Vintage Vivian: Bib Sewing Tutorial

5 Feb

Simplicity 3043

On Thursday afternoon I decided to pull out a few of my most recent vintage pattern acquisitions and see what I could make of them. Of the three envelopes I chose, the first was strictly toddler patterns (making the size-season guesstimation a little bit risky), and the second contained lots of fancy things involving pin tucks (I have neither the material collection nor the patience to mess with tiny garments that appear to be part of intricate baptismal sets), but the third envelope, Simplicity 3043 from 1949, appeared to be just about right in terms of complication and cuteness. Sort of. Upon closer inspection, the simple patterns for baby shirts and swaddling bags seemed almost too simple, and in definite need of fancier fabrics than what I had on hand. So, I decided to sew a bib. I’m not sure what about it is especially vintage, other than the fact that it’s cut from an old pattern, because different decades don’t exactly have distinct bib shapes. Oh, well. It’s cute even if it doesn’t scream retro awesome and I’m sure it will come in handy.

If you want to make one too, you’ll need at least 10″ each of two varieties of fabric, and around 1/2 a pack of double fold bias tape that’s either 1/4″ or 1/2″ wide*. Here is the pattern – just print it out; it’s full-sized and doesn’t require any adjusting, although the very top and bottom edges are cut off (but not enough to make any difference).

Short version of directions: Sew a length of bias tape all the way around the outer edge of the bib, then repeat for the inner (neck) section, using long piece of tape so that you have a couple of ties. Or, just sew the tape all the way around the bib and use a snap for closure. (I haven’t tried the snap version, but I have full confidence in the ability of snaps – especially the no-sew variety – to triumph in just about any issue involving closing stuff.)

More in-depth directions:

Step 1: Cut two pieces of fabric (a front and a back) on fold. I used leftover flannel for the back and an old Amy Butler cotton for the front. I’ve also used old towels for bib backing with nice results.

Step 1: Cut fabric

Step 1.5 (optional): Baste with 1/4″ seam allowance around entire bib edge. I skipped this step because my fabrics weren’t sliding around on each other and because I’m lazy all about expediency.

Step 2: Pin bias tape around outer edge of bib and sew on fold closest to bib edge.

Pin bias tape around outer edge of bib

Step 3: Fold newly-sewn bias tape over raw edges and stitch in place. I like to sew from the front side, just inside the bias tape. You can also “stitch in the ditch” if you want your sewing to be less obvious.

Stitch over bias tape to secure folded tape

Step 4: Your next length of bias tape should be somewhat longer than the remaining raw edge of the fabric as you’ll need it to serve as a tie, too. Find the center of your length of bias tape and begin pinning in the center of the neck of the bib. Sew only the part of the bias tape that is pinned to the fabric. If you’re having trouble positioning the tape at the corners, check out this awesome tutorial from Smashed Peas and Carrots.

Pin bias tape around neck hole with excess for ties

Step 5: Cut notches around the curve, flip your bias tape over the raw edge, pin, and – beginning at the very end of your bias tape, sew again.

Finished bib! Hooray, bib!

Voila – you should have a cute little bib! *If you’ve used 1/2″ bias tape, it may be a little bit sticky-outy around the neck. If this bothers you, use the 1/4″ version for a more subtle effect:

Bib with 1/4" bias tape

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3 Responses to “Vintage Vivian: Bib Sewing Tutorial”

  1. Mike S February 5, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

    Okay little knitty person. Now I not only feel humbled by the stuff crafty folks like you turn out in all its beauty; now ya had to add instructions to make me see how totally and hopelessly inept I am at such things;-)

    • vivupnorth February 6, 2011 at 6:31 am #

      Hah, well, with a photo tutorial you don’t have to worry too much about editing out the swearing that slips when the bias tape fails to behave properly 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Jungle Safari Diaper Cake and Sleep Sack « vivupnorth - March 13, 2011

    […] some matching bunting to welcome Kay’s shower guests and will definitely sew a couple of bibs out of the leftover sleep sack fabric! Meanwhile, I have yet another scrappy sleep sack for Viv […]

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