Monday, August 23, 2010

DIY Oilcloth Smock/Bib

I'm pretty sure all babies are messy eaters. I haven't conducted a scientific survey or anything, but I've observed a few babies in my time. My little guy needed a better bib; preferably one that covered as much of his clothing as possible. You wouldn't believe (unless you have your own ravenous self-feeder) how much food we find in his lap after a meal. I decided to make a smock-style bib that covers his entire torso, front and back.

I found this awesome oilcloth on clearance at my local Jo-Ann's Fabric superstore. I bought 1/3 yd. so I had a strip 12" wide. I cut it half and then folded one half in half to create the smock/bib. I used an existing bib as a template for my neck hole. I traced the shape on the wrong side of my fabric before cutting it out.

The hole is too small to fit over a baby's head but you want a snug neck opening so bunches of crumbs don't end up running down your messy baby's chin and onto his shirt. After I cut the neck opening I cut one of the shoulders apart along the fold. I attached heavy-duty snaps on the shoulder because my monster boy can pull apart the Velcro on his other bibs.

I added a pocket on the bottom of the front to catch some of the crumby overflow. The great thing about using oilcloth is that you don't have to hem anything. Just cut and sew.

My little guy likes to lift up his bibs now so I needed a way to keep the sides together. I used ribbon ties on this bib, but he pulled so hard that he ripped the ribbons off. This time I sewed black buttons on the back side about half-way down each side using heavy-duty thread. On the front, I sewed on loops of round elastic cord.

Here's the back view.

My little model. He looks like he's wearing a really mod little shirt.
We tried it out at lunch today. Our new bib worked great. My little guy couldn't pull it off and after lunch the pocket was full of bits that would have been all over his pants. And best of all, when I took the bib off his shirt was clean. Well, mostly. He managed to dribble some tomato seeds down his neck folds onto his shirt so I think I'll line the neckline with some terrycloth to catch the random baby moisture.

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