Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Onsie Dress Tutorial

 My friend mailed me this "blank" onsie for a baby shower.  It's a cute idea.  Everyone invited to the shower gets a onsie and they have to decorate/embellish it and bring it to the shower.  I think they are having prizes or something.  That's a lot of pressure, "Here is a plain onsie, you write a craft blog, so this better be amazing!!"  Is how I felt :)  So this is what I came up with.  (I am sure there are lots of tutorials out there with the same idea - this is my take on it.)

Part 1 Bib construction
 Draw a "bib" shape on Heat N Bond Lite Fusable Web.  I curved the top of it to match the curve of the onsie neck.  I didn't include a pattern because each onsie is slightly different.  You can do it - draw your own!!   Iron it on the wrong side of your fabric.  Then cut along your line and peel off the back and iron it right on your onsie.
 Cut your piece of lace and a matching piece of Heat N Bond.  Iron it to the lace.  Then cut the lace so it matches the curve of the bib.  Iron the lace to the bib piece.

Sew the lace down both sides.  Then sew around the bib portion using a straight stitch.

Next, prepare the ruffle.  Cut a strip of fabric 1 3/4" x 23". 
I don't have a serger so I did a rolled hem on the strip of fabric - which is just turning it twice as narrow as you can and sew along the fold. 

 Now, because I am not using a serger, I zigzagged the opposite side of the fabric so it won't fray.  (above)
Then roll the edges in and hem.

 Now roll your zigzagged edge over and stitch in place.  I used the zigzag because I will be gathering it and I wanted to reduce the bulk.  Sew a gathering stitch along the edge of the zigzag hem and gather.   It should look like this:

Get out your pins and start fussing with the ruffle to get it to fit.  I use a lot of pins in this process so it fits perfectly.  Make adjustments in the ruffle as necessary.

 Sew the ruffle along your gathering stitch.
You could add buttons along the lace - but I was worried about putting buttons on something for a baby.

Part 2 - Skirt Construction

You can tell from the photos it is getting later and later and I am getting tired-er.  My photos aren't the best.  Essentially you are making a little gathered skirt and sewing it to the onsie.

Cut your skirt fabric 11 1/2"x 34".
My onsie is size 3 to 9 months.  (That's a new size to me.  My youngest is 5 and I never had onsies made that size!)  If your onsie is larger I would add a little to both measurements. 

With right sides together, sew the two edges together to form the back seam.  You will have a continuous piece.  Press the seams open or zigzag the edges.  My seam allowance was a generous quarter inch.  It doesn't really matter on this project.
(Maybe I should iron my fabric!!)  The skirt is top-stitched to the onsie (you could cut the onsie apart and sew it to the shirt portion like a T-shirt dress, but then you wouldn't have the onsie diaper cover which is what I love about this dress.)  Because it is a top-stitched skirt, you need a rolled hem on the top of the skirt piece so it doesn't fray.

Now we are ready to gather.  Sew a gathering stitch around your skirt waist about 1/4 inches below your top hem.  Pictured below:
 Gather your skirt and ease it around the waist of the onsie.  You can choose where you want this.  Mine was 2 1/2" below the armpit.   I drew a light line in pencil so I could see where to pin the skirt.  Pin your ruffled skirt following your line making sure to evenly distribute the ruffles.  When you are happy with how it looks, sew it along your gathering stitch.  I covered my seam by sewing ric rac.  You could sew ribbon or lace or your favorite trim....or not.  It doesn't look that bad with just the seam.

Dress Hem:  You can hem the dress how ever you like.  I was going to sew a small ruffle along the hem in coordinating fabric but I ran out of time.  So I did a lace hem.  I sewed the lace and pressed it out and top stitched it down.  You could use ric rac, or other decorative trim, or you can sew a regular hem.

Here it is!!  I also sewed a matching flower for the baby's head - but I finished it on my way out the door to mail it - so no photo :(



  1. I want some for Hallie! Way cute!

  2. Very cute! Love all the extra touches on this.

    I'd be thrilled if you'd link up at this week's Off the Hook!

  3. Love this!! I need to make a couple for my nieces :) Thanks for sharing

  4. So cute! I'll be pinning!

  5. Did u sew elastic on? I'm afraid if I don't add elastic on that it won't fit other babies waist. Can you tell I'm new to this lol