How to Embroider a Baby Bib – Beginner Tutorial

Everywhere you look, there seems to be a bundle of joy arriving! I find myself constantly creating adorable baby presents for my friends who are embracing motherhood.

Stitch to Impress: Beginner

Last week, while I was adding some personalized touches to a bib for our next-door pal, I realized it would be a great idea to guide you on how to spruce up a bib with embroidery. It’s a simple process, yet the outcome is an inexpensive, personalized gift that any new mom would cherish!

Essential Supplies for Embroidering a Bib

  • Embroidery machine with its hoop
  • Selection of baby bibs
  • Thread (For me, 100% polyester embroidery thread does the trick)
  • Needle: I personally vouch for the Schmetz gold 75/11 embroidery needle
  • Stabilizer: You can opt for cut-away, no-show mesh stabilizer, or water-soluble topping (more on that shortly)
  • Embroidery scissors and marking tools
  • Optional: Odif 505 temporary spray adhesive and Tender Touch backing for added finish

Top Picks for Bib Embroidery

The Neat Solutions bibs, with their knit terry cloth on both sides, are my absolute favorites. They’re affordable on Amazon, and their colored options occasionally catch my eye. Their resilience, even after frequent washes, coupled with their non-traditional fastener, is commendable. For those who wish to experiment, there are knit bibs without terry cloth or even the ones you craft from leftover fabric, perfect for embroidering. Just remember to match the fabric with the stabilizer and hooping method!

Design Ideas for Your Bib Embroidery

From applique patterns, light to medium fill-stitch designs, to text styles, there’s a plethora to explore. If you’re unsure, I’ve curated a list of sources for free baby embroidery designs. Keep in mind, when working with a terry cloth bib, avoid fine designs that might disappear into the texture. And, steer clear of dense designs to prevent the fabric from bunching after washes.

Choosing the Right Stabilizer

It’s crucial to consider your design’s stitch density and bib fabric when selecting a stabilizer. Some fabrics may need double stabilizing, front and back. If you’re new to this, do check out my tutorials on mastering the embroidery machine and selecting stabilizers. To break it down:

  • Back Stabilizer: For stretchy bibs, cut-away or no-show mesh stabilizers work best. They provide ample support during embroidery and prevent deformities post-wash. For more stable fabrics, tear-away or wash-away options suffice. If in doubt, no-show mesh or cut-away is your safest bet, especially for intricate designs.
  • Front Topping: For terry cloth or fluffy knit bibs, a water-soluble topping, like the Sulky Solvy, ensures that stitches remain prominent.

Embroidering the Bib: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Marking the Bib: Decide the design’s central position. Use chalk for darker bibs and a water-soluble pen for lighter ones. To get the center, fold and mark the bib, then determine the design’s vertical position.
  2. Floating vs. Hooping: While I love to hoop, bibs are trickier due to their binding. Thus, I prefer floating them. Once you’ve hooped the stabilizer, you can attach the bib using spray adhesive or other methods. Don’t forget the water-soluble topping!
  3. Let the Embroidery Begin: Set your hoop, load the design, and ensure all settings are correct. Let the machine do its magic!
  4. The Final Touches: Post embroidery, trim off excess threads and remove the water-soluble topping. Trim stabilizers close to the design, and wash off any visible markings. If gifting, consider adding a Tender Touch backing for added comfort.

Summary Table:

Topic Details
Favorite Bib Brand Neat Solutions
Recommended Thread 100% polyester embroidery thread
Needle Choice Schmetz gold 75/11 embroidery needle
Stabilizer Option Cut-away, no-show mesh, water-soluble
Embroidery Design Tips Avoid thin and overly dense designs


Complement the information with the following video: