I sort of have this obsession with buying old placemats at the thrift store. They’re just these little ovals of potential, waiting for the perfect project.
So when Jessica from Craftiness is Optional asked me to join their Vintage May series (co-hosted by Skirt as Top), I knew just what to do. I turned those quilted placemats into bibs for Clara and they’re perfect!
The bib fits right over a baby’s head like a T-shirt and can sop up any leftover sweet potatoes. They’re super easy to make. I’ll show you a few options.
You need a placemat, a small bit of ribbing, and bias tape (optional)
Start by creating the neckband. This is similar to the collar in the Basic Tee Tutorial.
Cut a strip of ribbing 12 x 2.25 inches. Fold the strip in half and iron. Unfold the piece and fold it in half in the other direction with the folded areas facing each other. And sew the two ends together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance (for more detailed instructions reference the Basic Tee Tutorial).
Re-fold the strip of fabric in half and you have a neckband!
Now we’re going to cut a hole in the placemat and sew the neckband inside that hole.
Use a round object, such as a bowl, to create a hole large enough to fit over your baby’s head. But….to make it easier for you, I’ve created a simple pattern piece HERE! Click on that link, print, and check the printing ruler to ensure you’ve printed to the proper size.
Okay, refer to the photos below….
• Fold the top 1/3 of the placemat down.
• Lay the pattern piece on the fold and cut around the pattern to create a hole in the placemat
• Grab your ribbing neckband from above and pin it to the cutout area, just as we did in the Basic Tee. With raw edges matched up, pin the ribbing to the back center of the circle first, then pin it to the front center of the circle, then pin it all the way around the circle, stretching the ribbing as you go. Do this until the ribbing is evenly spaced throughout the circle.
• Sew the ribbing to the placemat using a 1/4 inch seam allowance (you do not need to use a zigzag stitch). Iron out the seam and sew a topstitch around the neckband.
Now if you want to stop right there, you’ve got a very simple bib!
But let’s take it one step further.
Iron the two sides of the bib under, at an angle and sew them down.
And you’ve created a comfy cute little bib!
Now if you’re giving this away as a gift or want to make the project a bit more polished, you may want to finish off the edges with bias tape (read all about bias tape and how to make your own HERE).
• Sew the neckband as we did above.
• Fold one side of the bib under as we did above, and iron it to create a crease.
• Now open up the folded area, then fold the entire placemat in half, and cut right along the creased line (cutting through both layers of the placemat), and round off the top and bottom of the bib as you go.
Then select a bias tape to bind the edges.
I made a knit bias tape with stripey fabric (and actually did not cut it on the bias)
Then I sewed it to the edge of the bib, using the proper bias tape sewing technique (HERE)
First sew it to the wrong side of the bib, then fold it over to the right side and sew it in place.
And you’ve got an adorable cheery bib!
For our (mostly) cheery little girl.
And for one last look I created my own fabric print on a white placemat using a toilet paper roll and paint (details in 13 DIY Fabrics)
Then I cut, sewed, and now Clara has 3 bib options.
Thanks Jessica for letting me join your vintage fun! Now head over to Craftiness is Not Optional and Skirt as Top for other vintage-inspired projects….it’s going for 2 weeks!