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My #1 Favorite Handmade Kid Item – DIY Long Sleeved Bib

Free Kids Art Smock Pattern

It occurred to me the other day that I’d never blogged about the #1 most used, most loved handmade item in our house. I don’t think it’s ever even shown up in a photo! It’s a free pattern for a long-sleeved bib, thanks to Do It Yourself EC (pattern here). I sewed up a brand spanking new one to use as an art smock for this post, but we’ve been using them for 3 meals a day since my son was 6 months old and got his first taste of table food. We loosely did baby-led weaning (which basically means he ate whatever we ate, no purees, no spoon feeding) and I was way too lazy to strip him down or wipe him off mid-meal, so these bibs have been a sanity saver.

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DIY Art Smock

Long sleeved bib tutorial

They’re super simple to make – I sewed ours with PUL fabric, which is soft, laminated, washable, waterproof fabric; the same stuff that’s used in lots of cloth diapers. I used KAM snaps* to secure them (be sure to insert extra fabric or interfacing when you set these, to keep them from ripping out), FOE* / fold-over elastic around the edges, and then I added knit ribbed cuffs to this one (6″ X 5″ with the stretch going the longer way). The pattern also has a bottom pocket, which I used on all of the eating bibs.

grungy bib

This is what one looks like after hundreds of meals – I think I wash them about every two days, for the past almost 2 years. You’re supposed to air dry PUL in diapers, but I’ve machine dryed these every time and they’re still water-proof, knock on wood.

Baby long sleeved bib

They were much bigger on him way back when we started! This was his very first food.

Free kid's bib pattern

Perfect for letting kids be kids. We bring one to restaurants, to places that I know he will want to play at a water table, and to arts and crafts activities. I always cringe when I hear parents cautioning their kids not to get dirty – that’s half the fun right!

For anyone who is curious – the stamper he is using is a bingo marker and they’re awesome. I got ours at the dollar store, but Amazon has a set* of course. I also love my PUL table cover– it saves me from trying to tape down newspaper or generating trash with cheapie table cloths!

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