Friday, March 7, 2014

Crafting for Baby - How to Turn a T-shirt into a Baby Bib from Vintage Zest

Hello!  My name is Diane, and I blog at Vintage Zest and The Episodic Eater, where I share my cooking, sewing, organization, and home decor projects as well as my travels and food adventures around the world!  I started an awesome online sewing group and am part of a great link party called Do Tell Tuesday, and I would love to have you visit sometime.  Thanks for having me here today!

Although I have no kids yet, I love sewing for all of the little ones that belong to my friends and family.  In fact, today's project is one that I will be gifting to a couple of friends from the gym who are expecting!  The gym owner and I conspired to make a gift out of one of their logo T-shirts, so we can claim our youngest member.  :)

By the way, I love the idea of taking all kinds of adult-sized T-shirts to upcycle into bibs.  It would be great for all of those school T-shirts, so your baby can have the same school spirit as you!  Or why not make them one to support your work or favorite sports team?  I know that my guy has more than enough company T-shirts that could be upcycled into a cute bib one day.  The possibilities are endless!

Enough with the talk, let's get to the tutorial!

What You Will Need

  • The T-shirt
  • A pattern
    • I modified this one, but there are so many great patterns out there, like this one!
    • OR you can trace an existing bib, making sure to add seam allowance
    • OR make a pattern of your own!
  • 2 x 2" square of hook & loop tape (AKA Velcro)
  • Optional, but recommended: Flannel lining, for stabilization

 photo BabyBibfromT-shirt2_zps63702eb9.jpg


1. First cut up the side seams so you can work with the front and back of the shirts separately.

 photo BabyBibfromT-shirt4_zpsd24cc5d1.jpg

2.  Before cutting your pattern pieces, make sure that you can center the logo onto the pattern piece by laying it on top.  This may require a couple of edits to your pattern piece.  Coincidentally, mine had the two kinds of problems that you may encounter.  More work for me, but better for this tutorial!

However, if the logo first perfectly onto the pattern piece, go ahead and skip to step 3!

  • If your logo is too large, you can either cut into the logo if it isn't important OR extend the pattern piece a bit, like I showed here.
  • Also, the bib "arms" might go into the neck portion of the piece like mine does.  All you will have to do is cut the piece and add some seam allowance.  See below for the pictures.

 photo BabyBibfromT-shirt3_zpsce443e4c.jpg

  • I chopped off the two arms of the front piece and cut all three pieces separately.

 photo BabyBibfromT-shirt5_zps45ce308f.jpg
Using my homemade pattern weights!

These are the two "arms" I cut out.  I just made sure to position them on the T-shirt right-side up and I added a bit of seam allowance so the arms didn't end up too short.

 photo BabyBibfromT-shirt6_zpsd308261a.jpg

3.  The back piece (and lining) is much easier to cut because you can position it basically anywhere on the shirt.  Just make sure to flip the pattern piece over because you don't want to end up with the wrong side of the fabric showing.

 photo BabyBibfromT-shirt7_zpsdd3bc68a.jpg

4.  Sew the arms back onto the front piece.  Press open the seams.

 photo BabyBibfromT-shirt8_zps5cee005d.jpg

5.  Next, you are going to want to sew the hook & loop tape, but do not place it all the way at the edge or else it will get stuck in your seam allowance later.  For some helpful tips on how to sew Velcro, check out this post!

  • Place the hook (sharper) side on the long arm of the back piece
  • Place the loop (softer) side on the short arm of the front piece

 photo BabyBibfromT-shirt9_zps7b3ef457.jpg

Now we have our assembled front piece, back piece, and flannel, if you are using it.

 photo BabyBibfromT-shirt10_zpsa2e46381.jpg

6.  This is always the part that trips me up, so I'll explain it as best I can.  You will want the three layers stacked up just right or else you will end up having to use your seam ripper...

  • Layer 1: Lining.  It shouldn't matter which way it faces because it will be inside, but if it has a texture or print you want to hide, you will want that wrong side to be facing down.  In other words, it will be right side up.
  • Layer 2: Front piece.  That should be right side up.
  • Layer 3: Back piece.  Right side down.

This means that your fabric will be right sides together with the lining's right side towards the front piece.  Got it?  Good!

 photo BabyBibfromT-shirt11_zpsa63ebde1.jpg

7.  Sew all around the entire perimeter of the fabric layers, leaving a small hole at the bottom.  You can then trim away any bulky seams.

 photo BabyBibfromT-shirt12_zps921be557.jpg

8.  Turn the entire thing inside out.  This will be hard because of the Velcro, but slowly ease it out.  Press flat.

 photo BabyBibfromT-shirt13_zps0fad26b0.jpg

9.  Top stitch around the entire edge, making sure to pinch the bottom portion closed.

 photo BabyBibfromT-shirt14_zps02dcc9cd.jpg

10.  Then, I like to do a Velcro test.  I placed it on Lily (my dress form) and gave it a good firm tug.  You know that babies always like to tear their bibs off!

 photo BabyBibfromT-shirt15_zps6276a8a2.jpg

Add some more Velcro if you need to, but otherwise, that's it!

I hope you found this tutorial helpful, and I can't wait to see the rest of the Crafting for Baby Series here on Someday Crafts.  Thanks for having me, and I hope to see you at Vintage Zest soon!

Thanks Diane! Those little bibs are so dang cute! Be sure to checkout the Crafting for Baby Link Party that went live this morning. Come link up your own projects and check out everything else that has been linked up! 


  1. This is amazing! I am very impressed on how you have done this wonderful bib and it is still looks like a t-shirt. Unique bib! Great Job!


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