Thursday, March 31, 2016

Infant Bibs

The last item of the layet that I needed to complete before the baby is born are some bibs. These will be important to protect both the antique items as well as the clothing items I have made so far. There are a few designs available to choose from in both fashion magazines  and from housekeeping books of the period. There are also a small number of extant examples available through Google Images searches. I decided on making one fancy bib and a few serviceable bibs.

I am well aware of my limitations when it comes to sewing and embroidery. Due to this I was very excited when I came across this quilted infants bib from Quilt I love how simple it is, how the stitches are uneven and how effective the design is. It was also an achievable design. I did also decide to only use some of the design, so that I could then personalise it. The diamond in the Center was the perfect location for a 'G' monogram.

I used a bib that I was given as a template. As a first time mother I'm still struggling to understand infant sizing. I traced the bib onto cm2 grid paper. I then drew the desired shape over the traced shape. I also then sketched out a rough design idea onto the pattern. I did change the design as I went with the quilting. 

The bib pattern on 1cm square grid paper

I cut out 2 pieces in cotton and 1 in flannel. To ensure my stitching was neat I decided to draw out my design and the sew along the markings to ensure I had straight lines. I only stitched through one piece of cotton and the flannel. 

The first two layers pinned and marked for hand stitching.
The completed design.
Once the quilting was finished I then hand sewed the second piece of cotton on, trimmed the edges and the turned the fabric right side out. With the neck closure there were multiple options including loops that attach to the button or lace on the back of the dress, buttons  or hook and thread bar. I really do not want hooks near an infant, so I chose to use a button for the quilted bib. I love how this bib has turned out. 

The completed bib.
I  also beginning to realise that infants need multiple of most items. I have a number of bibs that I plan to make, but the second I decided to copy was this bib from Wisconsin History. As it will be an everyday bib I made it as simply as I could. 

As with the other bib, I used the modern bib as a grid base and then scratched over it to get the shape.

The pattern and fabric cut out and ready for sewing.
I followed the construction instructions in Cassell's '69 and Godey's January 1864. These indicate that with thicker Marseilles fabric the bib can be finished by being tatted, taped or piped and taped. As I was using a thick woven cotton (the closest substitute I could find) I chose to pipe and tape. 

Back of the bib when piped and ready for the tape to be hand stitched down.
The finished bib is not perfect, but I did learn a lot from its construction. The ties are made from a single embroidery floss that I made tassels out of.

Finished bib front
Finished bib back
When I get some time I would also like to create this bib from MFA. It has a flap that can be tucked into the gown to protect it. I have already made a pattern and will start work on it after I finish making some new winter flannels for my husband. I will probably just add my construction notes and photos here once I find the time to make it.

Update - Third Bib is now complete 14/4

Using 1cm square graph paper I sketched out this pattern to recreate the above bib.

I cut out one layer of woven cotton canvas and one of cotton calico. I sewed both layers together, leaving a gap to turn it correct side out when stitched. I then whip stitched the opening closed. Once complete I then lined the outside of the bib with tracing braid. To finish I hand stitched button holes and used antique porcelain buttons.

I love how this bib turned out. I think it is my favourite of the three. I hope to make more using this design once I have more time. I still have the wool cape to make and two petticoats to finish the layet for this time period. I then have a number of other projects to complete before my little one arrives in 6 weeks.

Challenge #3 2016: Protection

What the item is: Mid Victorian Infant Bibs
The Challenge: Protection
Fabric/Materials: Cotton, Flannelette, Woven Cotton
Pattern: Self drafted and adapted using a combination of  Cassell's Household Guide 1869 as well as extant examples available online.
Year: 1850s-1860s
Notions: Cotton Thread, Cotton Cord (piping), Cotton Embroidery Floss, Porcelain Button,
How historically accurate is it? Quilted Bib is about 80% and the Woven about 60% due to fabric
Hours to complete: Approximately 6 hours total
First worn: They will be worn when the baby arrives in May
Total cost: $0, it is all small scraps and notions from my stash

1 comment:

  1. What perfect entries for the protection challenge! This is so timely for you and useful! On the one hand, it's too bad the bibs will be used, since they are so lovely. :)