I Love to Create: Bib Parties are Sew Darn Cute!

“B” is for “book”, “bib” & “baby” in today’s I Love to Create column!  So sit back, relax, check out Jenny Ryan’s latest book (win a free copy–see details at end of post!), and check out my bib-making baby shower idea!

I frequently get books in the mail from publishers to review.  Some are awesome….some are well, less awesome.  It’s rare though, that a book is so adorable that it makes me squeal with delight.  That’s exactly what happened though, when I started flipping through Sew Darn Cute: 30 Sweet & Simple Projects to Sew & Embellish (St. Martin’s Press)!
If you like whimsical projects that are as quick to make as they are cute to look at, then this book’s for you.  With some basic sewing skills and the will to craft, you can make any of the items in Sew Darn Cute.  My faves are a Cafe Curtain with fabric house and lawn appliques; the vintage tablecloth, Sewing Machine Cozy; an Apple Tree Fabric Collage, the Terry Cloth Towel Pouch; and of course, the Custom Vinyl Bib.  I liked the latter so much in fact, that I decided to use it (with my own, added, crafty spin) at our baby shower!

Last weekend we celebrated the impending arrival of our little gal with a few close friends, tapas & bevies, and some craftiness!  I don’t really do the whole cutesie shower game thing but, a baby party without an activity would most certainly be a bomb.  

Me & My Mens at our Baby Shower

I had such fun painting onesies at my dear friend Jennifer Perkin’s shower though, that I took her cue, combined it with Jenny Ryan’s bib pattern and had myself a bib bonanza! Here’s how you can throw a paint party, yourselves…

Step 1:  Pre-Party Prep

  • Before the party, print out the bib template from Jenny’s book.  
  • Cut out as many rectangle pieces of fabric as you’ll have guests at the party (I used a combination of unbleached, plain cotton and patterned fabrics of all sorts.)
  • Trace bib template onto fabric fronts.  DO NOT CUT OUT TEMPLATES at this point, though.  They need to be cut out AFTER the vinyl is applied.

Step 2: Gather Supplies

The more supply options you have, the less scary it’ll seem for the less-crafty to participate. If you’re having a co-ed shower like we did and want to get the dudes to join in, I highly recommend grabbing a copy of Ed Roth’s Stencil 101– it’s filled with all kinds of cool, graphic arts-inspired stencils. 
Here are the other materials we used:
Tulip 3D Fashion Paints
Tulip Permanent Fabric Markers
Sponge & Craft Brushes
Tulip Sticky Fabric Stencils
Tulip Baby Couture Iron-on Patches & Decals
Embroidery Floss, Needles & Hoops
Fusible Webbing-backed Fabric for Applique Making
Recycled Cardboard & Masking Tape

Step 3: Set-Up Craft Table
Make sure supplies are all easy to see and there’s an example of both a before and after bib displayed.
Step 4: Get the Party Started
I find that it always helps to first server a little wine or beer to get people to lose their creative inhibitions.  Then, let guests pick a fabric template to tape on cardboard, fill ’em in on the supplies scoop. For people who are nervous about the painting prospect, show them the iron-on & embroidery options.
This is a great project for kids to join in on, too.  It keeps them occupied and let’s them feel like they’re part of the baby celebration.  That’s a win-win in my book!

Step 5:  Let the Crafty Magic Happen
Enough said.
Step 6:  Let Dry
A clothes line set-up outside is a great way to not only let the bibsterpieces (bibs+masterpieces) dry, but also display them for guests to admire.

Step 7:  Post-party Assemblage
Following Jenny’s book instructions, iron-on vinyl over bib fronts, cut out templates, create fabric backing, sew on seam binding (this is a great opportunity to experiment with those decorative stitches that your machine has to offer!) and add a snap.  You’ll end up with a little something that looks like these:
Lucky Lady

Supplies used:  Stencil 101 Horseshoe, Tulip Slick Paint, Tulip Soft Fabric Paint, Tulip Fashion Glitter

Electric Squirell 
(Bib front by, Dave Campbell)

Supplies used: Tulip Sticky Fabric Stencil & Aleene’s Fabric Fusion

Danger, Baby 
(Bib front by, Jenny Medford)

Supplies used: Tulip Soft Fabric Paint & Tulip Skull, Sticky Fabric Stencil
Bib Backs

That’s all it takes to make your baby, biblicious with some crafty keepsakes that’ll tell a story for years to come!

Win a copy of Sew Darn Cute by posting your favorite baby shower ideas (or just your love of this one ;)) here.  Post-ers will be entered into a drawing!

Have a creative Thursday!
P.S.  This article was written while listening to the “Baby Mix” from our party.  I’ll post the playlist, later this week!