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Knit Baby Bib with Ruffle Accents
Why not add a bit of glamour to your little one’s mealtime? Cute ruffles near the shoulders make these bibs look like they have fancy cap sleeves. We offer a full pattern download for those ruffles, as well as for the body of the bib and the front pocket. Not only are they pretty, they’re also fast and easy. The layers come together with all-around binding that turns into tails to tie the bib in place.
The bib front, pocket, and ruffle are all done in a fun cotton knit. It takes just a small bit fabric, as shown in the supplies list below. In fact, depending on the width of your chosen knit, you may even be able to cut more than one bib from the suggested yardage.
We used the same white PUL for the backs of both of our sample bibs as well as the same white binding. This is a good way to coordinate the bibs if you are making more than one for a gift.
Packaged binding makes things fast to assemble. We simply slipped the binding over the raw edges and edgestitched in place. You could also unfold the binding and stitch in place in two steps – more like a traditional quilt binding. If you are new to this technique, check out our complete tutorial on binding quilts and throws.
As mentioned above, the binding creates the self ties. We left them long so they could simply be knotted or tied into a bow. However, you could trim the length and add a snap closure instead.
Knits are a bit stretchy and PUL can have its own set of slippery challenges. When layering the two of them together for this project, we suggest using a Walking or Even Feed foot or engaging your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system. We used the AcuFeed™ Flex system on our Janome machine.
Bundle several bibs with some mealtime treats and utensils for an awesome shower gift. It is a proven fact that you can never have too many bibs.
The bib design finishes at approximately 11” high (at the shoulder) x 9¼” wide (at the widest point across the center at the pocket top) with a pair of 9” ties at the back. The ruffle caps add approximately 2” to each side.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing machine and standard presser foot
- Rolled Hem foot; optional for hemming the ruffles
- Walking or Even Feed foot; optional but helpful when working with knits – if appropriate, you can also engage your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system, such as the Janome AcuFeed™ Flex available on many of our Janome studio machines
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: Quantities shown are for ONE bib.
- ⅜ yard of 44”+ cotton knit for the front and pocket; we used Garden Rocket in Bachelorette from the Fusion Knit collection by Bari J for Art Gallery Fabrics (the floral) and Small Dots in Hot Pink from the Riley Blake kinit collection (the polka dot)
- ⅜ yard of 44”+ polyurethane laminate (PUL) for the back and pocket lining; we used 1mil PUL in Optic White
- Scrap or ⅛ yard of coordinating cotton knit for the ruffle caps; we used Organic Cotton Knit in White from Telio
- ONE package (3 yards) of extra wide double fold bias binding; each bib uses just over 2 yards of binding – we used Wrights Bias Binding in white
- All purpose thread to match fabric and binding
- 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 PATTERN: Download and print out our two-part Baby Bib pattern and our Ruffle Cap pattern. These patterns are laid out on two pages, which have been bundled into one PDF to make the download easier.
IMPORTANT: Each pattern page is ONE 8½” x 11″ sheet. You must print the PDF at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on each sheet to insure your printout is to scale.
- Cut out the patterns along the solid lines.
- Using the drawn arrows on the pattern, butt together bib pieces A and B. Do not overlap. Tape together to form the complete bib pattern, which will be cut on the fold.
- Using the assembled bib pattern, CUT ONE ON THE FOLD from both the knit for the front and the PUL for the back.
- Clip into the raw edge or use a fabric pen or pencil to transfer the two dots from the pattern to the fabric. These dots indicate where the ruffle caps will be placed.
- Cut the pattern along the marked line so you are now working with just “Part B.”
- Using this trimmed pattern, CUT ONE ON THE FOLD from both the knit for the front of the pocket and from the PUL for the pocket lining.
- Using the Ruffle Cap pattern, CUT TWO ON THE FOLD from the coordinating cotton knit.
- The binding will be cut to fit as you assemble the bib.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Create the ruffles
- Thread the machine with thread to best match the ruffle knit in the top and bobbin.
- Find your two ruffle cuts.
- Using your favorite method, make a tiny hem along the curved edge. We used our Rolled Hem foot. You could also make a tiny single fold hem and stitch it with your standard presser foot. Or, you could make a narrow hem with your serger.
- If you are new to working with a Rolled Hem foot, we have a great step-by-step tutorial.
- Re-attach a standard presser foot. Set up the machine for a long basting/gathering stitch.
- Run one or two lines of gathering stitches along the straight edge of each hemmed ruffle.
- Gather the straight edge down to about 5½” to fit between the two marked dots on the upper portion of each side of the bib.
- Set aside the ruffles
Layer and bind the pocket
- Find the knit pocket front and the PUL pocket back. Layer the two pieces wrong sides together.
- Pin around the outer curved edges.
- Cut a length of binding to fit the top straight edge.
- Slip the binding over the top straight raw edges. With packaged binding, one fold is ever so slightly larger than the other. Place the larger fold against the back of the bib.
- Pin in place across the front of the pocket.
- Attach a Walking or Even Feed foot or engage your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system. We used our Janome AcuFeed™ Flex system.
- Re-set the stitch length, slightly lengthening it for standard topstitching (we used 3.0). If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the binding in the top and bobbin.
- Edgestitch the binding in place. Go slowly and carefully to insure you are catching both the front and the back of the binding in this one seam.
NOTE: If you are brand new to edgestitching, you could also use a small zig zag to have a better chance of catching both sides at once.
Assemble the body of the bib with the ruffles and bind the perimeter
- Place the knit front bib panel and the PUL back bib panel wrong sides together. All raw edges should be flush.
- Place the bound pocket into position at the bottom of the front panel. Pin all the layers together.
- Flip over the layered bib so it is PUL side up and flat on your work surface.
- Find the two gathered ruffles.
- Pin a ruffle in place, using the marked dots as your positioning guide. You can loosen or tighten the gathers as needed to fit between the dots. The ruffle in wrong side down – so wrong side of the ruffle against the right side of the PUL. Pin in place.
- Repeat to pin the opposite ruffle in place. It is important to makes sure the ruffle is wrong side down. That way, when the ruffle is brought up into its final position, the right side of the hem will be facing front.
- Baste around the entire perimeter of the bib through all the layers, staying very close to the raw edge. This not only keeps the ruffles in place, it also keeps the main two layers from shifting during binding. We worked with the front facing up to best keep all the layers feeding smoothly. When working with multiple layers, it is usually best to put the trickiest fabric on the bottom against the machine’s main feed dogs. In our situation, this meant the PUL and ruffles should be on the bottom.
- From the binding, cut a length to go around the entire outer perimeter of the bib.
- Slip the binding over the raw edges just as you did above for the pocket binding. Pin in place all around. We pinned from both the back and the front.
- Just as you did above, re-set the stitch length, slightly lengthening it for standard topstitching to match what you used for the pocket binding. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the binding in the top and bobbin.
- Edgestitch the binding in place. Remember to go slowly and carefully to insure you are catching both the front and the back of the binding in this one seam. As mentioned above, you can substitute a small zig zag for the standard straight stitch.
- When the stitching is complete, trim any excess binding flush with the edge of the fabric at the shoulders.
NOTE: Yes, that means you are cutting away any locking stitch you made. This is okay because both ends of this section of binding will be secured within the main neckline binding.
- Flip over the bib and press the ruffles forward.
- Pin both ruffles in place in their final position.
- Flip over to the right side, and run a short line of stitching right along the very edge of the binding to secure each ruffle into its final position.
- Here’s how the double seam should look from the back of the bib.
Attach the neck binding and create the ties to finish
- Cut a 30” length of binding.
NOTE: This allows for each tie to be approximate 9” in length. You wouldn’t want to go any shorter, but you could make the ties longer if you wish. Or, as mentioned above, you could use much shorter ties and add a snap for your neck closure.
- Fold the binding in half to find its center point. As you’ve done with the other binding, slip this binding over the raw edges of the neckline curve. The center point of the binding should sit at the center point of the neckline curve. Pin in place around the curve.
- Tuck in the raw ends of the binding tails about ¼” and pin in place.
- Edgestitch these tiny hems in place, then re-fold the binding along its original center crease line.
- The machine should still be threaded with thread to best match the binding in the top and bobbin and should still be set for the slightly lengthened stitch.
- Edgestitch across the end of one tail, down the tail, and around the neckline of the bib.
- Continue back up the opposite tail, and across that opposite tail’s end to finish. Go slowly and carefully to keep your seam straight and to insure you are catching both sides.
- Press well from the front when finished. Remember to press the binding tails as well.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Debbie Guild
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does it have to be cotton knit? Can I use regular quilting cotton?
Hi Margaret – You are always welcome to experiment with your chosen fabric. For this pattern, cotton would simply yield a stiffer finish – and cotton is a less absorbent.
That was my first thought also.
Hi Jenni – as mentioned above in our response to Margaret – we’ve certainly done quilting cotton bibs here on the site, but mixing with something more absorbent for the back is a traditional option — or maybe sandwiching the cotton with a layer of cotton batting. Of course, the little ruffles, if in a quilting cotton, should stay as a single layer. Hope you’ll give these cuties a try.
If I find or make a halter
If I find or make a halter-neck apron pattern, I am SO putting those ruffles on it for ME. Move over, baby, Momo needs a new look, too.
I don’t even know anyone who
I don’t even know anyone who has a baby, and I want to make these bibs, LOL! The ruffle changes everything!
@Momo — LOL is right… but
@Momo — LOL is right… but that is the mark of a truly great project. “Gotta make it – no matter what!”