Wednesday, October 23, 2013

DIY Decorated Onesies

This project is the easiest yet in my series on DIY baby clothes! This one starts with ready-made onesies, so it is a little different than the other projects in the series, which so far have started with old adult clothes. It is so fast and easy to decorate onesies; I did all four of these during one nap time.

My little girl has gorgeous blue eyes, which really pop with blue shirts. Additionally, I'm not a huge fan of pink and frilly, and I am a firm believer that baby clothes should be comfortable (I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to take a nap or lay on a blanket with a ruffly skirt bunched up underneath me), so my little girl owns several "boy" onesies. But of course, when I put her in blue, everyone thinks she is a boy. This doesn't bother me too much, (and certainly doesn't bother my psychologist husband who loves to talk about societal expectations in regards to gender roles) but I decided to "pretty up" some of her onesies in a way that would look more feminine, even if they are blue, and still be comfortable.

I started with this four-pack of plain onesies.

First, I started with the navy onesie, putting a couple of pins in place to mark center front.

Next, I took a roughly 8 inches of ivory crocheted lace and folded it to form a placket, like so:

I had to put a couple of diagonal folds in the bottom (where you can see the diagonal pins) to get it to lay right. Then I basted the lace together down the middle and along the diagonal lines. To do this, I laid it on top of a piece of stabilizer as I sewed it. If you don't have stabilizer, you can use tissue paper. This just gives the lace a solid foundation to sew on.

Very carefully, I cut away the stabilizer as close to my stitches as I could get.

I pinned the placket onto the front of the onesie.

I sewed down the center of the placket as well as around the edges.

Finally, I finished by adding three buttons. As always when adding buttons to baby clothes, I made sure they were very secure by using more stitches than I usually would when attaching them.

I think this one looks so sweet, and has a slight vintage feel to it with the crochet lace and buttons.

Next, I did the light blue onesie. This one was the fastest and easiest of all of them. I found this darling flower trim with just the right colors. If using just a single row of trim like this on a onesie neckline, you will need about 1/4 yard.

Make sure when adding trim to the neckline of a onesie to start underneath the shoulder flaps.

See in the picture above how I've lifted the back shoulder flap and have laid the trim underneath where the flap normally goes? This gives a nice finished look to the neckline.

I just sewed this trim on without even pinning it first, lining up the edge of the flower petals with the edge of the neckline. It took about 5 minutes and looks precious!

This one is colorful and fun!

On to the gray onesie, to which I decided to add some delicate white lace.

I liked this trim, but wanted a little more pizzazz, so I went with two rows of it, slightly overlapped. I sewed on the first row, lining up the edge of the lace about 1/4" below the neckline. Again, I made sure to start the trim underneath the shoulder flaps.

Then I sewed on the second row, overlapping the first row and lining up the edge of the lace with the neckline seam.

I love the white lace with the gray; simple and sweet.

The final onesie took just a little bit more time, because I wanted to weave a ribbon through it, which meant I had to put in eyelets, which I had never done before. Even still, it didn't take long, and the end result is pretty cute.

To put in eyelets, you will need a snap-setting tool that also does eyelets, or just a pair of eyelet pliers. This is what I used:

I marked the center front of the shirt, and then evenly spaced two more eyelet placements on each side.

I made a small mark at each placement point and removed the pins.

Next, I installed an eyelet at each point following the manufacturer's instructions. A note, though, on their instructions: I wish I had not used the plier tool to actually punch the hole in the fabric. While I'm sure this is fine for denim or "tougher" fabrics, it was too hard on the soft knit fabric of the onesie. I ended up with two small holes on some of them, one where the punch went through, and one from the metal edge of the punch. It took me a little bit to figure out what was happening, and then I realized I just need to snip a tiny hole in the fabric myself and then install the eyelet, eliminating the step of punching the fabric.

Anyhow, it still looks pretty good:

I wove two ribbons through the holes, having the ends of both ribbons coming through the same eyelet in the center.

I turned back the shoulder flaps and sewed the ends of the ribbon to the onesie to secure them.
Here is how it looks from the inside of the onesie:

Here is how it looks from the outside of the onesie: (The stitching won't show when the flap is in place.)

I finished by tying a bow in the center and sealing the ribbon ends. And, because this is for a baby, I recommend hand stitching the bow closed so it can't be untied.

I'm loving this combination of black and white with this gorgeous green!

There you have it, four new onesies in one nap time! Not bad for a couple hours' work. My little girl's fall/winter wardrobe is really shaping up nicely.


  1. These are darling! Good job- I love the creativity in doing 4 different things with them

    1. Thank you! Yes, I wanted to give her some variety in her wardrobe. :)