Bonkers About Bibs...
Something I've been aware of recently, is a lot of my friends having babies... not in a 'when will I have one?' kind of way, more in a 'how can I get involved?' way! As you can imagine, this has meant me seeking out gifts, and realising I could make something thoughtful and practical for The New Mum!I'm going to show you a fairly easy How To, which I'm more than happy to share, as it's one of those things you can make as intricate or as plain as you like... a BIB! Yes, you heard me right - and to give you an added bit of an incentive, here's a photo of me handing over a batch to Rowan, the owner of a gorgeous cafe in Twickenham for her to sell... YES!!! I'm now being stocked IN A SHOP! (*more on the wonderful South Street Cafe at the end of this post...).
*I know, I hide my excitement well, don't I? What a poker face.
And today's Blog Post music? Many thanks to Diana Ross for the Baby Love soundtrack to go with the How To..!
Bibs and Bobs...So, when I first warmed to the idea, I set about finding towelling material to make my first bib. Have you ever tried finding that kind of material online? The main problem is you have no idea how it FEELS, which is very important - especially with a baby accessory! Even a trip to my favourite fabric haunt, Goldhawk Road, produced very little swag (aside from some thin, cheap material...). Short of cutting up my own large bath towels, I was starting to get rather exasperated - when I stumbled upon a wipe-clean bib in a shop...
Obviously a plastic bib isn't as cute or cuddly as a towelling version; but I did think it's slightly more practical; I mean, have you tried washing carrot stain out of... well... anything?
So - if you have an old tablecloth, or if you find one in a charity shop, here's my suggestion; cut it up into bibs... unless you want a table cloth, in which case leave it alone...
And sew to the nitty-gritty...Here's a shopping list of things you'll need, if you're going to make it EXACTLY the way I do, but let's face it - you can do whatever you like, leave bits out - add bits on, it's up to you...
I started by buying a few professionally-made bibs. Yes, I know that's a strange starting point for a How To; but I figured I could use these as templates, to choose what size I most liked (for my own design), and also to get a clearer idea of how these things come together, and what designs are 'appropriate'. I'll provide a down-loadable PDF pattern, (should anyone want one, please comment below) but in the meantime this is the 'secret' behind my bib's shape... comparing, contrasting, and 'road testing' other people's!
The template then took on two forms; one in heavy cardboard, the other in a semi-transparent tissue paper.
The tissue paper version is for working out what part of the pattern will end up on the bib (and where), and when you've worked that bit out, the cardboard version is for cutting around (if you're using a cutting board and knife as I do).
I then set about encasing the bib in a bias binding - which, if you try, you'll realise is a pain in the *** when you get to the curves.
My advice? Stretch the binding a little around these points; the binding will look slightly thinner, but it will lie much better, without kinks.
N.B. Pinning this may well require using a thimble... Then sew! I used a zipper foot for this bit, I found it much easier to get a clean line of neat and even stitching...
And then to the vecro... you may well ask why I didn't put this on first. I'm still working that bit out... At any rate, I'm yet to find a stick-on version that really does stick-on (and stay on) WELL - so if you have any tips, shout! I added super glue to the underside, just to make sure it was extra-sturdy.
I also tinkered with the idea of adding a sparkly button to the girls' version; but it made me feel sad that the boys didn't have anything to compare... so I left that bit out in the end. (*also the 'small parts' warnings on baby toys that made me think twice...).
Sew there you have it!
As you read this, my bibs are sitting amongst a treasure trove of other lovely handmade, locally-sourced goodies, in the glorious South Street Cafe in Twickenham... in fact, I went in today and one had SOLD! As I said to Rowan, "I thought you were a little strange buying them from me in the first place, but now you've sold one, to a stranger, I'm ecstatic!" - I will be writing an Ode To South Street in the not-too-distant future (and NOT just because they stock my bibs. Stock my bibs! What a sentence!)...
Since writing this, I have posted another bib making blog with updates, it's definitely worth a look if you're going ahead with it, as there are 'fixes' to what I've written here..! There's also a Youtube video (starring Rod, of-course) which shows the bib-making process in more detail if you're interested?! Thanks for visiting!