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Saturday, May 3, 2008

New Bibs for Hannah

About a year ago I made two bibs for Caleb. The bibs that he had just weren't keeping up with his power-eating. I really liked the pockets that some of his smaller bibs had, so I used them to help design his new ones.

Here's a picture of the store bought bib and the bib I made.
When I first made Caleb's bibs, Hannah could still use the smaller bibs. Over the last year, however, she has become a little more independent with her eating. Because of this, she ended up needing a larger bib as well and has been using Caleb's bibs.

After washing the two homemade bibs after every meal and then hearing how they were wet and cold at the next meal, I decided that maybe I should make some bibs for Hannah. Ethan was gone for the weekend when I took on this project, so I decided to spend a little extra time with it and take some pictures of the process.

I started off by using the same newspaper patterns that I had made to make Caleb's bibs. I traced the pattern onto a heavy piece of upholstery type plastic that I bought in the Walmart fabric department.
Next, I cut out the plastic to the same size as the red canvas fabric shown. I then pinned them together on the outside of the bib so the bib won't have holes in it.
After the two pieces were pinned together, I sewed them together with the surger following the outside line on the bib.
If you have a serger, you don't have to do any cutting. I just followed the lines I had drawn while sewing. The serger does the cutting for you, and you don't even have to pull pins if they are on the outside. If you don't have a serger, you will need to cut out the pieces and then sew around the outside. You will also have to pin on the very edge of the bib itself. The binding will cover the holes made.

After the perimeter of the bib was serged, I serged down the neck line and into the opening, with the serger doing the cutting. Next, I serged around the circular neck opening, and again the serger cut out the circle. Lastly, I surged up the final part of the neck opening. (Although this picture has a scissors in it, it was just used for weight for the photo. The machine did all of the cutting.)
Here is a picture with the serging completed on both bibs.
Next step . . . the binding. I cut strips of fabric 2 inches wide. (2 1/4 inches to 2 1/2 inches probably would have worked better.)

I then cut strips of plastic about 5 inches tall and 4 inches wider than the width of the bottom of the bib. I bound the top side of these with my binding. These will be the food catchers. I thought about showing the steps I used to put on binding, but I think that would have to be a post all in itself. If you aren't sure how to do binding, here is a good tutorial.
Here is a picture of the plastic strips in relation to the bibs. Once the binding was on the plastic strips, I pinned them in place on the bib, placing the pins on the very outer edge of the bib where the binding would cover the holes. When I pinned the strips in place, I puckered them out about an inch to allow for an open pocket that would catch falling food. If the strip isn't puckered, it will stick to the bib and the pocket will not work well. I then surged around the pocket, again, letting the machine do the cutting.
After the pockets were sewn in place, I finished up the binding around the outside of the bibs. Here is that binding tutorial again.
To finish off the bibs, I added 3 snaps. I like to use 3 to make the neck adjustable. The snaps that I used are set with a hammer and a plastic snap setting tool, which comes with the snaps that I bought at Walmart.
And here are the completed bibs. They are not perfect, but I wasn't too concerned about keeping things even. It cost me around $3 to make both of them and took a little under 2 hours.
As far as time/cost savings, I am happy with the price, but they take me a bit longer to make than I would like. Even so, I haven't found anything similar in size and quality that I could buy, and if I did it would probably be more than I would want to pay anyway. So, I guess the time and cost in this project is well worth keeping food and stains off of clothes.

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