I have always loved the idea behind the terry bibs made of hand towels that slip right over the child’s head, much like this one:
The only problem? My kids all have ginormous heads, so making a neck opening large enough to accommodate their colossal craniums makes it so the bib hangs down too low once it’s on, and food invariably winds up getting on their clothes beneath. That totally defeats the purpose of donning a bib in the first place, don’t you think?
The last time my mom came for a visit, she and I determined ourselves to come up with a pattern for a terry bib that would fasten in such a way that it would keep clothes entirely protected, but would also be cheap, easy and fast to make. Today I’m sharing the bib we came up with, which is actually a perfect hybrid of a bib and a smock.
Note: This pattern is sized at a 2T (it fits my 28-pound 2-year-old perfectly), so if you are wanting to make a bib for a smaller or larger child, I would recommend printing the pattern pieces off at smaller or larger scales until you achieve a fit that works for your child. If you want to make a bib larger than the size of the original pattern, though, you will either need to use a larger towel or some store-bought terry fabric.
For this project, you will need…
PDF Toddler Bib and Smock Pattern (available for download below)
To begin, print off and assemble the PDF pattern according to the directions on the pattern pieces. When printing, make sure to print with no scaling. The grey box on each printed piece should print out to precisely 1 inch.
Fold your hand towel in half lengthwise, and place the assembled pattern on the fold to cut out your bib body piece. When cutting, be sure to cut all the way around the shoulder flap portion of the pattern piece (piece 1), even though it might look like it is aligned with the fold. This will form the back opening of your bib.
Apply bias tape to the entire perimeter of your bib body to bind the raw edges. (The way the bib is constructed makes it possible to apply one continuous line of tape to bind the entire bib. So simple!)
Once the bias binding is stitched, transfer the small rectangular markings on the shoulder flap and side of the pattern piece onto the binding portion of the left and right sides of the bib.
Lay the bib face down on a flat surface, and fold the left shoulder flap of the bib back so that the rectangular mark on the shoulder flap is aligned with the rectangular mark on the left side portion. Pin into place. Stitch together with a .25″ x .5″ rectangle, stitching through the binding, and anchor the rectangle additionally with an “x” stitched at the center to further reinforce this area. Repeat on the right side of the bib.
Use a snap setting tool to apply two snaps to the back flaps of the bib, right at the point where the two flaps overlap. I found it helpful to mark the location with a washable ink marker to ensure I set them in just the right spot. (You can check out my tutorial for setting snaps here.)
You are finished!
The end result is perfect for protecting clothes at mealtime, but it makes a terrific art smock, too!
I love the fact that this fastens with snaps in the back, making the task of putting it on and taking it off so easy!
And, in the spirit of keeping it real, even adorable models like Miss Cecily here tire of having their photo taken.
To download the pattern pieces, click on the icon of the arrow with the line below it in the bottom right-hand corner of each box below. If you’re enjoying this post in a reader or via email subscription, you’ll have to visit this post for the download.
**Edited on 1/27/13 – If you are having trouble accessing the download boxes below, you can click on the links below to be taken directly to the download pages:
Having grown up in a home brimming with sewing notions and paintbrushes, Amy has a deep love for all things creative. On any given day, you'll find her knee-deep in her latest creative endeavor, with projects ranging from sewing and crafts to home decor and kid-friendly ideas. Amy believes that everyone, regardless of skill level or experience, possesses the ability to create something beautiful, and Positively Splendid was born of her passion for helping others harness their innate creative potential.
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