Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Finish - The Evolution of a Bib

There's a finish this Friday, though perhaps not the one you expected! Behold the holiday mega bib!
As with most of my projects, there's a story here. It all begins with some lovely laminated cotton bibs that DT received from Q-D before they were even born. There's a story to the Kaffe Fassett fabric she used, but she can tell it when she starts her blog. ☺

In time, even the larger of the bibs was too short for BT. It had to be long enough to tuck into the waist strap of the highchair. Otherwise, he'd flip it up and smear the back of the bib and his shirt with food. Ain't nobody got time for that.

But somehow BT (and often GT... she's very dextrous) would still flip those bibs. Usually at the same point in the meal when they decide hair styling with hummus is a fine plan and their parents are reaching the frustration tipping point. Enter the Velcro back strap.

While very effective as a flip deterrent, the strap is also a bit... well, scratchy. And it leaves marks that horrify the grandparents. Not to mention that DT now loves to jam his giant hands down the sides of his highchair to simultaneously smear his shirt and pants with food and stow something to eat later. Time for the next version. Hopefully, the final stage of the bib evolution. The utopia of bibs. The Mega Bib!
As per usual, I broke out the Kona for the backing . It's pretty fitting that's Kona Tomato given that DT could consume their weight in tomato and tomato sauce on any given day.
So how did I do it, you ask? I started by making a paper pattern based off of the Cat in the Hat bib. Then I add side flaps and tested it by wrapping it around a twin or two. The test showed me that the sides needed to be straighter. On to a fabric template...
Paper is tricky to wrap around a wriggly 1 year old, so I went with a fabric template before making any bibs. This stage told me that even though I wanted the flaps to meet in the back with velcro, it wasn't really possible. Straps were still needed to bridge the gap.
On to cutting out the Christmas themed cotton laminate. Oh wait. Nobody makes that. Crap. Guess I'll have to add this print from my stash...
 To this expensive (13$ a metre) product, apply a medium hot iron...

 And presto! Christmas laminated cotton!
So many tricky things about working with laminate, like not being able to pin your pattern in place. So I reached for my trusty painters tape. Honestly, someone should make me the quilting spokesmodel for painters tape. Imagine the swag.
For those of you questioning black Christmas bibs, here's the thing. I'm sewing my stash and needed a fair bit of yardage to make these, cutting down my selection dramatically. And it's apparently been in my stash for 2 years. I have documentation. Time to use it or lose it. And it has the added bonus of being able to hide tomato sauce stains (please refer to my earlier statement re: DT's undying tomato love).
The straps aren't made from laminate. Where they're on the back, it didn't seem necessary. And I really didn't want to sew laminate right sides together and turn it right side out. Tedious. Aggravating. Not at all required.  My Wonderclips came in handy again... not pins in my laminate!
Here's a close up of the straps, made this wide because I knew I had 2 inch black Velcro in the notions bin. How's that for planning ahead? About the only thing I didn't really count on was sewing squared off wide straps to a curved area of the bib. But it works... with only a little bunching!
Who knew a twin thwarting bib would be so essential? Or that a bib could be so danged complicated?! In any case, DT can now chow down on their Christmas dinner without wearing it. I am a sewing mama rockstar... even if I do say so myself. And to share my prowess with the world, I'm linking up with TGIFF @ Quilt Matters and with Finish Up Friday @ Crazy Mom quilts. With any luck, it'll be a good nap day and I'll finish that Christmas quilt top too!



  1. Love it!! Can't wait to see them in action. I concur -- the black background will hide a lot!

  2. You are a sewing mama rockstar! Way to persevere! All the bibs are darling!

  3. Oh that's such a good idea! I must make one for my small super hero too ( bravely fighting off solids on spoons and rubbing it in his hair...) . Just visiting from Finish up Friday's link,
    Kind regards,

  4. Wonderful post. Was smiling while reading. Good job and great finish and idea.

  5. I think designing a rocket would be easier than designing a baby-proof bib! Lol. I love the evolution as you keep up with your kiddos. Love the Christmas fabric as well as your note on when you got it. Clever idea!

  6. Necessity: the Mother of invention! Good job solving your problem. They are cute. (and so are the bibs!) Ha ha.

  7. That is one terrific idea! I love the idea of laminated bibs. Brilliant! (Adorable Christmas fabric, too!)

  8. Such a good idea. I sometimes babysit twins that the mum just pulls their tops off to feed them as they pull on their bibs until they choke or it pops off. I must make her a pair of these to try.

  9. Necessity breeds invention...just as children breed mess, grey hair and exhausted mothers.
    Not-So-Little Purpleboots ate more than one meal in nothing but a diaper...clearly your DNA holds more of the Rock Star qualities than mine...
    Great job Jen... you could likely sell know, to other slackers like my younger self.

  10. Great job on those bibs. I needed one of those for my son who is now 22. Except mine needed extra straps for the hands/wrists to prevent him from using avocado as hair gel:)

  11. Love the mega bib. Wish this idea had been around when I needed it!

  12. Your posting certainly made me smile - wriggly twins at mealtime must be a challenge for you. Great idea for the bibs!

  13. I may have some bad news for you... If it's the same iron on laminate I used (and I don't remember what brand that was), it comes off in the wash... great bib though, hope it doesn't encourage them to start smearing food on their backs!

    1. No worries! I read the warnings before using the laminating product. I don't wash my laminate bibs very often... just wipe em down post-meals. I figure I'll hand wash these ones for the couple of times they need washing through the season.

  14. Bib Evolution and plans from a busy mother of twins - Advice doesn't get any better than that. DT sure are the perfect bib testers Jenn! I love this mega bib!
    When it came to tomato sauce, we kept a supply of red t-shirts and sweatshirts on hand and did quick changes before spaghetti dinners.

  15. I am so glad I was not drinking tea when I read this as I would have snorted it while laughing so hard. I really hope the mega bib works. Might the next stage be a hairdresser's smock or similar?
    I just read Valerie's suggestion and like the sound of it. If it were summer, a quick play in the garden with the hose after dinner and they would once again be hommous free!

  16. There's a new baby coming in my family....but somehow I don't think I could master this...maybe you should sell them....I know it wouldn't be worth it for you and with the DT where would you find the time.


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