Easy DIY Bibs for Your Toddler

Easy DIY Bibs for Your Toddler

Mr. Smiles is 20-months-old now.  Oh-how-time-flies!  He is learning to feed himself and man-oh-man mealtimes can be very messy as he perfects his skills and gains his independence.

14 years ago when Young Man was a baby, a friend gave me homemade bibs for him.  They are great because they tie at the neck (my kids have always yanked off velcro bibs), they are a good amount of coverage, including the short sleeves, they are fabric so they absorb moisture instead of running it down to his lap, and they are washable.

Surprisingly, those same bibs have lasted through four children before Mr. Smiles, and 14 years of life.  And they are still going!  Yes, there is some wear and tear on them, but they are still totally functional.

Despite that, I decided to make him a few more so I wouldn’t have to rush them through the wash so much.  I apologize ahead of time for the poor pictures.  I am up to my eyeballs busy right now, so I just quickly snapped pics with my cell phone while we were sewing them.  Little Miss is learning how to sew on the sewing machine, so she helped me make them, doing the easier parts while I did the harder parts.

It took about 2/3 yds of fabric and 1 package (3 yds) of bias tape for each bib.

We used the old bibs as a pattern.  We had to detach the bias tape that works as the underside of the sleeve so we could lay it out flat.

Since I don’t have a pattern for them, I laid out the cut fabric with some measuring tapes so that if you would like to make them yourself you can estimate and figure out how to cut them out.

Once we had the two fabric pieces cut out, it was time to put the biased tape on.  You could just do them single thickness of fabric, but I like the double thickness for sturdiness and absorption.  We put the two piece wrong-sides-together before we attached the bias tape.

First, we sewed on the two top edges, and cut off the extra.

Next, we sewed on the neck section, with 8 inches of tape hanging off each side of the neck for the ties.  We finished those ties by sewing the bias tape closed along them, and tucking in the end and sewing it as well.

Then we sewed the bias tape that went all the way around the sides and bottom.  We left 3 inches of tape, sewed closed, but with an unfinished end, at the top shoulder, and then sewed down to almost where the sleeve curves in.  Then we stopped and tucked the end of the tape into the edge and sewed it into the rest of the tape as we went.  This creates the “sleeve.”

We continued around the whole bib, stopping right before we got to the same spot on the opposite side (where the sleeve needs to be sewn in again).  We backstitched there and took the bib off the machine.

Then we laid the bias tape along the bib where it would need to go, cutting a tail off 3 inches from the top of the shoulder.

Then, starting at the 3-inch tail, we attached the bias tape for the sleeve the same as the other side, sewing the raw tail end into the other bias tape right where the curve starts.

***If you didn’t want the hassle of sewing the ends into the bias tape, you could just sew the bias tape all the way around, leaving a 3-inch tail on each side up at the top corners.  Then you could take the tails and tack them in place at the curve with a few stitches.***


We made three different ones.  I am hoping to buy some more fabric and bias tape soon to make enough so we have about 7-9 bibs total, that way he could have one each day and I could wash without running out.

Sunday Homestead Update

Feels like summer around here!  Beautiful sunny days, early afternoon showers, and cool, fresh evenings.  We are enjoying all our regular summer activities – gardening, animals, popsicles, sprinklers, hiking, crafts, farm projects, reading, visitors, outings….etc.


June is the time of year for hail in the Rockies.  Knowing this, I have left my WOWs on the tomato and squash plants longer than necessary just to try to protect them from the hail as long as possible.  This week we had a doozie of a storm, and thankfully there was very little garden damage because of the WOWs, plus the pest control fabric over the cabbage, lettuce, spinach, turnips, and beets.  We were home when it happened, so we ran outside and threw sheets over the strawberry patch, the few tomatoes that were unprotected, and the celery.  So almost everything was spared from the storm.  The rhubarb and beans did sustain a lot of damage, as well as many of the herb seedlings we had just put out into the garden.  Thankfully we still have several herb seedlings indoors under the grow lights.  We will put them out in a few weeks when the major hail danger has passed.

Thankfully, somehow the grapevines didn’t get hurt.  I think the angle of the hail was slanted enough that the patio roof protected them.  The older vine is doing SO well this year.  It has about 50 flower clusters on it.  Hopefully, some of those will turn into grapes for us.  Our goal for the younger vine is just for it to grow and spread this year, it is still very small and not doing as well as the older one.

I love the purple chive flowers each year – so pretty!

The cabbage are all very happy in their tent tunnels.  The fabric and arches for the tunnels have been quite an annoyance and need constant upkeep, but they seem to be helping thus far and they definitely protected them from the hail damage.

Heritage Arts

The girls and I decided to clean out and organize the craft room.  In the process we found several half-finished projects and a lot of mending.  So we set to work on all of it.  I am teaching Little Miss how to use the sewing machine, and she wanted to make curtains for her playhouse, so we did that.  We mended several pairs of pants and a couple of shirts.  We finished the last of the Spring/Easter cloth placemat and napkin set.  And now we are left with two bigger projects that we are working on.

First, we are making some cloth bibs for Mr. Smiles.  I will post more about that this week.

The second project has to do with some leftover scraps from the cloth placemats we made.  When we cut the corners off the placemats we were left with a lot of fabric triangles.  We didn’t want to just throw them away so we have been piecing them together and have been putting together different pattern ideas to make them into hot pads/trivets to go on the table under hot dishes.  It will be nice because they will match the placemat/napkin sets for each season.

Hopefully we will get those done this week.

In addition, we have found a new hobby (like we needed another hobby!) – Needle Felting.  Sunshine was the first one to have interest in it, but now Little Miss, Braveheart, and I have joined in the fun.  I bought this kit from the Felted Dog and made this cute Christmas ornament.


The cockerels are 17 weeks this weekend, which is usually when we butcher them.  But we decided to wait another week because a couple of the ones we need to butcher are a little smaller than we hoped.  We did assess them all (there are 8) and begin the process of deciding which will become the future breeding rooster for the flock.


Anya has now accomplished the next step in her training – she has been allowed to meet the chickens off-leash and spend time with them in the barnyard.  We still wont leave her alone with them for awhile since she is only a year old and still has some puppy behavior, but so far she has shown no signs of wanting to hurt them and has done very well hanging out with them.

Tundra’s Defy the Fly collar is definitely losing its potency already.  It has only been a week and the flies are beginning to get at his ears again.  They have also added his nose to the menu since it is farther away from the deterrent collar.  We still have the collar on him and have also been rubbing some human spray bug repellent on him to boost the fly control.  The flies are just terrible this year already, much worse than normal for our area.  They are bothering the goat and even the sheep.  We have never had the flies go after the sheep before.

The Fiber Mill

The Mill has been getting very busy, which is such a wonderful blessing.  Mtn Man is making all sorts of amazing yarns and fun blends.  He has been working with Navajo Churro and several other types of wool, Alpaca, and Goat Mohair.  Some of the blends include silk, bison, and merino into a few of the Alpaca and Mohair yarns.  So many options…so much fun!


More Cloth Napkin/Placemat Sets

I am working on finishing up the Spring/Easter cloth napkin/placemat sets.  I have a goal to have a different set of cloth placemats/napkins for each season for our family.  This makes the third set out of the goal of four.  Next fall I hope to make the winter/Christmas set and then they will all be complete and I will be able to change out our table decor seasonally.

I like to make the placemats reversible, with one side seasonal and the other side holiday.  But I don’t like the napkins to be reversible so I make a separate set of napkins to match each side of the placemats.

Here are the newest additions:



I think that the spring set is my favorite of all the sets I have ever made!


Here are the other sets I have made so far:

Summer/Independence Day


Homestead Update

Whew!…it’s been a little while since I have posted.  Life is going full blast in all good directions, but it leaves little time for the computer, which honestly, since I was born a century too late, doesn’t bother me much.

Here’s an update of what’s up at our homestead.


Heidi and her doeling, Fern (the kids changed the doeling’s name), are doing very well.  The other two doelings were sold as bottle babies.

But before we sold them we had the vet out to do the dreaded dis-budding and teach Mtn Man how to do it so we can do it on our own next time.  It was NOT a fun process and we are so glad it is over.  If we didn’t have a mixed flock we would likely leave the horns, but since none of the rest of our flock have horns, we didn’t want to keep a goat that had them and have them become a bully or injure the other flock members who don’t have the same weapons on their heads.

We are getting about 1/2 – 3/4 gallon of milk from Heidi, milking twice a day, while still leaving Fern with her mom full time.  We were planning to close kids off at night and just milk once a day in the morning once Gretchen had her kids, but as you will see below, that wont be happening.  It is too cold to close Fern off on her own at night, and since there are no other kids to be with her we are just milking twice a day and sharing Heidi with Fern.  We are really enjoying having fresh, raw milk again.

Gretchen, sadly, had a very rough delivery last Friday/Saturday.  We were able to save her, but not the doeling that she was carrying.  It was a very stressful and sad ordeal for the whole family.  A hard reminder that this lifestyle includes painful losses right along with all the wonderful life and joy.  It also made us all the more grateful that Heidi was able to safely deliver her triplets despite the first one being breech.

Gretchen is currently on antibiotics and meds to help her heal from the ordeal, and time will tell what we are going to do with her.  The vet made it out the farm after I finally got the baby out (one of the drawbacks of living over an hour from the nearest large animal vet) and he said he believes Gretchen is older than we were told she was when we bought her and that she is too old to breed again – it would be too dangerous for her.  In addition, she isn’t making much milk yet.  We don’t know if that is from the stress and strain of the birth, or what.  We can’t drink the milk anyway, because of the meds she is on.  So we will see if she is able to produce a good lactation or not and that will help decide what we will do with her.


Two of the sheep are now in their last month of pregnancy and we have shifted their feed and given them their CDT vaccinations.  No worming this year because we opted to do fecal tests instead and everyone came back worm free.  The other two pregnant sheep are still about 6 weeks out.

Chickens & Chicks

My hens are doing fine, nothing new with them.  The chicks are growing fast – as always.  They are starting to get their feathers.  They will stay in brooders another week or so and then move up to the upper coop.  After my last post we still had more chicks die – all of the same breed from the same hatchery.  The other chicks of that breed that came from a different hatchery, as well as the other breeds from a different hatchery all survived fine.  I think that is pretty strong evidence that it has to do with the hatchery and either their breeding stock, or their handling of eggs and chicks.  Thankfully, all the remaining chicks are strong and healthy and I think we are through with having chicks die.


We are closing in on time to start seeds indoors in a couple of weeks.  I am beginning to prepare my seed starting supplies and finalize my plans.

Heritage Arts

My knitting has taken a back seat lately as I have been in the mood to cross stitch.  I have also been working on finishing up the last few skirts I am making for myself and the girls.  And I am starting to work on the spring/Easter placemat/napkin set I am making to add to my seasonal placemat/napkin goal for this year.


I haven’t had time for photos recently, but hoping to get some photos up in the next week or so of all the things going on around here.

Sunday Homestead Update


We have been really enjoying the farm babies this last week (see previous post).  And we have been very busy with a lot of things going on that are not related to the homestead.  But we did manage to get a few homestead-related things done.

Managing Winter Stalls

Last weekend we did our winter stall cleaning routine in both of the bigger stalls and the lambing/kidding stalls.

We use a deep bedding-type method in our barn stalls during the winter.  Since we live in the mountains with a lot of predators constantly interested in our livestock, all the animals are closed inside our big barn every night year-round.  This is not an option, it is a requirement if we don’t want to lose them to mountain lions, bears, bobcats, etc.  In the winter, they also spend a lot more time in the barn because in bad weather we feed them indoors, and on really bad days we keep them in the barn with the barn closed up completely.  This means that in the winter the bedding in the stalls gets a lot more use and needs more care to keep the ammonia away.

Preparation for winter deep bedding starts in the late fall.  On a warm dry day in November we scrape out the stalls completely to the floor and let them dry out for a day.  In our very dry climate just a day is enough time to get a lot of drying out.  Then we bed them with about 12 inches of pine shavings.  Over time a bunch of hay gets mixed in as well because we feed them in the barn at their evening meal.  It all gets packed down pretty well and the waste is mixed in.  About monthly, more often if necessary, we dig around and remove all the very wet stuff (probably about 20% of the entire amount in the stall).  We throw it all out on the compost pile in the barnyard to eventually become our garden soil.  Then we stir around the rest of the now-composting bedding that is a range from moist to semi-moist to dry.  Then we add another layer of shavings over the top – this layer is usually about 2 inches or so over the whole stall.  Then we let it all go for a month or so until it needs another work over.  If at any point we start to smell ammonia we immediately clean out all the wet parts thoroughly, but that doesn’t usually happen at all as long as we are working it over often enough based on how many animals are using how much space.

The lambing/kidding stalls are different since they are so small.  When one of our sheep or goats is 2 weeks or so from delivery we usually close her into one of the lambing/kidding stalls each night.  Usually about half the used bedding in the lambing/kidding stalls needs to be removed every two weeks or so if they are being lived in every night.  That much of it is quite wet.  We leave the wet areas uncovered all day to dry, then push the dry-but-used shavings over the wet area and add another layer of fresh new shavings.  When one of our animals is giving birth we throw down a thick layer of straw over the shavings, which we promptly remove any wet/messy parts of afterwards.

Jeans to Skirts

We made some skirts for Little Miss this week out of some old jeans that used to be Sunshine’s.  They were her absolute favorite jeans because the waist band was so comfortable  So she wore them until they had holes in the knees, then I patched them and she wore them until the patches had holes.  Then she outgrew them.  Theoretically one would throw out jeans with holes in the patches, but Little Miss tried them on and loved the comfy waistband too, so we cut off the legs and made them into skirts for her.

I realize the waistband doesn’t match the skirt – but she wears all her shirts un-tucked, so it will always be covered by a shirt and wont matter.

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These skirts are super-simple and fast to make.  I easily did two in a couple of hours.  I just have her put on the pants and I measure up from the ground and mark with a sewing pen that same height all the way around so I can cut it and have it even length.  Then I make a short vertical cut up the crotch seam so I can overlap it and make it flat – otherwise the small amount of crotch seam left sill stick out.  Then I cut a rectangle of fabric, gather it, and attach it.  Sometimes she likes more gathers – thus a longer rectangle of fabric, and sometimes she wants less gathering – so I cut a shorter rectangle.