First in a series of easy DIY gift ideas for adult tubies

The holidays will be here before we know it, plus, who really needs an occasion to give a gift anyway?

I plan to make several posts between now and the end of the year. with some ideas that may inspire you to be a bit creative for the adult tubie in your life.  (And, if the recipient just happens to be you that is fine too.)

This first idea is super-duper simple.  It is most appropriate for those who have a low profile button type g-tube, and who bolus feed, rather than continuous  feed with a pump.

I used to wear a cloth pad under my button to soak up secretions, and that pad also helped to absorb any water or blends that would leak out of my button after I disconnected the feeding set.   But, now that I have the AMT capsule (non balloon)  I rarely have any secretions, and had no use for the tube pads any longer.

But, I started to notice that occasionally the front of my clothing would get wet from leakage immediately following a meal.  Sometimes that anti-reflux valve takes a moment to completely close, especially when I’ve been having something fairly warm and very thin, such as my morning coffee breakfast blend.  And, even more especially when I get distracted and forget to close the button cap after I’ve disengaged the extension set.

As we all know, spills happen.  This just goes with the territory when one has an all liquid diet.

Therefore, I wanted to not only have something to catch those spills, but also absorb anything that snuck out of the button when I removed the extension set.   Another goal, was to make the fact I was using a feeding tube for my meal as discreet as possible when dining in public.

What I came up with is a little button bib.  It is intended to be worn for mealtime, and removed afterward.  Its purpose is to absorb, and protect clothing, and it covers my abdomen if my top is pulled up for access during the meal. Due to the desire to camouflage my bare skin, it made sense to me to use a color that would blend with what colors I favor for clothing, and the majority of the time I wear black.  (Sometimes I’m wild and crazy and wear tan , navy, or other neutral colors too.)  But. the point is. my photo examples below are  black just for the purpose of blending in with what I tend to wear.  If you, or the one you’re making this for, favor wearing other hues, then those are the colors you might want to consider.  I’ve also made quite a few in various shades of pink, because I love pink.  But, I don’t wear pink clothing,so, these are not my  Meal In Public cloths :)… Or, maybe you want to match the cloth color to food colors…I could go on and on, but I won’t.

I didn’t want to deal with the cut edges of fabric raveling, and I wanted the cloth to be lightweight, absorbent, but also protect my clothing in the advent of a full fledged  but I was sure  it was hooked up! –  type flood.

What I came up with, is using a PUL fabric as a  backing on either French terry cloth, bamboo velour, or other absorbent knit.

If you’re not already  familiar with  it, PUL  is a type of laminated fabric.  PUL stands for Polyurethane Laminate.

You can buy it in the basic colors ( most likely only in white) at your local sewing supply store,  but, online there are a myriad of solid colors, as well as patterned fabrics to choose from.  I generally purchase via Amazon but, I’ve also used the website “diaper sewing supplies”. Most places sell it by the yard /meter, so one length will make lots of button bibs!

PUL is extremely lightweight, the photos below don’t really depict how thin it is.    It can be a little tricky to sew with. as the side that is waterproofed is kind of slippery.

Keep in mind that this post is just about inspiring you.  Photos supplied are examples what I did for me.

The dimensions  are roughly 7″ X 14″ (18 cm X 35.5 cm)  I came up with this size so it would be long enough to mop up with if necessary.  I also have several that are  only 11″ long, and they are fine too.

I made a buttonhole cutout for my g button.  The examples shown below only have the button hole at the top, but really, the cloth could have a buttonhole on each of the four sides, and that way it could be turned to get more use, if it becomes soiled.

Any t-shirt  or sweatshirt type knit will not ravel, and can have unfinished edges.  If you use a towel instead of the “French” terry oftentimes used for sweatshirts, you will have mega ravels.  Not a goal (unless you really enjoy turning seams to cover raw edges.  I don’t!)

…And use your imagination for decoration and embellishment.  If the tubie is a man, you might want to make it look sporty or just very plain instead of all foo-foo.

The first photo was taken after the PUL fabric was cut out into rectangles:

Because the shiny side is slippery, the easiest way to sew it to the front fabric is to spray some easy tack  type adhesive on the shiny side:

The PUL acts as  the backing material for this project, and its shiny waterproof side will go to the inside of the finished button bib.  The shiny side will be  sandwiched against the wrong side of the other fabric when you construct it.   The other side of  PUL is  a knit type fabric, and this is the side that will show once you have the two pieces of cloth sewn together.

After you’ve sprayed it with a tacky spray,  you’ll be  working with a rectangle of sticky fabric,  which will behave like a giant piece of packaging tape!  The easiest way I’ve found to put it all together, is  to flop it sticky side down onto the wrong side of the other fabric.   After you have it in place. cut that fabric out using the PUL piece stuck onto it, as your cutting guide.  This is a much less of a hassle that trying to align  two layers of fabric  that were cut to size beforehand.

Next, sew around all of the edges to hold the backing to the front, then create  a slit a bit longer than the  length of the g-button.  If you’re making this for someone else, and aren’t sure how large an opening is needed, expect that a slit about 1.5″/3.6 cm is plenty long enough.  Make the slit close to the edge, as you don’t want the top  to be folding over, and  getting in the way during mealtime.

I used the buttonhole stitch on my machine, and afterwards slit the fabric between the lines of stitching.  If you’re using a ravel free type fabric, you honestly don’t need to bind the slit at all, although stitching will help keep it from stretching out over time with repeated use.

If you’re making fancy cloths for use when going out and about, those little organza gift bags make nice pouches to hold a rolled up cloth.

Here are a couple I made recently. using organic bamboo velour for the front side. eco-PUL (brand) for the backing. and leftover bits of lace trim I happened to have in my stash.


[Updated post]

I’ve added a few photos showing the smaller size button bib. These are made using a small fingertip size towel which is cut in half.  The backing, just as in other photos, is eco-PUL, but in pink instead of black.  These towels are nice and soft and a good size for this project.  You can find them on Amazon, the company who makes them is The Show Car Guys, and they have several different colors to choose from (mine are the “hot pink”.  These are sold in packs of four. (4 towels will make 8 button bibs.)



Back side of the button bib. THis is the PUL fabric

Turned back to show the terry cloth side which would be worn facing up away from body

button bib in action 🙂

…Expect more easy to do DIY tubie gift ideas to follow in the coming months!

One Response to "First in a series of easy DIY gift ideas for adult tubies"

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  1. Diane


    September 19, 2017 at 11:52 am

    I found a typo in the dimensions information! It is now corrected. Sorry about that!

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