Teething is inevitable. Hooray for solid foods! But the drool that those impending chompers produce is unreal. Easier to change than a soaked-neckline onesie and more stylish than a traditional feeding bib, the bandana bib is a fresh way to keep the laundry at bay. This beginner-level tutorial will walk you through how to sew a bandana bib for the adorable drooler in your life.
Begin by printing our free bandana bib pattern onto letter-sized paper, and cut it out. (This pattern will fit most kids aged 3 months to 2 years.)
Let’s briefly discuss a crucial factor when it comes to fabric choice: it must be absorbent. If not, the bib will lack drool-catching functionality, rendering it cute but worthless. I suggest choosing fabrics made of terry cloth, muslin, flannel or jersey knit cotton—these are all absorbent and easily washable. Instead of buying new fabric for this project, I chose to use an old baby towel and child’s t-shirt, both of which were otherwise headed to the thrift store.
Whether your fabric is new or you choose to upcycle like me, start by folding one fabric so that the entire pattern fits on the folded section. Align the pattern edge that says FOLD along the folded edge of the fabric. Cut the pattern out.
If you did it correctly, you’ll open the fold and have a bib piece that looks like this.
Repeat with your second fabric. Or if the second fabric is tricky to fold like my t-shirt, just lay your first bib piece on top and cut around that.
You should now have two bib pieces the same size and shape.
Next, pin the bib pieces with the right sides together. Starting along one of the bottom edges, use a 1/4″ seam allowance to sew almost all the way around the bib. Stop about 1.5″ from where you started, leaving a gap for turning.
Turn the bib right side out. Tuck in the edges of the gap you left for turning, and use a hot iron to press the seams crisp. Now you will use an 1/8″ seam allowance to top stitch a majority of the bib. You can go all the way around, but I prefer to leave the top edge a little softer because that’s where it will touch baby’s face.
The final step is to add some sort of fastener to the ends. I chose to use KAMsnaps, but Velcro or a real button and buttonhole are great options too. If you choose Velcro, be sure to sew the loop side on the inside so the hook side doesn’t scratch your child’s neck!
Attach your fasteners to the opposite sides of the fabric, so that the ends overlap.
Congrats! You’ve just sewn your first bandana bib! Once you realize how easy it is, I doubt it will be your last.
Perfect for little boys or girls, I like that these bibs are just as much a style statement as they are useful. They’re like an infant version of a cozy autumn scarf—and who doesn’t love that!
As with all infant clothing, wear the bandana bibs with care—use only on a child under direct supervision, and never leave one on a sleeping baby.
If you’re short on time or you’d rather just buy a cute bandana bib, you’re in luck! There are several adorable styles available in The Project Nursery Shop.