Monday, October 7, 2013

Sewing For Baby: Bandana Bibs

It has been getting a little moist in here! I guess that's what happens when you have a two month old, but this came as a surprise to this still new mama. You see, when I had walked by those teeny bibs in the baby stores I laughed them off as unnecessary accessories. Decorative props for photos. Baby billboards. A Santa bib for Christmas, a Menorah bib for Hannukah, a jack-o-lantern bib for Halloween, or those silly little "I love mama...give me cookies...I'm a boob man" sayings. One for all occassions! Bibs were really for protecting baby clothes from solid food, right? That was months away! We were lucky to avoid spit ups for the first while, and I thought the whole drooling thing held off until teething began. We bought one, and only because it had a monkey on it. It wasn't until the bird turned two months that I realized just how much spit up and drool could come out of such a tiny human. We were doing a crazy amount of outfit changes so he wasn't sitting in a wet top and it was time to embrace the bib.

A good friend from over seas had sent me the most wonderful care package after Josh was born. It was filled with cloth diapers, hand dyed muslins and onesies, teas and goodies for me, the most thoughtful card (and one from her little daughter too!), and some other lovely gifts. Included in there was a little rainbow striped bandana bib. Maybe it's because I don't run in the cool mama circles, or because they're much more popular in the UK, but I had never seen one before. I loved it! It was practical, but also super cute, and actually looks like part of an outfit. Instead of running out and buying a bunch of bibs, I decided to break out the failed cloth diaper making supplies again and make some myself. This time I got to use the snaps too!

These are so quick, which means I'm at the sewing machine several times throughout the day trying to make a few more while the baby sleeps. We go through these things fast! They're as easy as cutting out a triangle of fabric and a matching triangle of the organic cotton velour that I still have mountains of (polar fleece would be a good option for these since it will wick any wetness away from baby's skin so the bib can be worn longer), sewing them right sides together with an opening to turn, turning and top stitching (I closed the opening with the top stitching rather than doing it by hand), and attaching the snaps. If you don't have a snap press, velcro or a button & hole should work fine.

To get the right size, measure loosely around your baby's neck. Add about an inch on each side for the snap, and then enough seam allowance. If you wanted them to last longer, do a larger triangle and add an extra snap or two so you can loosen the bib as your baby grows.

If you do decide to invest in a snap press, do yourself a favour and get a proper one. I got this hand held one at a tiny fraction of the cost, but it is finnicky and cracks 75% of the snaps I put in. It also isn't as effective so some of the time one side will pull out when opening. If you plan to use it a lot (like to make your own cloth diapers!), the proper one will pay for itself.

These won't sit flat like a typical bib, but I actually like that as the folds tend to catch the more serious spit ups better than a flat bib. Much love for the bandana bib! Now to make that pile bigger.

*Of course, don't keep anything around your baby's neck without supervision.

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