Saturday, February 22, 2014

WASHCLOTH BIB TUTORIAL

Got this friend who's expecting her first grandchild.  Let me rephrase this...SHE is not expecting her grandchild - her daughter-in-law is.  My friend's a quilter...I'm a quilter.  She's a knitter...I'm a knitter. She has gone ALL out on this baby, leaving nothing for anyone else to make...as well it should be! However, I've got this weird thing about wanting to give a little something handmade and from the heart, which left me in a bit of a quandary...until I remembered my absolute favorite toddler bibs of all time, made by my Mom for each of my two children.  Nothing could be simpler in design - uber fabulous for washing messy faces and hands afterwards - bigger than conventional bibs!  Here's how they're done...
*  One pack of washcloths - these were in a 6 pack from Tuesday Morning - thick chenille, 13 x 13".
*  2-1/4" bias cut strips of fabric, 38" long ~ OR (if you don't want to make your own) ~ packages of 1/2" wide double fold bias tape, available at most fabric stores.
*  Scissors, Pins, Iron
*  Thread
*  Sewing Machine
Packaged Bias Tape is absolutely the easiest way to go, as all the work is done for you.  If you want a little variety in your ties, Bias Strips are extremely easy to make on your own - the longest time you will spend on them will be ironing.  "Bias Cut" means at a 45 degree angle across the face of your fabric (great little explanation HERE) - this allows for "give" around curves.  If you have cut your own strips (2-1/4" x 38"), fold them in half lengthwise (so they are now 1-1/8" x 38"), and iron a crease along the fold (this will run down the center of your strip).  Open the strip out and fold one raw (long side, still) edge in to the fold line, and iron that (you will now have two creases running along your long edge - one down the center, and another halfway between the center and one side).
Fold your remaining long raw edge in towards the center crease, but leave almost a 1/4" gap (we are going to make one side of your folded tape wider, so as to make sure your stitches catch it from underneath - packaged Bias Tape is made this same way).  Iron this side down as well, and then fold your strip together along the center crease again, (your folded edges will now sit atop one another, with one jutting out just a bit, under the other)...
like this.  Do this for all your strips.
Cut yourself a 4" diameter circle (don't use your good fabric scissors...get the paper scissors out).  Fold this in half - it's now 4" across the fold, and 2" from the fold to the bottom of the circle.  Fold this once again, and you have a 2" X 2" wedge.
Determine the top/neck edge of your bib, and fold the washcloth in half, lengthwise (you will be cutting the neck hole).  Pin your wedge pattern along the fold of your washcloth, and cut out.
Voila!
Finding the centers of your bib AND bias strip, and with the WIDER edge UNDER the neck edge, insert the bib into the folded bias tape (clear to the center crease) and pin in place.  I pin around the neck edge, but leave the ends free from pins - if you need to pin the entire edge, go for it!  Make sure you catch the back side of your bias tape while you are pinning.  Check this as you go along - you want to have enough "overhang" to catch with your pins, so that you know you will be catching it with your bobbin thread when you are sewing.
What the back side of your bib should look like - see how there is a little more below the pins than on the top...this way your machine has enough material to ensure that you get both sides stitched in one pass.
You've got two options for finishing off the tie ends - I took the easy route on these.  I sewed across my starting end at an angle, then down the strip along the folded edges (your wider folded edge will just be peeking out as you sew, and that's what you want - you can see how you are catching both sides as you go). Continue sewing around the neck edge, removing pins as you come to them.  Sew the remaining length of the tie, pivot at the end and sew another angled end to match your starting one.  You will trim close to the stitching on each angled end, and Fray Check them.  There really is no ravelling of the ends, since they are stitched across - the Fray Check is just something I like to do.
~ OR ~
For a totally finished end, open out each short end, fold ends inside your strip, refold and iron.  Stitch across your squared off end, along the entire tie, and back across the opposite tie end.  Either way you do these, they are going to be fabulous.  Hint - take the easy way out.  They will look just as great and save you the frustration of sewing over extra folds of fabric and chancing skipped stitches at the ends.

Favorite bibs EVER  - I never worried about ruining these because they were SO washer friendly (they're also big enough to cover LOTS of area).  Fast cleanup of "messy parts" (not to mention the highchair tray, and/or floor...obviously clean your little one before the floor) - rinse and toss in the wash.  FAVORITE!
Bon appetite, Baby!

12 comments:

oldgreymareprimitives said...

WONDERFUL tutorial- You covered everything very clearly.....including the baby <3

Quinn said...

Love these, Tanya! So cute AND functional. Your trim fabrics are perfect, too. Thank you for the excellent tutorial! :)

Jackie said...

Wow, those are so darn cute! I need one for my hubby, may have to use a bath size towel! hahaha! I love making my own bias tape, that way you can matchy match fabrics! Thanks for telling us to clean the baby THEN the floor!! bahahahahaha!!!!
Now, a tutorial for making the bear, please!!!!

Maywyn Studio said...

Nice and a very useful tutorial. Thank you
For later life, watching televsion (or eating at the computer) with a plate in hand or lap, hand towels will make nice adult bibs.

Hannapat said...

What a clever idea, I wish I knew this when I had mine. I am going to keep this in mind for anyone have more babs. Thanks for sharing sweetie xoxo

Colleen Mcgraw said...

too cute, love that bear too. Did you make that?

111 LaLa Lane said...

Great idea! Mama keeps children in her home. I'm going to pass this along. Thanks for sharing!

Terry@ a quilting blog said...

These are adorable Tanya!! What great gifts these will make :) Thanks for the tutorial!

My Garden Diaries said...

This is the most amazing perfect where the heck was this when all my beans were starting baby food bib I have EVER seen!!!! No joke this is flipping brilliant friend! Holy Cow! And not to mention how easy would these be to wash up...I hate those plastic ones...they wash up so yucky! And these must be so soft! Are you selling these on your Etsy shop?!?!? I am pinning this right now! A wonderful week to you friend! Nicole xoxo

Elisabeth D said...

These are so great Tanya! Next time someone I know says they're having a baby I'm going to try making these cute bibs! LOVE your scissors by the way, so cute! Have an amazing day xx

Createology said...

Everything old is new again and these bibs are timeless! Thank you for sharing how to. I forgot I used to make these for my daughter and then for gifts. Great idea even today. Thank you Tanya Dear...

Rob O'Neill said...

This tutorial is something that sewers/baby bib maker can look up too. I admire those people who are using some used/old things and make it new. This is the cutest and prettiest blog ever and these baby bibs are stunning.