How to Sew a Button Down Bib

Hi I’m Jen from My Own Road, and I’m so thrilled to be here guest posting at Prudent Baby today!

From one Hot Mess Mommy to another, I’m sure you know how hard it can be to find cute boy projects. I mean, my daughter is no problem. I can put that kid in pink, ruffly dresses any day, but when my son came along I had to change my strategy.

When my husband gave me a pile of his old button down shirts that he couldn’t fit into anymore, I came up with the idea to do a series called “Button Down Rehab” where I took my husband’s old button downs and gave them a new life. Some friends agreed to join me, and I used the series as an opportunity to make some cute, new clothes for my son. And today, I’m sharing my Button Down Bib project with you!

All you need is a button down shirt and a few basic supplies to make an adorable bib for your little guy! Read on for the full Button Down Bib Tutorial and links to the rest of the Button Down Rehab projects.
Here’s what you need:

  • Download my free pattern HERE
  • Button down shirt
  • Coordinating fabric for the back of your bib
  • 1 package of double fold bias tape
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors
  • Disappearing ink marker
  • Sewing machine and thread

**A quick note about buttons: Please make sure to check that your buttons are sewed on tightly to avoid a choking hazard. If you’re concerned about safety, remove the buttons before wear.

This is the original shirt I used. My husband actually wore this one on our honeymoon cruise to the Caribbean and 3 years later it’s living a new life as a bib for our son!

Step 1: Cut out your pieces.
Make sure your shirt is buttoned. Print out the free pattern I provided HERE and place it on top of your shirt over the pocket and button placket (see second picture below). Trace and cut out your front piece. Make sure you don’t cut too close to the buttons themselves because you’ll be lining the bib with bias tape and you don’t want the buttons hiding under the tape.

Use the pattern to cut out a second piece of fabric for your lining. Now you should have 2 pieces:

Step 2: Add decorative stitching.
This step is purely optional, but I love how it makes the bib look! Using coordinating thread, I set my stitch length and width to 3, then zig-zag stitched along the pocket and button placket.

Step 3: Line the outside with bias tape.
Place your main fabric piece on top of your lining fabric, wrong sides together. Then, take your package of double fold bias tape and line the outside of your bib, enclosing the raw edges of your fabric inside of the bias tape. At the top of the neck line, extend your bias tape out some, you’ll trim this later.

**Editors note: Jen uses the one-step method for applying bias tape, if you are new to bias tape, you might want to try the 2-step method first. See Jaime’s How to Sew with Bias Tape tute.

Make sure to pin it really well (I kind of go crazy with the pins, but I don’t want anything to move around when I sew.)

Using your zig-zag stitch again, stitch all the way around the outside of the bib. At the neck line, snip the extra bias tape so it lines up with the neck.

Step 4: Line the neck.
Now to line the neck of your bib, cut a strip of your bias tape approximately 32 inches long. Fold the strip in half to find the middle, and then pin the middle of your bias tape to the middle of your bib with the raw edge of the fabric inside of the tape.

Enclose the neckline of the bib inside of your bias tape and pin.

Now, zig-zag stitch along the neckline to enclose the raw edges. Make sure you tuck the edges of the bias tape that you sewed on the outside of the bib into the neckline bias tape.

I stitched along the entire length of the neck to the ends of each strap I liked the look of the zig-zag stitches on the straps, but you don’t have to stitch past the neckline if you don’t want to.

Now you have a brand new bib made out of an old shirt, and little man is ready to eat in style!!

Thank you Jaime and Jacinda for having me!

The Button Down Bib is just one of 10 projects in the BDR series where some friends and I share some great ways to transform button down shirts from drab to fab.

I would love it if you came by My Own Road to say hi and check out the other posts in the series:

1. Monogrammed Pillow with Krista of Thar She Sews!   
2. The Little Guy Vest   
3. The Little Guy Bow Tie  
4. Roll Cuff Sleeve Refashion   
5. Pillow Monster with Shannon of Details of a Love  
6. Bow Cuff Bracelet 
7. The Shirt Sleeve Bag with Gwen of Gwenny Penny   
8. The Button Down Bib
9. Bib Dress with Rebecca of Searching Out Simple  
10. The Tuxedo Pillow



Crunchy Con Mommy

I love these ideas! My husband wears button-down shirts everyday and I hate the thought of throwing them away just because there's a stain or tear somewhere, but didn't know what to do with them. I love your creative approach!

Craftiness | The 416 Expat

[…] tend to be quite girl focused but this button down bib seemed pretty accessible.  Check out the link for making instructions.  I don’t have a lot of experience using bias tape (this was my […]


You have shared very good ideas to reuse shirts for button down bib. We can make several types of girl’s cloths and aprons and baby’s cloths from mens shirts easily at home and save money.

Mens Tie

Model Blouse Kerja

I was wondering if you ever considered changing the page layout of your blog?
Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.

But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two images.
Maybe you could space it out better?

klinik anti aging

I love these ideas! My husband wears button-down shirts everyday and I hate the thought of throwing them away just because there’s a stain or tear somewhere, but didn’t know what to do with them.



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