An Etsy Experience – A Bib for All Ages

January 18th, 2014 | Posted by Lackey in My Creating Life

As an Etsy seller, I have had opportunities over the last year to make custom items for buyers all over the country.  Through the conversation strands that Etsy provides, buyers can express special needs and propose an item that they would like to purchase.  Through these conversations I have “met” some interesting people – some with very specific requests.  The most interesting conversation was started by a buyer who had recently purchased two of my laminated cotton baby bibs. He was very happy with the quality of the bibs, especially the binding and neck ties.  Apparently, he is not a fan of the velcro baby bibs he had been seeing in stores.  He and his wife are expecting their first baby this winter, and he liked the old fashioned style of my bibs.  In fact, he liked them so much that he proposed a project for me.  Apparently, his family had an heirloom baby bib that had been worn by many cousins over the years.  The bib lived at Grandma’s house, but according to him – kids used to fight over the opportunity to wear the bib.  Unfortunately, when he and his wife got the bib out to have ready for their baby, the ties and some of the backing had frayed and disintegrated to such an extent that the bib was not usable.  He wondered whether I could refurbish the bib if he sent it to me. 

I never saw myself in the business of heirloom bib reconstruction, but when he sent a picture of this lovely old flowered bib,  I fell in love with the story.  The bib arrived in the mail with a return postage envelope and I set out to resurrect the family favorite.   The bib was a very lightweight flowered vinyl.  I decided to rip off the old white binding and replace it with bright orange bias tape.  To give the bib more stability and lasting power, I chose to back it with orange terry cloth.  The crumb catcher pocket got a fresh lining of orange gingham oilcloth.
The bib turned out great!  The buyer loved it and promised to send pictures of his child wearing the bib someday.  But when I had the bib all deconstructed, I had made a paper pattern of it.  I really liked the coverall design which makes the bib very functional.  It is large enough to fit a toddler and would even make a good art smock. 

This random customer inspired me to create an apron from this pattern from some laminated cotton I bought a while back and hadn’t used yet. It turned out so cute, but I had no idea what it would look like on a real baby. So – bring in friend with baby! I got baby Holden to model the bib on his first birthday.

He wasn’t very pleased with sitting still for photos, but the bib clearly fits him with plenty of room to grow. His mom likes the way the bib covers his pant legs when he is sitting. We tried the bib on Holden’s brother, Finn, who is five, and although it was a little tight through the arms, it still fit a five year old. I think this pattern is a keeper!

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