Electron Layette Sewalong: Bib

The first step is to select your fabric. There are many options for the bib. You can use fabric with or without stretch though it will be easier to sew without stretch. I recommend cotton for drool absorption purposes. If you use a layer of waterproof fabric in the middle it will prevent drool from leaking onto baby’s shirt. For more about selecting fabric, see Choosing Fabric for the Electron Layette. Along with your fabric, you need a piece of velcro. The pattern calls for a 3/4″ square of velcro, but really anything in a similar size will work – 1/2″ to 1″ will work just fine.

If you don’t like velcro (or don’t have any on hand), or if your babe is prone to just yanking the velcro’d bib right off, you can substitute a snap for the velcro. If you choose to use a snap, make sure that you still interface your fabric like you do for velcro. Instead of putting the snap through a single layer (like sewing on the velcro), wait until you have finished constructing the bib and then install the snaps through both layers so that your bib is as sturdy as possible.

Cut out your pattern pieces. You need 2 bib pieces so you can cut the pattern piece twice on a single layer of fabric or once on a folded piece of fabric. If your fabric stretches, you want it to stretch horizontally across the bib. If you are using waterproof fabric, cut a single bib piece of waterproof fabric.

Mark your pattern pieces. I find it easiest to cut out the velcro placement guide from my pattern and use the hole to chalk the placement (using my handy chaco liner). You can also use tailor’s tacks to mark the corners of the placement square. You may find it helpful to mark both sides of the fabric as velcro will go on the right side of the fabric and interfacing will go on the wrong side. If you do mark both sides of the fabric, you want to make sure that the marks for the interfacing are directly behind the marks for the velcro (instead of accidentally marking them on opposite ends of the pattern piece). To do this, use the pattern piece facing up when marking the right side of the fabric and the pattern piece face down when marking the wrong side of the fabric.

Fuse a scrap of interfacing larger than the velcro placement square to the wrong side of each bib piece. This helps to strengthen the fabric behind the velcro so that it doesn’t distort or tear with use.

Sew the velcro onto the right side of the bib with the loop bit on one piece and the hook bit on the other piece. Your stitching should go through the interfacing on the wrong side. It is easiest to sew velcro using a narrow zig-zag stitch.

Place the two pieces right sides together and sew around the bib, leaving a 2-3″ gap on one straight edge. This gap allows you to turn the bib right side out. If you are using a waterproof layer, place the fabric together so that the waterproof layer is on the bottom and the two fashion fabric pieces are right sides together on top. If you are using a knit, you will need to use a stitch that will stretch like a narrow zig-zag or a specialty stitch.

Trim the seam allowance near the corners and notch the curved part of the seam allowance to allow it to relax when turned right side out.

Turn the bib right side out through  the hole in the seam and press the bib flat, pressing the unsewn 2-3″ in as if it were sewn.

Topstitch around the edge of the bib, close to the edge of the fabric, to close the hole and prevent the layers from shifting with use. If you are using a woven fabric, you can use a straight stitch but if you are using a knit fabric you will want to use a stitch that will stretch like a narrow zig-zag.

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