This free pattern for a special needs bib is designed to be used with a fabric with an absorbent side and a waterproof side, such as PUL. You can also use laminated cotton or oilcloth instead of PUL if you prefer.
The bib has an outside layer of PUL and an inside layer of absorbent fabric. This keeps the baby’s clothing dry, since the absorbent fabric will pull the moisture into itself and away from the baby’s clothing.
If you are using laminated cotton or oilcloth as your waterproof layer, you can choose to put this on the outside of the bib instead. For a double-sided bib, you can use either one as the outer layer. If you do this, you should still have an absorbent layer next to the baby’s skin so that it will draw moisture away from the baby.
The pattern is easy to make, and there are no raw edges on the finished bib! It will take about 20 minutes to sew a single bib if you have everything prepped ahead of time, including cutting out all your pieces. You could easily make several at once if you need more than one.
Fold the fabric so that it is an even rectangle, then pin paper pattern pieces to the fabric. Cut out two of each pattern piece.
With right sides together and matching edges, sew two collar pieces together along the curved edge using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Leave one end open. Turn the sewn collar right side out and press flat with an iron.
Sew two back bib pieces together along the curved top edge using a 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving one short straight edge open. Press flat with an iron. Sew two front bib pieces together along the curved top edge using a 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving one short straight edge open. Press flat with an iron.
Pin padding to outer collar piece, then sew inner collar piece to outer piece, enclosing padding between fabric layers and sewing across bottom of collar only.
The other cool thing about this project is that you can really make it your own. If you want to use velcro instead of snaps, go for it! If you want to add a pocket for utensils, be our guest! If you want to make it in food-themed fabric (pizza or ice cream print maybe?), knock yourself out! We live in a time where people are making all sorts of cool stuff—we just wanted to share one of our favorite patterns with you.
This bib is made to withstand a lot of wear and tear. It is sturdy, and the straps go over the shoulder and around the waist so it will stay in place. It’s also removable, which is great for washing.
Bibs are easy to make and can save your shirt from messy spills. If you or someone you know has special needs, you may also be interested in a bib that is specially designed for independent wear.
Cut out the pattern pieces. Pin the pieces together with right sides facing each other. Sew around the edge of the bib, leaving a 5-inch opening in the back to turn the bib right side out. Turn right side out and press flat. Top stitch around the edge of the bib to close up the hole you left to turn it right side out. With right sides facing each other, pin bias tape along the top edge of bib, folding over and under as you go. Top stitch in place. Temporarily pin Velcro pieces onto bib where they will go and mark with a pin or fabric marker. Remove Velcro pieces and sew them onto bib where you marked them.