This is my fourth version of the DIY t-shirt neck baby bib. The main feature differences in this bib are:
- The edging is achieved by sewing the lining evenly to the main bib fabric around the outer edges first.
- The neck hole opening was finished by facing the main fabric and top stitching it to the t-shirt ribbing neck.
- The pocket is lined and sewn separately to the outside of the finished bib.
- A polyurethane laminate (PUL)panel was sewn to a limited section of the bib, onto the knit lining side.
To get this to work, the sewing steps have to be altered some from the other DIY t-shirt neck baby bibs. This is done so that the you end up with all the raw edges finished as easily as possible. Remember, if you want to see how I came up with the original pattern go to this link for the blog on the first DIY t-shirt neck baby bib. All seam allowances are 1/4 inch, unless mentioned otherwise.
1. The first step, as usual, is to verify that the neck hole is close to the 18 inches desired. For this bib, I should have taken a closer look at the neck ribbing with my reading glasses. After I was half way into sewing the bib, I noticed the ribbing was more frayed than I would have liked. I hadn’t been looking for it because I had only used the t-shirt for the bib because I was tired of the shirt, not because I thought it was worn out. From now on, I will double check this regardless of the supposed history of the -t-shirt.
2. After cutting up the sides of the t-shirt, and cutting off the sleeves close to the seams, I folded the t-shirt lengthwise and laid out the pattern like I had when cutting other t-shirts this way. For details of this, please see DIY t-shirt neck bib #2. (click on any photo to enlarge)
3. The pocket and the lining for it were thin enough to cut at the same time, on folded pieces of fabric, using the bottom portion of the bib pattern. The main difference here from other pockets is the lining.
4. As before, it worked best to use the t-shirt bib piece as the pattern to cut out the main fabric.
(You may want to do step #13 now, if you don’t want any stitching from attaching the PUL panel to show through on the front of the bib)
5. Since the outer edges of the lining and the main bib were even, it was easy to pin and sew them together. The curves were carefully clipped some to help the seams lay better when the bib was turned right sides out.
6. With the neck ribbing formed into as nice a circle as you can, fold the neck ribbing on the t-shirt lining to the outside to expose the seam. Draw a line on the wrong side of the main fabric that is about 3/8 inch inside where the seam edge of the ribbing is. Usually either a regular pencil or a fine tip marker work. The marking can be cut away when the circle is cut out. Please note that I drew it too far out and had to modify how to attach the necklines. This will be seen in the photos and explained further in the description.
7. Being careful to keep the layers separate, cut out the neck hole circle.
8. I went ahead and understitched the seam to the lining, to help it lay flat and make it easier to press into shape. Press.
9. The pocket lining can be sewn to the main pocket piece at any time. Just put the pieces right sides together and sew all around the edges EXCEPT for about 3-4 inched along the bottom curve. Trim the corners a bit, to cut down on bulk; also clip the curves some. Turn the pocket right sides out and press, including pressing in the open edges to match the shape of the pocket as desired. The opening can be basted closed, or you can wait to secure it when attaching it to the main body of the bib. Sew an applique’ on the pocket now, before sewing it to the bib, if you want this decoration.
10. Cut a strip of leftover t-shirt fabric into a one inch strip, long enough to go around the perimeter of the neck hole, allowing for some overlap. This should probably be at least 22 inches. This will be used to face the raw edges of the main fabric.
11. Sew the strip to the main fabric neck hole edge, right sides together and slightly stretching the t-shirt fabric as necessary to make it go around the curve. I did not make sure my strip was long enough, so had to patch it some. I also thought it would all be hidden once I sewed the opening together, so did not try to hide raw ends. It all worked out reasonably anyway.
12. If you have made the neck hole of the main fabric the correct size, you should be able to fold the facing all the way under at the seam line where it is sewn to the main fabric. If not, like I didn’t, the t-shirt facing can be folded more like a binding, up as much as needed to cover the underside seam of the neck ribbing which is still attached to the lining of the bib. Pin this, stretching the ribbing a bit as necessary. Then sew with a narrow zigzag stitch, making sure to back stitch when beginning and ending for reinforcement and security. You can see how this turned out by looking at the first photo above.
13. Cut a piece of PUL fabric to the shape and size desired. It will be easier to sew if it is out of the way of the edge seams. I chose to cut it into a circle. Pin it in place to (the right side of) the t-shirt lining. Stitch with a regular stitch approximately 3/16th inches from the edge. You could put the panel on the wrong side of the t-shirt lining if you complete this step earlier (as noted after step #4, before the lining and main fabric are sewn together.) This would hid the PUL fabric.
14. Now it is time to sew the pocket on. Match the edges of the pocket as closely as possible to the bottom edges of the bib. Pin the pocket to hold it in place. Reinforce the upper corners of the pocket with a bar stitch, then continue to top stitch the side and lower pocket edges to the main body of the bib. The edges of the pocket can be adjusted as needed while you sew. Also, be careful to adequately catch the part of the pocket that was left open for turning, if it hasn’t already been sewn shut.
15. Topstitch the rest of the side and upper outer edges of the bib. All of the edge stitching and pocket stitching can be done in a continuous fashion if you just pause and change the stitch selection without pulling or cutting threads.
16. An applique can be still be sewn on an upper part of the bib, if desired. See instructions for how I made the heart applique’ on bib #2 for a simple way to do this.