Friday, September 04, 2009

Making an Adult Bib

A good friend is someone who not only gives you a free pattern, but a working model of an adult sized bib and gives it just in time for a Frugal Friday idea! Perfect for my almost completely housebound MIL who can only walk (using a walker) with a lot of pain. So, many meals are prepared and served to her as she sits in her favorite chair in the living room.

As any of you who has ever tried to watch TV.... and eat at the same time... knows, something almost always spills...and often you end up ruining a nice or even favorite piece of clothing. Time to protect and defend the elderly with a 'senior' bib!

And as someone who is almost ready for a working model for myself, I know this will not only be appreciated for its feminine look.... unlike a typical adult bib, or the use of a kitchen towel upon one's front.....but for its practicality. It's simply made of a few pieces of fabric, a simple pattern and a little trim. And it can be opened and closed with a simple velcro closure in the back.

And furthermore, it's actually two patterns in one! One side of the pattern is a ladie's version with a round collar, and the other side, a typical pointed-end gentleman's collar. Add a bow or a little ribbon for the lady (and perhaps a few decorative buttons) and a nice homemade bow tie for the man.

Enlarge photo and notice the approximate sizing for all...width about 16", length about 29" and the choice of rounded or pointed collars shown. For the body, you create your own pattern in an elongated curved shape as shown. You want it long enough to go down onto the abdomen, wide enough to cover someone's front size, with a neck opening large enough to be comfortable, but not gaping. Enlarge all photos and the rulings on the mat will help you create your own 'to size' pattern.

Cut out a duplicate front and back section out of fabric #1 and a collar from fabric #2 ...using a round collar section for a woman and the pointed collar section for a man. The collar section is folded and place on the fabric's fold and only the side you want is traced and cut-out around.

Sew right sides together, leaving an opening for turning. Top stitch around edges (adding eyelet trim previously, if desired) Trim with buttons or bows and stitch on a little velcro to each side section, one up on top, one under( on the opposite side.)

As I leave this morning, to drive DH to an unexpected trip to an oral surgeon (for a painfully impacted wisdom tooth) and wisdom tooth removal surgery at 7:40 am today, I'm wondering if there's still enough time to make him a quick gentleman's version....

And if he doesn't want to wear it, I may......especially after fitting in all of those ice packs, milkshakes, bowls of soup, and ice cream I'm going to be serving in the middle of an already busy schedule!

Added into my plans for working at the State Fair all day tomorrow in our Mid-Valley Quilt Guild's demonstration booth, I suspect I'll be either frothing at the mouth or drooling before the day's end, not to mention that I can never, ever eat without spilling something. And if I'm wearing white or something brand new, or I'm out in public...well, it's guaranteed!

So, it's an absolute given that one of these might just need to fit into my least for private usage ;)

Until then, thanks to 'Friday' for a great gift idea and blog post for my 'Frugal Friday Freebie' pattern give-away. And if you didn't catch this, my friend's name who gave me the bib and the truly Friday! Practically perfect in every way!

other versions..with collars and without:

Want it even longer?


Here is a pdf with measurements:
adult bib also known as a clothing protector....PDF print off...longer version


  1. There is a part of my anatomy that is quite ample and catches spillage. I usually wear my apron to the table. Maybe I should convert your pattern to an apron. How cute that would be!

  2. Now that is one great bib. I think I'll try making it later in the fall. I definitely need it and it would make a great gift for my mom. Thanks for the pattern.

  3. I tend to feed my clothes too. Don't want them to go hungry! I should make one or more of these too.

  4. Michele, How I thank you so much for this pattern....I work at a facility and have worked there for over 8yrs. What matters is this is GREAT. We are always looking for bibs to put on our residents and some only have one...With the holidays coming I think this would be a wonderful gift for our residents to be given by our PCA(personal care ass.) Some don't even have families that come to visit. 75% also have alzheimers. Thanks to Friday.

  5. I think I need this; my daughter says my best color is macaroni and cheese.

  6. Hope your day at the fair goes as well as ours did! We were there last Wednesday - make neck and helmet coolies for the troops and had lots of fun!

    doni @ windy Oregon coast

  7. Hi everyone! I love this site, asking anyone out there on how to make an adult bib with some kind of protector in case my mom should spill hot coffee on herself. Used to sew and haven't for about 30 years now, so I'm starting from scratch (kind of). Thank you Esther

    1. Terry6:55 PM

      My sincere thanks to you, Michele , our mom needed some adult bids and your pattern fits her needs to the T. Thanks you so much for genorosity. God Bless you and your family. Terry

  8. Such a great post! My grandmother is 103 years old and uses a bib at every meal. We never have enough! The collar is adorable. I'm going to make her some for Christmas. Thank you again. :)

  9. Anonymous11:28 AM

    My disabled daughter always wears a bib. I am thinking of making some for our Easter Seals of West Georgia that she attends. Theirs are in really sad shape at this time. Thanks for the ideas. Susan

  10. Daniel6:50 PM

    How wonderful.I have a cousin who's severely handicapped he drools constantly He gets around on his hands dragging his body behind him. He also uses a wheel chair and she uses a stair lift to get him in bed.He's a wonderful little man of 25 years.He's paralyzed from his chest down,his grandmother is rearing him she keeps a large handkerchief around his neck to catch all the drool.Thanks for sharing this pattern.I'll have my Mom make him one.There's so many things handicap people can use in their lives and this is a great one.

  11. Thanks so much for sharing this pattern. I plan on making some for our local nursing home.

  12. thank you so much for your pdf, a friend has recruited me to make several for a group of her friends but i didn't have a clue as the measurements required. i found this great bingo fabric as thats where they wanted them for, lol. i'm sure she will get a charge out of them.

  13. Thanks so much for this pattern...

  14. May I ask you what kind of fabric do you use? Thanks for sharing.


Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon. Leave a comment and your blog will be visited,