One of my pet peeves about most of the store-bought bibs that E received from various well-meaning friends and family members is that they’re just too darn small. They might have been fine to protect a drooly infant’s onesie but they’re hardly sufficient for keeping a growing toddler’s dinner out of her lap.
So I made some! I’ve already shared with you the tag blankie and dress from Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing for Baby. And now…bibs! They are perfect – they’re nice and BIG, with a side velcro closure and a pocket to catch all those little bits that tend to fall (or are forcefully ejected) from little mouths.
I bought a bunch of laminated cotton to make these – that way they’re waterproof. (And adorable! I had no idea how many awesome prints there would be in laminated cotton.) Had I been thinking about being thrifty, I probably would have just picked up some cheap oilcloth tablecloths to deconstruct. But, as it was, I purchased a slew of half-yards of fabric and after making a half dozen or so bibs, I still have plenty left. Maybe a little raincoat is in E’s future?
Now…about sewing with laminated cotton. At first, I was cursing the fabric, my machine and everything else within earshot. It’s definitely got some quirks to it and there’s something of a learning curve to it! I found some tips here and they helped me better understand the process. I found that with my machine I needed to always sew with the laminated side down or it just wouldn’t work. I would definitely practice on a piece of scrap first! The first two bibs I made (and particularly that very first one…yikes) look, well, kind of awful. They function! But they’re not very pretty.
One thing about laminated cotton – the manufacturer’s tend to say not to put it in the washing machine. I threw caution to the wind and machine-washed all my bibs. Partly because I didn’t want to wipe them all down (though really that’s pretty easy) and partly just to see what the machine washing would do to them. The results varied widely. Some of the fabrics looked just the same before and after washing. Others, namely several (though not all!) of the Michael Miller prints, didn’t fare so well. (This one and this one, specifically.) They are my favorites, except for the washing issue – the fabric is a little stiffer than the others, which would be bad for some applications but is perfect for a bib! The laminate seemed to detach from the cotton, so if you’re at all concerned about that, definitely follow the manufacturer’s advice and just wipe clean with a damp cloth! They’ll certainly last longer.
Little E enjoys her stylin’ bibs!