Taking a stand against saliva – how to make a bandana bib

I’ve been busy today. Not only sewed up my first sample for my latest trouser pattern but made some time to knock together a couple of bandana dribble bibs for Ellie. She’s just 3 months now but has really started to ooze saliva all the time and is getting a bit sore around her chins! I think the beginnings of a tooth and her over zealous raspberry blowing are the culprits but as I can’t stop either, the dribble bib it is!

I chose to make the outer side in bright coloured fabric to match some of her outfits (the first one I made in a blue butterfly print to match her afternoon tea dress). I also had some fleece and terry bamboo that I had bought for making nappy inserts. I used both as the under layers on different bibs to trial them and see which is best. They are both soft against the sore skin but the bamboo is supposed to have naturally antibacterial properties and is super absorbant, yet the fleece may be better at wicking the moisture away from the skin. I nearly used both – a fleece outer and bamboo inner but it would have gotten a bit fat and definately too warm, even for our rubbishy english summer.

Here’s how I make my bandana dribble bibs:-

1) Draw pattern and cut fabric. I drew an asymetrical scarf shape so that it would look more like a real scarf when worn, rather than a triangle hanging off the neck! My template can be downloaded for free from the store as soon as I get the PDF ready. I cut one piece from my patterned fabric, and another slightly smaller piece from the fleece or bamboo. If the bamboo layer is smaller then if gives a bit of gather to the upper fabric and helps create a more scarf-like bib.

2) Pin the bib together along the edges, right sides of the fabric facing togther. I started pinning the straight edge first and then moved to the point and started pinning again. You need to pull the edges of the fabric so that they meet and there is no longer an overlap. If you turn the bib over you will see how the larger patterned fabric kind of puckers a bit – this will give the bib more of a tied bandana look as it won’t lie flat and one dimensional if it is made this way.

3) Sew the seams together. I allowed a 3/8″ seam on my template. Because fleece and bamboo are more slippy to handle than the cotton upper, I made sure to sew with the cotton on the bottom so that the machine had no complaints about dragging it through. I didn’t sew the ends of the bib shut as I needed an opening to turn it right side out (bit tight but the fleece was quite stretchy so it was fine), which I did after tidying up my seamed edges with the pinking shears.

4) Turn the right way out and then poke the open edges of the seams  in on each other and sew shut. I added a few spaced out poppers to allow for baby to grow a bit and the bib to fit different sizes. Velcro would also work well but I hate washing velcro bibs as they always come out stuck onto everything else – very annoying!


5) Admire your handiwork for a brief moment before attaching to dribbling child :-)

(Ellie is modelling the one I’d made earlier!)


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9 Responses to Taking a stand against saliva – how to make a bandana bib

  1. A great idea, so fed up of wet tops on my son who is dribbling like crazy.

    • H says:

      I sympathise. Ellie was soaked to the skin every day and that’s not exaggerating! The dribble just seemed to start from nowhere. One day dry as a bone and the next it was like someone had turned on a faucet!! We’re clear of the dribbling for now so we’re no longer rocking cowboy/highway robber chic :-)

  2. charlotte says:

    what measurments would you do for a 12month old x

    • H says:

      Ellie was around 3 months I think when I started making these. I just made the pattern one size. You can adjust fit by changing the fastenings. She’s been out of them for a while now but I had to use a couple last week for a teething dribble-fest. She’s 9 months but big (in 12 month clothes now). It still looked aesthetically OK on the size and did the job. If you want a bigger bandana you could just increase the size on your printer or add an extra amount around the edge when you cut your fabric (don’t increase the bit around the neck though – might be too fat and gather more around the neck that way).

  3. mamen says:

    Muy bonito y gracias por el tutorial, me podrías mandar las medidas para hace uno a mi sobrina-nieta. Muchas gracias y Feliz Año Nuevo

  4. Abbi Stead says:

    I’m excited about trying to make one of these before my baby arrives in April.
    I’m new to using my sewing machine and craft in general.
    Do you have the template to share, as think mine would be awful without!!
    Thanks for great tutorial

  5. Deb Trester says:

    I want to make something like this for my 7 yr old special needs granddaughter. What adjustments would you suggest as far as dimensions? Her mom wants to atop with actual bibs and go with more of a scarf look.
    Thanks for your help in this.

    • H says:

      For this you could just trace around the pattern to enlarge it or print it out bigger. You may need a bit of trial and error to get a size you that looks best but if you start bigger then you can always trim if down if it’s too big.

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