3/26/10

DIY: Onesie to Dress Tutorial

I have about four long-sleeved onesies in the 3-6 month size that have been too short for about three months. I was going to pass them along to a friend's friend but then realized I could use them again. The trickiest part about a dress or tunic can be getting the collar and sleeves right and since the width and arm size of the onesie still fit her I was able to just cut off the bottom and half of my job was done!

You'll need a long-sleeved onesie, stabilizer (or heat-n-bond if you're out of stabilizer), a thick band of black elastic that is the circumference of your onesie plus 1" (my elastic was 2" wide), a cut of fabric that is the circumference of your onesie plus 12" and about as long as you prefer (mine was 10"), straight pins, scissors, an iron, and a sewing machine.

I cut the sleeves down to where they would hit her elbows and left them raw since jersey cotton tends to roll nicely. I then measured where I wanted the elastic to lay and cut. Next, (not shown) I followed the manufacturers instructions to apply the stabilizer (heat-n-bond). This can be torn off when finished and provides stability so the jersey cotton doesn't stretch out when you are sewing.

Next, cut your fabric piece in half so that you have two equal pieces. Measure in from each top edge 1" and then mark a line from that point to the bottom corner of the same side to get an angle. Trim. Lay your two pieces with right sides facing together and sew your sides together. Then fold the bottom edge up 1/4" and again 1/4" and pin. Then iron and sew. Because it is longer at the bottom than the top and you're folding up you'll have a little extra so just fold it in at the side seams as you stitch. Confused yet?

Stick your top into the bottom upside down with the right side of the onesie facing the right side of the skirt and pin with even amounts of fabric in between. Make sure the edges are lined up.

Stitch them together making little pleats as you go.

Turn your dress right side out and press your pleats down flat.

At this point you can bypass the elastic and just add your own embellishments such as a HUGE bow (not a good idea if they love tummy time), ruffles, or pockets.


If you're using elastic, start at one side seam and pin the elastic down all the way around. My elastic covered a little more onesie than it did skirt fabric. Using a zig-zag stitch, first sew around the lower edge of the elastic and then the upper edge. Make sure you aren't pulling it to fit as you don't want it to be too snug on your little one. When you get to the end of your elastic, tuck it under before you stitch it down for a finished look.

And you're done! As long as the top fits you can transition it from a dress to a tunic as she grows.

The second dress shown is actually the first one that served as the guinea pig. I didn't use interfacing so the cotton stretched a lot. This was a 12 month old fitted top that I picked up for it's color. Instead of just one layer of fabric for the bottom of the dress I lined it. It's got a bit of a bubble effect.

I added a braided embellishment to the front to add some interest.

I could hardly get Ruby to lay still enough to get a photo of her in this one, though! She has just learned how to roll onto her belly from her back so I got a few of these instead.


It's too big but at least it's roomy! Prudent Baby featured a similar onesie into dress combo earlier this week that shares a little bit of a different technique. Either way, you're bound to end up with something adorable!

xoxo,

Rachel

41 comments:

Gudny BrĂ¡ said...

Both dresses are beautiful and your daughter is adorable. f I get a daughter this time I will definitely try all your girlie tutorials! :)
Thank you for sharing

nima said...

wow...lovely...little angel looks adorable

miss james said...

i used to make those for milla when she was a baby. i still have most of them (that didn't get horribly stained) and i'm sure i'll be making them again for this little bird. cute cute cute!

Peptogirl said...

Sooo cute, Rachel!

Kristin said...

Oh! I will have to remember this for when time for number 3 eventually rolls around (if it's a girl). After 2 boys I have blue onesies from here to africa, it would be great to be able to give them another life! Very cute, thanks!

K. Davis said...

love these, I'm going to have to try this out for my nieces!

JanaMDesigns said...

how adorable rachel!! and look how cute ruby is in this dress!
have a great weekend
xox
jana

http://www.janam-designs.com/art

Gingiber said...

Oh my gosh! So cute! I wish I was as good of a seamstress as you are!

Eeny said...

Very cute dresses and they look adorable on Ruby.

Jen said...

So Adorable! love the braided rosette.

AshleyAnn said...

Since it looks so easy for you can I just send you some fabric and supplies?

Very cute! Maybe I'll attempt it after I finish my RVA quilt...

Jen said...

both dresses are so adorable! i can't wait to have a baby girl so i can try these out! or maybe i'll just try it now anyway :) those would be such cute baby shower gifts!

Laura Reaux said...

These are adorable! I had to laugh when I saw the first one on Flickr and how it looks like the dresses for juniors. lol

AlliT said...

So cute!! Great idea....

Shannon said...

Oh my! This is SOOOO cute! I am totally making these! Perfect to deplete my stash of thrifted onesies. I love how current it is too, I see big girl dresses with the wide elastic all over the place. Love the baby version!

Kjirsten said...

I have seen this idea before and LOVE IT!!! I love how you have done it!!! Great work and your daughter is adorable!!! I can't wait to try this tutorial!!! Your awesome!!! Have a great weekend!
<3
Kjirsten
http://sewgraciouslyblessed.blogspot.com

Stefan, Sarah and Lukka said...

so so so cute. Both of them (and the bow, too!)
Sarah M

Jeanee said...

Genius!

Mandy said...

Perfect tutorial, thanks! My girlie is has a long torso and I was just thinking about cutting off her onesies... I will try this soon!

Nellie Mae said...

This is awesome! I really love this 'style' of dress with the elastic around the middle....Target has some pretty ones for adults right now...I wonder if this could be modified for an adult dress...hmmmmmm

molly said...

these are so, so so adorable!!! my goodness!

skunkboycreatures said...

Wonderful tutorial, Rachel! This works really well for the grown-up gals, too! Just use tanks (instead of onsies) and fabric and follow the same directions!

clare :: greenvalleycrafts said...

Love this!! Thanks

Erin said...

This is such a cute idea. It also looks comfortable for the baby. I'm probably going to have to go through my daughters own clothes and make some of these, thanks for the tutorial. Very lovely. :)

Feather said...

this is a really great tutorial. i love the simplicity of just adding fabric! i can see some beautiful vintage sheets being used around here for this project...

Jessica @ Barefoot by the Sea said...

I LOVE THIS! If it's ok, I'd love to blog about this and send readers to this amazing tutorial!

piccolotakesall said...

cute. If I had a sewing machine I'd be making these for both of the upcoming baby showers I will be attending!

RachelDenbow said...

Jessica,

Sure! Link away!

heyjenrenee said...

ohmyGOSH ... you are brilliant. i'm totally going to have to attempt a toddler version with a tank top or t-shirt or something. so awesome (and ruby is such a great model!)

MB said...

Those dresses are so cute. Well done!

biscuit said...

Can you PLEASE make a "woman-sized" tutorial for this?! :] I totally could use a way to make my old t-shirt into dresses!

cococricketsmama said...

That dress (and your sweetpea) are too cute!!

LINDSAY said...

What a cute idea! I miss baby clothes :(

marybethb said...

those are darling dresses! she's so lucky to have a mom with such great skills!:)

Denise said...

adorable. i'm so going to steal this idea for future baby shower gifts! maybe i'll applique babies initial on the skirt.

Cortney said...

soooo cute!! definitely gonna try this out!

Esther said...

Cute as a button, and very creative

Megan said...

love this idea! i have several baby showers coming up soon and found some cute fabric for these dresses. Quick question: where does the stabilizer go? on the inside of the jersey cotton (underneath where the elastic band will be?) That's the only part I'm confused about :) thanks for this tutorial!

glamourpuss said...

Wow! They are so cute and your daughter is a sweetie!! Great job - can't wait to try this myself! :D

November Grey said...

OK. How freaking cute is this!!!?!?!??

Love love love.

xx

November Grey

Vintage Clutch Giveaway!

VICKYFF said...

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