Have you ever walked into a store, seen something with an astronomical price tag and thought, ‘Yeah, I could totally make that!’? I have to think I’m not the only one. Because this is what happened to me last week. When I walked into a certain couture French childrenswear boutique on Madison Avenue. And saw an adorable coated cotton bib with the little snap-up-crumb-catcher-thingy (thats the technical term, I’m sure.)
I mean, its not just the construction – because with a handy dandy tape measure and a pen (both of which were, of course, in my bag) – it would be easy enough to reconstruct. But its made with Liberty fabric. Liberty. At a cool $35/yard, no wonder this bib masking as adorableness would set someone back $55. That said, no matter how adorable, there was no way I was dropping $55 on a bib.
So, I get crafty and start mentally reconstructing the bib.
I’m not sure which was the most offensive: sneaking out my camera to take pictures of it, discretely sketching a diagram of the bib on a dunkin donuts napkin in my bag, or actually busting out my tape measure to take the precise measurements. Because I think it was that last one that brought the attention of the sales clerks. The second I let the tape measure snap back, I immediately had three very severe looking women at my side “requesting” if they could be of any help. I feigned interest in some obscenely overpriced onesies and then discreetly retreated out of the shop as soon as their backs were turned. But not without the coveted bib measurements scribbled down on my tea-stained napkin.
I ran home, cut up a trader joe’s paper bag and started sketching the bib. Using a 1/2” seam allowance, here’s my rendering of the $55 covered cotton boutique bib.
I dug up the laminated cotton I had bought months ago in anticipation of making scads of bibs, wet bags, etc…. and had yet to even make a dent in the fabric. Copying this bib = the perfect excuse to bust out the polka dot laminated fabric. I opted for some obscene hot pink bias tape to balance out the black & white dots, and I think it works.
Here’s how I did it:
- 1/4 yard laminated cotton
- bias tape (I was lazy and used store-bought bias tape, but you could easily make your own and save a few pennies)
- 6 snaps
- Plier kit for snaps (or you could sew on snaps, but I opted to bust out the plier kit and try some more industrial looking type snaps)
1. Using my measurements, I created this pattern:
2. Create bib front: Fold laminated fabric together with right sides facing. Place pattern on fold and trace pattern. Cut out.
3. Create bib back: Cut a square of fabric ~13”x16” (enough that covers the bib front with 1-2” allowance on each side)
4. With the right sides together, pin the fabric together. You don’t need many pins – #1, the pinholes leave marks on the laminated fabric and #2, the laminated fabric sticks pretty well on its own when right sides are together. Using a 1/2” seam allowance, I sew all the way around the perimeter of the bib, leaving a 2” opening on the side. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4” and clip the curves of the bib.
5. Turn the bib right side out and smooth the edges.
6. Take obnoxious colored bias tape and fold over the perimeter of the bib. Pin in place (I used metal hair clips – the same ones I use for sewing on quilt binding – easier to use with the bias tape than actual pins, in my opinion.)
7. Carefully sew bias tape onto the bib (and in the process, closing up the 2” gap left when turning the bib right side out.)
8. Where marked on the back of the bib, press or sew a snap on both the back left and back right sides of the bib, as indicated on the pattern.
9. Press or sew a snap at the neck of the bib as well.
10. Snap the bib up, slap it on the nearest kid, and then run back to your fabric store to hoard even more laminated cottons.