Continuing the theme of baby gifts set by Caroline’s hooded towel post, and Kate’s mini quilts workshop, here is another simple but cute idea for the newly sprogged. The nice thing is that you can get as creative as you like with the embroidery, and personalise it further with funky backing fabric.
All you need to do is cut out a suitable bib shape from the fabric you are using from the front. Just for guidance, my bibs were about 22 cm long and about16 cm wide. Remember you’ll be losing a bit of the size round the edges when you attach the backing. I used a hardy cotton, a bit like the fine-count aida you get for embroidery – I found it was really hard to get anything like the soft cottons of shop-bought bibs. But you could easily just buy a plain bib and embroider on to it.
Then pick your pattern. I used a great book recommended to me by fellow SMB-ers – Sublime Stitching by Jenny Hart. It’s full of simple iron-on patterns which you then stitch over. They fade naturally over time so you can’t see that you had a little assistance! By the second and third ones I’d got a bit more adventurous and drew on my own patterns using a water-soluble fabric pen. Even a simple back stitch looks pretty (there are some good ‘how-tos’ here and here), and you can fancy them up with knots and more complicated stitches if you like. It’s also nice to vary how many embroidery threads you use – I used two or three in different places. I’d recommend using an embroidery hoop to keep things flat.
Once you’ve got the front to your satisfaction you just cut the same shape again out of your backing fabric, put the two right sides together, and sew most of the way round the edge of the whole bib. Leave yourself a good 5cm gap on one of the long edges for turning it the right way out again. A machine would be really easy here. I did it by hand because I like sewing in front of the tv 🙂 Pull the bib through the hole you left so that you have the right sides facing outwards, and neatly sew up the gap (fold under a tiny edge on each side and stitch using small stitches). I also then sewed around the edge a couple of milimetres in, to hold it in place and give a bit of extra detail. Add a press stud, and you’re done! Just beware that the next time you see it, it will probably be covered in chocolate pudding – but the parents will love you 🙂