Babies drool. It’s their job. Drooling is normal through the first two years of life since full control of swallowing and the muscles of the mouth isn’t fully developed until 18 – 24 months. Plus, babies who are teething amp up the drool factor. It’s kind of adorable, especially when they blow little bubbles, but it’s also rather messy and can cause the need for frequent changes of clothing as tops are soaked through. Our smallish bandana style drool bibs are a great way to keep your babe clean and dry… and cutie pie.
We have three sizes of patterns to download below. Each has the same triangular bandana shape. The Small Bib (for 0 – 6 months) finishes at approximately 12½” snap to snap, and about 6½” neck to point. The Medium Bib (for 6 months to 1 year) is 13½” snap to snap, and 7” neck to point. And the Large Bib (a Toddler size 2-3) is approximately 14½” snap to snap, and about 7½” neck to point.
The bandana shape is super popular because of how it crumples slightly under baby’s chin. It’s a comfy fit that easily catches the drool. The fleece we chose for the back is soft, absorbent, and launders beautifully. You’ll want to use a single sided, lightweight fleece so it’s not too thick.
We used a larger Babyville plastic snap for the neck snap and a Dritz® Fashion Plastic Grommet to hold the Binky Leash. Both options look great and hold up well to frequent washing. That said, you could certainly also use a standard metal snap and metal grommet.
The Binky Leash is a simple ribbon with double snap loops. One end goes through the bib grommet and the opposite end holds onto the the binky. We recommend removing the leash prior to laundering.
Although our samples were made with babies in mind, the Large Bib could also be an option for older special needs children. Or, adapt the pattern to an even larger width and depth as required. The construction steps are the same at any size.
Each bib takes just small fabric cuts for the front and back. We used the same classic white fleece for the back of all three of our samples, purchasing new yardage for this, but all the fabric for the fronts came from our S4H stash. Fabric with vertically directional prints are nice as they can be fussy cut to feature a cute repetitive motif, like our foxes and octopi or a stripe, like our classic pink and white stripe on the smallest bib.
The recommended half yard cuts shown below will give you enough vertical height to cut any of the bib sizes, but are obviously more than needed for a single bib. Your best plan would be to download and print the patterns to use as a guide as you sort through your scrap stash for the perfect options or to gauge exactly the cut size you’ll need to buy based on your fabric’s motif.
And, if you’re looking for a great gift idea, one or more of these sweet bibs, with pacifiers in place, would be welcome at any baby shower.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: The supplies listed below are for one bib. The exact scrap dimensions will depend on which size bib you choose to make.
- Scrap or ½ yard of 44”+ wide quilting weight cotton in an adorable print for the front of the bib
- Scrap or ½ yard of 44”+ wide lightweight fleece in a coordinating solid for the back of the bib
NOTE: As mentioned above, ½ yard cuts will give you enough vertical height to cut any of the bib sizes, but are obviously more than needed for a single bib. Your best plan would be to download and print the patterns and use these as a guide to sort through your scrap stash for the perfect options or to gauge exactly the cut size you’ll need based on your fabric’s motif.
- ⅓ yard of ⅜” wide ribbon or twill tape for the Binky Leash; we used white grosgrain ribbon
- TWO metal snaps for the Binky Leash; we used Dritz No. 15 (⅜”) Snap Fasteners and the accompanying Dritz Snap Pliers
- ONE ½” grommet for the Binky Leash; we used a Dritz coated plastic ½” Fashion Grommet in white, which comes with setting tools
- ONE plastic snap for the back of the bib; we used a Babyille Size No. 24 (15mm) white plastic snap and the accompanying Babyville Setting Tools
- All purpose thread to match fabric
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- Download and print the THREE pattern pieces – one for each size of bib. These three pieces have been bundled into one PDF file to make the download easier. You can choose which size(s) you want to print.
IMPORTANT: This pattern download consists of THREE 8½” x 11″ sheets. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on each sheet to confirm your printout it to scale.
- Cut out the pattern pieces along the solid lines. The Small and Medium sizes are both just one piece that will be cut on the fold; the Large size is two pieces. Butt together these two pieces at the arrows as indicated. Do not overlap. Tape together to form the complete Large pattern, which will also be cut on the fold.
- Using the pattern size of your choice, cut ONE on the fold from the quilting cotton for the front of the bib.
- We made sure we carefully placed and fussy cut each of our samples to center a cute vertical motif for the front of each bib.
- Press the bib front so it is nice and flat.
- Use the pressed bib front as a pattern to cut the bib back from the fleece.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Place the bib front and bib back right sides together. The raw edges of both layers should be flush all around. Pin all around, leaving an approximate 3” opening along one side for turning.
- Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch all around. Remember to lock the seam at either side of the 3” opening, to pivot at the point of the bib, and to go slowly around the small curves at the upper “arms” of the bib. These are small curves; go slowly, stopping as needed with the needle in the down position to readjust and keep a smooth curve.
- Trim off the point and clip the curves.
- Turn right side out through the opening. Press flat from the front – fleece is not a fan of direct heat from an iron. Fold in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam when pressed.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the front fabric in the top and to best match the fleece in the bobbin. Slightly lengthen the stitch.
- Edgestitch around the entire perimeter of the bib. This flattens and layers and keeps them from shifting, and it also closes the opening used for turning.
- Using the original paper pattern as your guide, mark the position for the upper neck snap and the bottom Binky Leash grommet.
- Insert the snap halves and the grommets. If you are new to working with either of these notions, you can review our tutorial on Inserting Grommets and Eyelets as well as on Using Babyville Plastic Snaps.
- This handy leash is a simple ribbon with two snaps.
- Cut the ribbon to 11”.
- Fold back each raw end of the ribbon ½”. This gives you a doubled layer that is enough to capture the raw edge of the ribbon within the snap halves and provides a little tab to help pull apart the snap.
- The stud half of each snap set should be centered over this folded back edge. The socket half of each snap set is 2½” from the stud. Mark these points with a fabric pen or pencil.
- The ribbon and the snap are essentially the same width, so be careful that you center the snap halves over your marked positions.
- Insert the two snaps at the marked positions. If you are brand new to this technique, you can review our full Metal Snaps tutorial prior to starting the project.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever