How to Sew an Applique on a Baby Bib
Baby bibs are always a great gift idea for new or expectant mothers. As parents know, one can never have too many bibs because it always seems that as soon as we put a fresh one on the baby, it gets dirty.
There are many bibs out there in the stores that have cute pictures or phrases on them, but sometimes it is more fun to decorate one yourself. It also means more to the recipient.
Sewing an applique onto a bib is quick and easy and adds a nice personal touch. Follow these easy steps and you'll be adding applique to a bib in no time.
- Undecorated baby bibs - To save money, pick up a package at a local dollar or discount store. I picked up a set of five for $2.00.
- Applique - There are so many designs available at either online or local stores.
- Sewing Machine
Other ideas for applique
- If you have fabric on hand, cut out your own shapes. Turn the edges under and sew onto the bib using one of the methods shown.
- Ribbon or ric rac adds a cute touch to a baby's bib. Just make sure that it is securely affixed and not just sewn on a with a few hand stitches. A bow would not be a good idea since it might get easily pulled off.
Things NOT to use as applique on baby bibs
For safety reasons, there are a few things that should never be used on a bib.
- Iron-on applique - It may be easy, but the glue used has harsh chemicals and babies put bibs in their mouths. Additionally, as babies get older, they may pull off the decoration which could present a choking hazard.
- Buttons or beads - Cute as they are, these present a real choking hazard and should never be used on a bib.
- Felt - Felt makes great shapes and comes in beautiful colors, but it does not wash well and will fall apart quickly.
Also, never hand sew applique on to a bib. Because bibs are washed repeatedly, the stitches will not hold up well and your hard work will go to waste.
Step by step instructions
Use the following steps to decorate a baby bib with an applique.
Step 1 - Choose bibs and applique motifsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Choose undecorated bibs for this project. The bibs shown have a vinyl backing, but there are many that do not. You can use any type of bib for this project and the vinyl did not make it any more difficult to sew through.
The applique flowers are bright and cheery and add a nice pop of color to the plain bib.
Place the applique where you want them to be sewn. You may want to pin them so they don't fall out of place.
Step 2 - Sew the applique onto the bibClick thumbnail to view full-size
The yellow flower in the photos above was sewn on using a simple straight stitch. Stay as close to the edge of the applique as possible when sewing.
The purple flower was sewn on using a satin stitch. This stitch is a bit fancier. There are many different decorative stitches you could use when doing this project. Just make sure that the applique if firmly affixed and won't fall off after repeated washings.
Remember to always back stitch at the beginning and the end of sewing. This will secure the stitches. Once sewing is finished, clip off all hanging threads.
Note that for this demonstration I used contrasting thread so it would show up in the photos. You may, or may not want to do this. Personally, I think contrasting thread is nice when using decorative stitches, but thread that blends in is better when using a straight stitch.
The finished product
Applique ideas for baby bibs
Everyone loves personalized gifts for their babies. I remember when I was expecting, everything had to have a duck theme and a friend gave me a whole basket of outfits and bibs decorated with ducks. It was beautiful and meant a lot to me because I know she put a lot of thought and effort into it.
Here are just a few ideas to get you started. Of course, anything can be used. If you don't know if the baby is a girl or a boy, use neutral colors and themes like green and yellow balloons.
Personalized baby bibs
Personalized baby gifts are always an appropriate gift, and making them is easy when you follow the steps shown above.
In just a few minutes, and with a few inexpensive supplies, you can turn a plain bib into something special.
© 2013 Claudia Mitchell