Sunday, June 21, 2015

Onesie dress tutorial

I often read it on blogs, new baby equals handmade gift. New born clothes are almost as cute as the actual new born. A few weeks ago I sewed my third onesie dress gift and I decided to make pictures during the process. The garment is inspired by a onesie dress I received when our youngest was born. I tweaked the sewing process with every new one I sewed and I think I now found a good method.Several tutorials for onesie dresses exist on the web, this one is (slightly) different because it involves a two layered skirt, no extra inside seams and a rolled seam waist detail.

Let's first show you how my latest version looked like. Here you can find a picture of the first, the second one doesn't have a picture but the fabrics were identical to the first.

I was very satisfied with the inside of the bias, the zigzag from the twin needle is simply perfect and almost invisible!

I ofcourse used the flower snaps again.

I simply copied the fabric combination from her. The flowers (from Lillestoff) were "growing" in my closet for a while, but I didn't feel like sewing them, seeing them combined with the green inspired me.

So, now the tutorial. I also sew the onesie, but you could do the same trick with a store bought onesie because you attach the skirt after the onesie is totally done. I use the Ottobre 1/2012 onesie pattern, but any pattern will do.
In the picture below you see my pattern pieces (without seam allowances), if you work from a pre-sewn onesie you just measure the onesie on the outside. First you determine the position of the horizontal line, the line where the skirt will come. In my case this is 17 cm from the bottom of the entire onesie (so imagine the arrow going down to the folded piece). This time, I wanted the skirt to totally cover the buttom of the onesie. In previous versions the skirt was a bit shorter. If the onesie is on a real life baby, the crotch will not lay flat making the garment shorter. A shorter skirt can still cover the bum. The onesie dress that you make with this tutorial will be one cm shorter than the bottom of the onesie when the garment lays flat on the table. Like I said earlier, all these were gifts, so I have no modelled pictures.

Take the length, in my case 17 cm and divide it by two which gave me 8.5 cm. Add seam allowance once (in my case 0.5 due to working with a serger) so I get 9 cm. I only take one seam allowance because the skirt will be finished with a rolled seam (no fabric loss).

For this onesie dress I took three times the width of the bodice to determine the skirt's width. The weight of the  skirt became a bit too heavy for the onesie. In the past, I used between 2 and 2.5 times the bodice width and I feel the 2.5 was the best version. Cut four rectangles of 9 cm times the width of the skirt. If I would redo this onesie I would take a width of around 65 cm (26*2.5).

Cut two rectangles with the same width as the bodice, in this case 26 cm and a length 1 cm shorter than that of the four others, so 8 cm (this will be the under skirt layer and should be a bit shorter than the top skirt). Here you have a visual overview of what to cut.

Sew three circles, by sewing the shorter sides together of two times two skirt pieces and the hidden under layer. I finished the two bottom hems with a rolled seam and a lattice effect (differential feed of serger on lowest number). For one of the skirt circles you also finish the upper seam with a rolled hem, I advice doing the top of the skirt without a lattice effect.

Sew a gathering stitch on the top of the skirt circles (for one of the skirt parts this is the non-rolled hem side and for the other the non-lattice side).

Gather the non-rolled hem border and sew it to the bottom of the underskirt (the smaller circle).

Gather the non-lattice side and use a baste stitch to fixate it to the upper part of the underskirt (the smaller circle). Try not to cross stitches (like I did unfortunatly) and try to not go closer than 6mm from the top.

Sew the skirt with a stretch stitch to the onesie. The upper line of the skirt (the rolled hem) should be on the line you drew in the beginning. Use a zipper foot to sew approximately half a centimeter under the top of your rolled hem (in the picture the distance is a bit more but I feel half a centimeter would have been better). Try to not sew on any of the earlier gathering of basting stitches because they will be hard to unpick later.

Cut the upper seam of the under skirt close to the seam. The cut hem will be hidden by the ruffle. Remove all basting stitches.

I love to hear what you think of my creations. Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian).


  1. Great tutorial! Your double-needle stitches look perfect!

  2. Leuk! En nu maar hopen dat het nog rompertjes-weer wordt deze zomer!

  3. Mooi! Die bloemensnaps zijn echt leuk!