Lysy: Easy Baby Gifts – Bibs and Blankets

This is part 2 of my foray into cute and easy baby gifts. You can find part 1 here.

These bibs were inspired by the ‘bandana style’ ones you see in shops a lot at the moment. There are lots of patterns on the web but I decided to make my own. My first attempt consisted of a simple triangle shape. Subsequently I improved it by squaring off the corners and curving the neckline more (the pictures are of the improved version). Not having a baby’s neck to measure I was guided by the amount of fabric I had – obviously if you have a bib – or a baby – to hand, you can be a bit more scientific!

For reference, my finished bibs were 42cm across the curved neck edge, and 30cm down each side. I cut the shapes from towelling (an actual hand towel in this case) and again from a nice backing fabric. Then I laid the two right sides together, sewed most of the way round, turned and sewed the gap shut. I then top-stitched all the way around to keep it lying nice and flat (you can use the top-stitching as the means of closing the open gap). To brighten up the towelling side I added a shop-bought badge, but you could embroider something on as an alternative. It would be easiest to do this before sewing the two pieces together.

I wanted to make the bibs reversible so they would be both useful (dribbling on the towelling side) and pretty (nice fabric outwards) so I put closures on both sides of the bib. I used press studs but you could use velcro – either a long strip on each side, or smaller pieces like my press studs. They haven’t been tested on a baby yet but I’m very pleased with how they look!

The other quick project I came up with was an appliqued blanket. This was made from an offcut of fleece I picked up in a fabric shop, and the applique shapes were bits from my stash. The fleece was thick enough that I didn’t bother with a backing, though be aware that this means that your stitching will be visible on the back. I’m useless at drawing so I looked for a template for my chosen shape – the hedgehogs – online and found this one here (it’s actually a pattern for an ultra-cute cupcake topper!). I cut out the upper and lower body pieces separately from contrasting fabrics, and then sewed them to the fleece using a zigzag stitch and a short stitch length on my machine. Bear in mind that if you want the pieces to overlap a little – for example, to avoid a gap where they join – you will need to add a bit of extra allowance to the shape that lies underneath.

I put another hedgehog at the bottom but there was a bit of a bare patch in the middle so I added some leaves – but I can’t show you that part as some insider knowledge meant I could add the baby’s name and he hasn’t been born yet! I edged the whole blanket with bias tape, but you could just sew round with a zig zag, or with an overlocker. The fleece is probably a bit thick to make a proper hem without being bulky.

I hope that these ideas give you some inspiration for quick, easy and creative projects for any babies in need of a wee gift. They’re all good stash-busters, too – I hardly bought anything to make any of them (sssh, don’t tell the babies or their mums!)

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