Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pocket bib tutorial

My 15-month-old has decided that she would rather feed herself nowadays. While that's a good thing, that means a lot of finger foods end up on her lap or on the floor (and somehow not on the mess mat that I placed to catch everything!) When she started feeding herself, I bought her a pocket bib (easy to wipe off bib with a pocket to catch falling food). The bib has been great at home, but when Haley goes to daycare, the poor girl who watches her has to deal with food everywhere so I knew I needed to get at least one more. I went to Babies R Us to buy another pocket bib... and then I saw the price - $9.99!!! I knew I could definitely make a cheaper one.

Introducing the Dollar Store Pocket Bib!

I made this bib from a vinyl tablecloth, some bias tape, and some velcro, all for probably under $2.00. And you can too!
You'll need:
  • Vinyl tablecloth with flannel backing - don't get the kind without the backing, they're usually too thin to work. I got mine from the Dollar Store
  • 3 inches of velcro and backing
  • Double-sided bias tape (or you can make your own with scraps like I did)
  • A bib to trace for your pattern
First, take your bib and trace around it leaving 1/4 inch around all sides for seam allowance.(Be careful you don't make your seam allowance too much around the neck, I made that mistake -you can see in the picture -and had to trim it some to make sure the neck hole was big enough.)

Once you have your bib traced, cut it out carefully, making sure not to tear the vinyl. For my bib, the Dollar Store table cloth was too thin, so I had to cut out 2 bib shapes to make sure my bib would be sturdy enough.
Next, place your sample bib down on another piece of table cloth and trace around the pocket area, making sure to leave 1/2 inch or so extra on each side of the bib (you want the pocket to be quite a bit larger on the sides because it needs to poke out some to catch the falling food.)After tracing, cut out carefully.

Now, you need to line the top of your pocket with some bias tape. If you don't have any, you can always make your own by measuring the top of your pocket and cutting a 2" wide rectangle of fabric. Fold the fabric down the middle and iron in half, wrong sides facing, then open the fabric and iron each side in half wrong sides facing. You should have something like this:

Tuck the top of your pocket into the cleft of the bias tape and sew a straight line across, encasing the bib in the bias tape like this:

Now, pin your pocket onto the right side of your bib pattern, making sure the shiny part of your bib is on top (and if you had to double up on your bibs for strength, place your 2 bib patterns together, wrong sides facing and then pin the pocket on top). Next, take your bias tape and line it all around your bib, making sure to pin it on well. If you have trouble lining the bias tape around some of the corners of the bib, clip the inside of the bias tape a little bit where it meets the corner so the tape can curve better. Sew in a coordinating string color around the entire bib, making sure to backstitch where you begin and end to anchor your stitches.

Last, cut out 3 inches or so of velcro and backing. Pin the hook part of the velcro (scratchy side) on top of your bib on the left side (where the baby's right shoulder would be) and sew securely around. Attach the loop part of the velcro (soft side) on the back of your bib to the neck strap (see below).

And you're done! Now all you need is a baby to put it on. Luckily, I happen to have one of those :)

Enjoy your mess-free meals! Well, less messy anyways :)


  1. Jen, I am AMAZED and think, "Oh my gosh I could never really do that." You make it sound so simple, but my sewing machine tasks always feel so daunting! I am so impressed by your creativity and LOVE hearing about your projects!!!!


  2. haha I tried to make it sound simple, I'm not such a great teacher. You could totally rock a retro bib! Well, maybe not you personally, though if anyone could make an adult bib look cool I'm sure you could, but you could definitely make one for your new little cousin!

  3. That's awesome Jen! I will definitely have to remember this post once my little one gets here and is old enough to need one of these bibs!

  4. you definitely should! I am so against paying $10 for a bib. Let me know if you have any questions on how to make it!

  5. I made my first bib, thanks to your helpful tutorial! Thanks! :)


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