Bandana bib tutorial

Make your own bandana bibs

DIY bandana bibs

I don’t really like bibs, in fact covering up a lovingly hand-knitted jumper with a soggy bit of cloth feels a little counterintuitive. But on dribbly days (S’s not mine!) they’re an essential for keeping her chest dry and preventing endless hand-washing of aforementioned jumper. These bibs are microfleece backed with cotton or cotton jersey on top to absorb all that dribble whilst keeping the clothes (and baby) underneath dry. They’re quick and easy to make up so can be made in as many fabrics and colours as you want – the photographed bibs are made in cotton – Michael Miller’s Vikings in Turquoise and a pretty grey floral fabric bought in the amazing Simply Fabrics in Brixton Market. I also made some in material cut up from outgrown babygrows and old t-shirts. Cotton jersey would be the best material to use but there’s a much smaller choice of affordable prints around and cotton works pretty well too though it has less absorbency. For more information about fabric choices see this post from the Plush Addict blog.

Bandana bib instructions and pattern

1) Print out the pattern pieces. They are to scale on A4 so don’t resize them to fit on a printer page. Print at actual┬ásize and fill in the gaps that the printer misses in the margin by hand. Pattern piece B is on two pieces A4 that will need to be taped together and cut out.

Bandana Bib Pattern


2) Cut 1 of pattern piece A on the fold in microfleece. You could use another fabric but microfleece is ideal as it wicks moisture away from the body. Cut 1 of pattern piece B on the fold in cotton or cotton jersey. Mark where the fold lines are (in dressmakers chalk or with nicks in the hemline.



3) Place pieces right side together and sew along stitching line folding fabric piece B along pleat lines and leaving a 5cm gap along one of the straight edges to turn the bib inside out. The edge of pattern piece B with the pleats needs to match with the curved neck edge of pattern piece A.

n.b. The pleat lines are a rough guide only and should be adjusted so the edges fit together depending on the stretch of the materials used.


4) Inside out the bib (so the right sides are now facing out) and stitch aprox 4-5mm from the edge all the way round the bib making sure the seam allowance is tucked in where the gap was.


5) I used KAM snaps with pliers to create an adjustable closure for the bib (the snap placements are marked on pattern piece) but you could also use sew in poppers or velcro.

DIY Bandana bib


62 thoughts on “Bandana bib tutorial

    1. A4 is the size of paper that the pattern prints on although I believe it is a very similar size to US letterhead so hopefully that should work too. The pattern should print on 3 pieces of paper 2 of which need to be tape together meaning you end up with two pattern pieces an A and a B. Does this help or did you mean something else?

  1. Didn’t get it at all, pieces do not match up and piece A does not stretch enough to allow matching with price B! May be me but I couldn’t figure it out. Super frustrated!

    1. Oh I’m sorry your’e having trouble – it is so annoying when things don’t work. I still use this pattern quite often to make baby gifts so it should work with persistence, that said, because the pieces are different shapes it can be tricky to match them particularly at the corners. Depending on the fabric choice particularly you may need to make your pleats in piece B bigger to fit. The pleats in this piece are to create more volume/more cowl effect. If you’d find it easier with less volume you could always trim some of piece B away on an angle at the sides. Basting stitches at the corners might help too? If you are really struggling I could send you an email then you could take a picture to show me where you’re going worng. It’s tricky to advise without being able to see what’s happening

      1. Thanks Toya, I just ended up using another tutorial that called for the backing to be the same size as the front. I understand the cowl effect won’t be as drastic but i’m just trying to move on to another project (and finally finish something!!!!). I appreciate your follow up and look forward to reviewing your other tutorials! Take care.

    2. Are you printing on A4 sized paper or are you printing on U.S. letter sized paper?
      If you are printing in the U.S. you are most likely printing on letter sized paper.
      I’ve posted the differences of sizes in millimeters & inches below:

      Millimetres Inches
      Width Length Width Length
      A4 210.0 297.0 8.26 11.69
      Letter 215.9 279.4 8.50 11.00

      I’m in the U.S. and just tried printing the pattern & running into this issue, as I have US Letter sized paper… I haven’t figured it out quite yet…
      On to the interwebs… Perhaps there is a way to print this patter in the U.S!

      One solution I may propose to you, Toya, (it may be too much to ask) is if you’re interested in scanning a second document and saving it. I believe you would do this in page set up or layout, depending on what software you are using. In Photoshop, you can change the paper size by selecting: The Print dialogue box, click Page Set up, and under paper size select US Letter. …Cheers!

      1. Thanks for this Simone- I drew this up a long time ago before I had the technology and knowledge to do it in a more universal format- perhaps I should revisit it.

    1. Just under step 1 there is a highlighted title Bandana Bib pattern. If you click it it should take you to the pdf. If you still can’t find it I can email you.

    1. Hi Nora – Sorry you’re having trouble. There should only be one pattern piece marked B and one marked A. If you look at the photo underneath step 2 in the instructions I added some symbols to the corners of the patterns pieces in the photo which hopefully explain how the two should be joined.

  2. Hi there – I find the long edge of the fleece piece has a much longer outside edge than the top cotton piece. Suggestions for joining them, or might I have done something wrong in printing?
    Thanks, Nancy

    1. Hi Nancy, I’m sorry your’e having trouble, i can’t quite work it out as if anything the woven piece should be a bit too big! It would be starnge if it was the printing as even if it rescaled it would do the same to both pieces. My best guess is it’s to do with how its laid out on the paper. I made this years ago without the correct software so I imagine when you print the pieces they don’t print right to the edge. But in order for the pattern/template to work you have to imagine it has printed to the edge, ie butt the two pieces together with no overlapping and draw in the line right to the edge of the paper on the side that you cut on the fold. Would this work to make the piece bigger?

  3. Hi Toya I am new to sewing and I’m about to attempt to sew this bib for my grandson but I can’t see how much fabric I’ll need to buy are you able to help please?
    Thanks Heather

    1. Hi Heather, Sorry the instructions are not super in depth as its just a free tutorial but You can work out exactly how much you need by printing out the pattern pieces – they are both just cut on the fold. The top piece is the biggest and would need a piece of fabric taht measure approx 55 x 35 cm and the backing fabric would only need one piece approx 30X40cm at the most. Fat quarters should work! Hope this helps – it’s a long time since I made these now.

  4. Hello Toya,
    Thank you very much for posting this pattern. I am new to machine sewing & found it easy to follow. Everyone in work was very impressed with how it turned out. I used fabric with a watermelon pattern, which resulted in a very cute bib. I work in a special needs school & plan on making more bibs for pupils to use while they’re with us in school. This size is perfect for our smallest pupils however I would need to make bigger ones too, to cover age ranges from 3yrs to 12yrs. If I just increased the size of your pattern I think it will make the neck too big. What I was wondering was how do you calculate the size of the triangular piece of fabric in relation to the size of the Piece A to get those lovely folds please? I can work out a bigger size A piece by redrawing it I think, I am just baffled by how to calculate that triangular piece afterwards. I would appreciate any advice you can offer me.
    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Abi,
      so glad it was helpful. I’ve done a little sketch to try and show how to do it but if you still find it difficult I could try and make time to try a draw a pattern when I’m a little less busy at work.

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