Wednesday, June 27, 2007

For just 85 cents a piece!

This was perhaps my first GOOOD sewing day! This morning I made six bibs for Nathan. And they look good and I don't have my usual, "why did I do this; I'm never sewing anything ever again" feeling. YAY!

A few years ago on the internet I found directions to make a baby bib from a hand towel and T-shirt ribbing. I bought some hand towels at Savers (our Value Village thrift store) and I eventually went to WalMart to pick up some ribbing. Well, I found that the ribbing doesn't come in nice long strips like you see on T-shirts. It comes in a bolt and you have to cut and fold and sew the strip your very own self. Well, I was so disappointed! That seemed like way too much work and a bit above my rudimentary sewing skills.

Then I found some directions for making bibs on a while back that used the T-shirt necks (the ribbing) from old shirts. But I didn't want to cut up any shirts of the kids so I put it off again.

Well, this past Monday was the Savers "50% off everything in the store" sale. I picked up some .69 shirts and .99 dishtowels for 1/2 price and started sewing one the same day!

The directions were terrible and incomplete so my first bib was botched. I salvaged it this morning and used the "spirit" of the directions to experiment and by #6 I think I have it.

Basically, you fold the handtowel in thirds along the length. Then unfold one fold so you have a fold dividing the towel into 1/3 and 2/3. This fold will be where the bib sits on your kiddo's shoulders with the long part (2/3) hanging down their front and the small 1/3 section over their shoulders and down the back.

Next you cut out an oval for the neck hole. You're going to cut a half an oval on the fold so that is an oval when you open it up. To do this:

You mark the center of the fold and go straight down from there about 1.5" and put in a pin parallel to the fold. This will be the width of your oval.

Then measure (from then center point on the fold - so your oval is centered) 3" to 3.25" to either side and make a snip on the fold. These are the end points of your oval. Then cut the folded towel from one snip, around the pin and connect to the other snip. Make it curved so that it will unfold to an oval.

Now for the T-shirt. Cut off the neckband about 1/2" from the edge of the ribbing. You should have a ring of T-shirt neck ribbing now. Find the seam where the ribbing is joined and pin it (right sides of ribbing and towel facing each other) to the center back of your cut-out oval.

Then do the same to the opposite side, pinning the front of the T-shirt neck to the front center of the bib's neck hole. Don't freak out - the neck hole will be a fair bit bigger than your T-shirt neck. That's fine because you will stretch the ribbing out as you sew.

To sew the ribbing onto the towel I used a stretch stitch on my machine. I know nothing about the settings on my machine and have no idea what they all do (tension, width, etc.) but I figured that I wanted it to be stretchy to I'd used the stretch settings. The stitch I chose is like a zigzag with a small stitch perpendicular to each vertex - on both the left and the right. I set the stitch width to 2 and kept the tension on Auto.

Then you sew! Stop every inch or two and stretch the tar out of the ribbing keeping the towel as slack as possible so that you don't have a big gap of toweling at the end. That's why I pin the front and the back. When I start sewing at the back I know if I need to stretch the ribbing more or less by the time I get to the front pin.

Anyway - after I slammed mormonchic's instructions I hope mine are understandable! Here is the finished project:

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