!!

    • carolina

      I need to download free bib patterns, please help

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