10-Minute Dishtowel Toddler Bib Tutorial

How do you turn this old pile of dishtowels:

Pile of Dishtowels

Into this?

Marian in Finished Bib

Now that Marian’s a little more rambunctious, not to mention hungry, I’ve found that your typical bib just doesn’t cut it. There’s food EVERYWHERE. I was given these fantastic bibs that just slip over her head but alas, as with most things, they were covered with characters and an insane array of colors that drove me nuts. Not long after that I was at my parent’s house staring at an impressive pile of dishtowels my Mom had collected (not on purpose) and something just clicked. I realized I could save some money and protect my retinas from “kid colors” just a little while longer by turning a pile of rustic (which sounds better than “old”) dishtowels into some slightly more attractive food barriers. They only take about 10 minutes a piece and I’m sure once you get the hang of it it won’t even take that long! Here’s what you’ll need:


  • Dishtowel (The one I used was 17″x24″)
  • Compass
  • Scrap of knit fabric 2 1/2″ x 14″
  • Pins

1. Cut the towel in half (mine ended up being 17″ x 12″, now the 17″ side which use to be the width of the old towel is now the length of the new bib) and stitch a double 1/2″ hem on the cut side so all 4 sides match.

Step 1

2. Fold the towel in half lengthwise so it’s 17″ x 5 1/2″. Next, set the compass to 2 1/4″ wide, place the needle 3 1/2″ down from the top on the folded side, and draw half a circle. Cut the circle out and set the towel aside.

Step 2

Step 3

3. Fold the 14″ x 2 1/2″ piece of knit in half so that it’s 14″ x 1 1/4″ and press flat, wrong sides facing. Unfold the strip and pin the two shorter ends together, right sides facing. Stitch the end closed with a 3/8″ seam. Typically it’s recommended that a ball-point needle is used when sewing knits but in this situation it’s really not necessary because it’s such a small amount of sewing. Just use a long stitch length and a lose tension. Press the seam open and fold again on the crease.

Step 44. Pin the knit loop onto the face of the dishtowel, stretching the neckline as you go.

Step 55. Top stitch the neckline to the towel with a 3/8″ seam and then serge the edges together so the fabrics don’t fray. If a serger or overlock stitch isn’t available zig zag stitch over the seam to finish the edges. Press the seam flat.

Step 6

That’s it! You’re all done and now your old dishtowels will breath new life! Have fun and as always, let me know how it turns it!


Step 7

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June 19, 2014 - 6:38 AM

Rob O'Neill - Cute bib! Dishtowels are really perfect for a toddler/pull over bib especially when you have a little kid that loves taking off his/her bib. Thank you for the pattern of this one! Job well done!

January 14, 2015 - 12:04 AM

nancy willaford - wonderful tutorial! I’ve got the cutest tea towels rom World Market whc\ich will now be wonderful bibs!!

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