Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bib Bag Tutorial


I found two vinyl bibs that I must have received at a baby shower for Wilson or Henry. My first thought was yard sale. My second thought was to make it into a zipper pouch. From now on, it is a must-have in my bags. It was invaluable this year at the beach. I kept my phone, camera, a couple of dollars and anything else water-sensitive in there. I could toss it in the beach bag and keep those items safe.

Here are the original bibs


I followed the shape of the bib and used the existing bias tape. First I used a seam ripper to carefully remove the bias tape so that I could reuse it for the bag. You will only need the bias tape from one of the bibs.


I decided to use as much of the bib as I could to make a large bag. I cut both bibs at the same place to make two identical sides.


Keep as much of the bias tape intact as you can.


Removing the bias tape also released the see-through vinyl bib pockets. I decided to re-attach them and use them on the bag. Not necessary, really. I still haven't found a use for them. If you want anyone to know that you made this bag from a bib, re-attach them I guess. And if you find a use, let me know!


When I bought a zipper for this project, I didn't really know what I was going to do with the bibs, or how much of each bib I was going to use. My only real concern was that the zipper color coordinate with the bibs I was using. Turns out I should have paid more attention to the length of the zipper than the color. The zipper was not as long as it needed to be. But I'm actually glad that it happened that way, because I added these tabs to the sides and I liked the way it adds to the final project.


I cut the tabs from the extra vinyl that I cut when determining the size of the bag.

(Now, don't tell anyone this, but in all of the years that I've been sewing, I've never put in a zipper. Ever. Buttons, buttons, buttons. Point being, I followed the directions on the back of the zipper package and it was flawless. Anyone could do this!)

I pinned the right side of the zipper to the right side of a piece of vinyl at the top where you cut the extra vinyl off. Then stitch with your sewing machine.


Turn the attached pieces over and make sure that your zipper will open all the way. If you sew too close to the teeth of the zipper it will not open easily or at all (trust me).


When the zipper works just right, place the other piece of vinyl on the zipper, right sides together. Stitch with your sewing machine.


Make sure the zipper works well on this side and place pretty side up on a flat surface. Here are pics of the zipper from both sides:

P6192492 P6192493

Trim the excess from the tab that you attached to the zipper so that it follows the lines of the bag.


Now it's time to sew the body of the bag together. Place the two sides of the bib wrong sides together. I also included the clear pockets at this point (optional).


Enclosed the edges of the two layers of vinyl (and two layers of pockets if applicable) in the bias tape saved from one of the original bibs. I stuck my pins in straight since the vinyl was thick and inflexible.



At the end of the bias tape where the zipper is, I closed the bias tape with a stitch along the short end of the tape. Sorry about the fuzz in this pic.


That's the last step. I did return to the bag and used the extra bias tape to make a little loop handle on the top. This bag will keep your valuables clean and dry. It could also be used to keep baby essentials, such as the paci and snacks shown. If you keep it well stocked, it can be tossed from one pocketbook to another; it can easily be dropped into a larger diaper bag; or a smaller version could be used as a change purse (done that too...let me know if you want detailed instructions and pics).


If you are about to retire any of these bibs, please consider recycling them as a zipper bag. Or send them to me and I will!


  1. you are so creative, and I love your tutorials!! what a great idea.. sadly i think we only have three bibs, and I have used them for all four of the kids. No you know our dirty little secret! Could you put the vinyl pockets on the inside would that be useful? I was just thinking of making a few of these as wet bags for swimsuits and goggles.. also..I think some people have mentioned using these for potty training accidents in lieu of the grocery bag.. Also... I can't believe you have not put in a zipper before!! Hannah and Connor just made pencil cases this week and both applied their first ones.

  2. okay, so I'm a dork, I can't remember your email, and our switch to mac has addled my brains!! Hannah and Connor are not old enough for Kindergarten, so they are staying home.. I haven't done any formal instruction.. but somehow they seem pretty smart, so I'm just going to keep going with what we've been doing and see how it all pans out.. A pencil case would be so cute.. and you can use that vinyl iron on to make it wipeable, I had the kids line there's so their not as perfect stitching wouldn't show.. there is also a cute tissue cover I've seen a few times.. if you follow triad smarty pants they will post some very cute instructions for a personalized primary journal with bookmark. We would love to come over.. pick a day (any day but tuesday) and let me know!

  3. Oh my stars. I can't wait to make one! Ikea has the cutest, cheapest vinyl bibs that would be perfect for this. Thanks for sharing!

  4. LOVE this! Thanks for sharing! What size zipper did you use so I can get the same? I like the overall look of it too!

  5. This is BRILLIANT! Love, Love Love this idea, thanks a heap for sharing.

  6. stunning. brilliant. awesome. I am so going to do this! thank you for taking the time to share the tutorial with us.

  7. I don't have children, but am always looking for a deal on oilcloth so that I can make this same sort of pouch. Something tells me that these bibs are far less expensive than $14 a yard or more. Fantastic idea!

  8. I'm not sure if it's tall enough but if you sew some sides for it maybe the vinyl pouch could hold your license?

  9. Oh my goodness that is darling. I love the color of the bibs. Perfect reusable bag for snacks and everything else.

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