It’s the perfect “protection pair.” A bib for baby and a burp cloth for the person holding baby! And, who says keeping clean has to be boring? We used two coordinating designer cottons with a layer of soft cotton batting in between. It’s extremely washable and extremely beautiful – and just a wee bit more fashionable that slinging a cloth diaper or dish towel over your shoulder. Cute and clean – that is a perfect pair.
We do recommend sticking with cotton for all your layers. Not only does that give you the widest select of beautiful designer fabrics from which to choose, it’s also easy to launder.
Our standard recommendation is to always pre-shrink/wash your materials in the same manner as the finished project will be laundered. This is especially important when it comes to baby items, which often spend as much time in the wash as out. For more details on our favorite tips and products, check out our full preshrinking tutorial.
This pretty pair makes an absolutely wonderful gift for new parents. Wrap up the matched set with an extra bottle, teething ring or some special snacks to create a gift that is sure to be the hit of the baby shower.
Full patterns for both the bib and the burp cloth are offered below as free downloads. Pay attention to the download and assembly instructions to insure you print sufficient copies, at the correct size, and assemble them correctly. We set up the patterns for a precise fussy cut that adds extra style to the front and back of both pieces.
The bib curves smoothly at the top to fit easily around baby’s neck. And the burp cloth is narrow in the center and wide at each end so it fits snuggly against your neck but still offers wider coverage at both the front and back.
Our designer cottons were originally from the Grand Canal collection by Kate Spain for Moda Fabrics, a fabric that is no longer readily available. Below are a few new combinations we loved from the selection at Fat Quarter Shop. For more detail, click on a swatch below.
We prefer the look of the matching bias binding we made ourselves, but you could also use purchased bias binding. If you choose this route, start with at least 3¼ yards to bind both pieces.
Several specialty presser feet helped this project go more quickly and finish more professionally. Consider using both a Quarter Inch Seam foot and a Ditch Quilting foot to attach the binding. And, we turned to the built-in AcuFeed™ Flex fabric feeding system to keep the thicker layers moving smoothly and evenly. A Walking or Even Feed foot would be another option.
Our bib finishes at approximately 12” high (from the snap at the neck to the bottom of the bib) x 8½” at the widest point. Our burp cloth finishes at approximately 22″ in length x 9½” at the widest point at each end and 8¼” through the narrower center.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing machine and standard presser foot
- Walking or Even Feed Foot; we used the built-in AcuFeed™ Flex fabric feeding system on our Janome Skyline S7
- Quarter Inch Seam foot: optional
- Ditch Quilting Foot; optional
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: Supplies listed are for ONE bib and burp cloth SET.
- 1 yard of 44”+ wide cotton fabric for the bias binding and the backs of the bib and burp cloth
- ½ – 1 yard of 44”+ wide cotton fabric for the fronts of the bib and burp cloth
NOTE: A range of yardage is shown for the front fabric as it will depend on your motif’s direction and if you choose to make a precise fussy cut. With a more random motif and without a precise fussy cut or with a strong horizontal motif, you can get away with ½ yard. If you have a strong vertical motif, go with a ¾ – 1 full yard to insure the best fussy cut.
- ½ yard of 44” + wide low loft cotton batting
- ONE snap for the bib plus appropriate snap setting tools; we used a plastic Babyville snap in orange and the Babyville Snap Tools
- All-purpose thread to match fabric
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- Download and print ONE copy of the Bib Pattern Set and TWO copies of the Burp Cloth Pattern Set. Each pattern set has been bundled into one PDF file to make the download easier.
IMPORTANT: Each pattern download consists of two 8½” x 11″ sheets. You must print the PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide line on each page to confirm your printout is to scale.
- Cut out all the pattern pieces along the solid lines. Butt together the two bib pieces at the arrows as indicated on the patter pieces. Butt together the four burp cloth pieces as shown on the diagram printed on the pattern pieces: two A pieces in the center with a B piece at either end. With both sets, remember to butt together – do not overlap. Tape together to form the complete patterns.
- To make the cutting faster, we stacked our three layers, placing the cotton fabrics wrong sides together with the batting in between.
NOTE: We were able to do this and maintain a lovely fussy cut. If you are less sure of your fussy-cutting abilities, take the time to cut the cotton fabrics one at a time. You can still layer the batting with one of these fabrics.
- Pin each pattern securely so you can maintain the smooth curves when cutting. Cut out all the layers for both patterns. The bib and the burp cloth each have one front, one back, and one layer of batting.
- For the binding, cut at least 112” of 1¼” strips on the bias. You will need approximately 58” of binding for the burp cloth and 54” for the bib.
NOTE: If you are new to working with bias binding, review our full bias binding tutorial as well as our special tutorial on continuous bias binding.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Quilting the layers
- If necessary after cutting, re-layer your pieces. The front and back cotton fabrics should be wrong sides together with the batting sandwiched in between. The three layers should be flush around the entire perimeter.
- Pin the layers together. You can use straight pins or safety pins to hold your layers or you can baste the layers together with thread. You could even use a basting spray to secure the layers for quilting. The choice is really personal preference. Both pieces are fairly small, so any basting method will work just fine.
- Once layered, mark for the diamond quilting pattern. To do this, use your fabric pen or pencil to draw one guideline at a 45˚ angle at or near the center of the layered panel. If your cutting mat has grid lines, it will also often feature diagonal lines, which is a great helo for aligning this type of guide line.
- Draw in a second guide line going in the opposite direction, in other words, intersecting your first line at 90˚.
- Lengthen your stitch.
- Engage your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system (the amazing Acu-Feed™ Flex on our Skyline S7) or attach a Walking or Even Feet foot. If possible, add a quilting guide bar to help set your quilting line distance.
- Stitch along the first drawn guide line across the panel. On the bib, these lines should go all the way up into the “arms” at the top.
- Remove the panel and re-set to stitch the next line 1” from and parallel to the first line. As mentioned, we used our quilting guide bar to set this distance, running the guide bar along the previous line of stitching at a 1” distance.
- Stitch these 1″-spaced lines from the original line to the right, then go back and stitch to the left. Finally, return and re-set to stitch the intersecting lines.
NOTE: If you do not have a guide bar, rather than drawing two single guide lines to start, you can draw in all the stitching lines in both directions. Whenever you’re working on the right side of your fabric, you need to be sure you’re using a fabric pen or pencil that will easily wipe away or will vanish with exposure to the air or the heat of an iron. In the case of drawing in lots and lots of guidelines, this is especially important as you’ll have many more lines to erase when done.
- Find all your 1¼” wide strips of bias binding.
- Stitch them together end-to-end as needed to make one approximate 58” length for the burp cloth and one approximate 54” length for the bib. To do this, as with all binding, you place the strips together at a 90˚ angle.
- Stitch across the corner, using a ¼” seam allowance. Then press open each tiny seam.
- Press each entire length in half wrong sides together.
- Open up so the crease line is visible and press in one raw edge to align with the center crease line.
- Starting at the bottom of each piece and working on the right side of the front, pin the raw edge of the binding to the raw edge of the quilted layers. On the bib, this means starting at the bottom of the bib and going up and around the “arm” at the top, around the neck, back up and around the opposite “arm,” then back down the side to meet again at the center bottom of the bib.
- Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch the binding in place. We used our Janome Quarter Inch Seam foot to maintain a precise seam.
- Even though the binding is cut on the bias, you may have to ease it ever so slightly around some of the tighter curves on the bib. Go slowly and stop, with your needle in the down position, to re-set as necessary.
- Give yourself about an inch to work with at the head and tail of your binding to create your favorite finish. We used a diagonal seam to finish our binding. Again, if you are new to working with bias binding, do take the time to check out our full binding tutorial prior to starting for additional tips on cutting, pinning, finishing, and more.
- Wrap the unsewn folded edge of the binding over the raw edge and around to the back. The folded edge should cover and extend slightly beyond the seam you just stitched by about ⅛”. Pin this folded edge in place.
- Especially with the tighter curves of on the bib, don’t be afraid to use a lot of pins to curve your binding smoothly into place.
- Flip the panel to the front and stitch in the “ditch” of the seam you just sewed, which means you are stitching directly along the previous seam. Since your folded edge was pinned to extend beyond the original seam by at least ⅛”, your in-the-ditch seam will catch and secure the binding. We used our Janome Ditch Quilting foot, which has a center flange, to keep our ditch stitching precise.
- We used a Babyville plastic snap at the top of our bib.
- Mark the top of each bib “arm” for the snap insertion, centering it within the curve. The center of our snap was approximately 1” in from the outside edge the binding at the intersection point of our quilting lines.
- The Babyville snaps are inserted front to back.
- The two halves are then secured with the Babyville Snap Pliers.
NOTE: We have a full tutorial on using Babyville plastic snaps if you’re new to the technique. Or, you can use a standard metal snap, for which we also have a full insertion tutorial.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild