May 16, 2012

Ruched Sleeve baby onesie Refashion

I seem to have an overabundance (thank you to my sweet friends who have given my their daughter's hand-me-downs, they will be put to good use!) of long sleeve white onesies in the same size and a lack of shirts or onesies that my daughter can wear with patterned pants and skirts.  So, since I am all about finding ways not to spend money by using what I already have I decided to make a new fun white shirt/onesie for my daughter out of my extra long sleeve onesie.

Want to make your own?

What you need
  • A long sleeve shirt or onesie in the correct size of your little girl (can use a short sleeve shirt)
  • Matching elastic thread (don't be scared to use this, it's fun!)
  • sewing machine
  • Pins & scissors
  • Matching thread

Step One
*If you start with a short sleeve shirt you can skip Step One, however your sleeves will be a little shorter in the end.
Mark on each sleeve where you want to cut off the sleeve using pins or a Marking Pen Disappearing Ink like this one from Dritz.  I made mine 3 inches long.  Cut your sleeves off but save your scraps for later! Hem up the sleeves by folding under a 1/4 inch and iron (don't skip the ironing, it will look so much better).  Then fold it over another 1/4 and iron again.  Sew all the way around about a  

Step Two
At this point use whatever marker you choose and mark where you want the ruched line to be.  I layed the shirt down flat to find the middle of the shoulder and middle of the bottom of the sleeve.  

Step Three
Thread your sewing machine with maching thread.  Hand thread your bobbin with your matching elastic thread.  Just wind it using your hands just like it would with the machine but don't pull it tight or leave it loose.  Here are some great tips to winding a bobbin with elastic thread and tips on how to use the thread at

Step Four
I started sewing at the bottom of the sleeve and went all the way up to the shoulder where I had marked it.  Make sure you back stitch at the beginning and end of your sleeve.  Now here is the fun, your sleeve should scrunch right up on it's own!  If you want to give it extra scrunch, you can spray the ruched part or the sleeves with water and then iron!

Step Five 
You could finish at this point but I didn't like the way the end of my sleeves looked after they were ruched.  So, I decided to give it some more "girlyness" by putting a ruffle at the bottom of the sleeve. Since my elastic thread was already on the bobbin I just sewed along the hemline of the bottom of each sleeve making sure to back stich at the beginning and end.  Whola!  Instant ruffle!

Adding a Flower to your shirt
Of course there are tons of different flower tutorials out there you could use to dress up your onesie.  I wanted something somewhat simple and I wanted to again use what I already had.  Here is what I did for the flower.

Step One
I wanted the flower to have a clean edge instead of a raw cut edge (which would also work well and be cute).  I used the sleeves that I had already cut off and cute about a         inch from the hem of each sleeve and cut all around both sleeves.  

Step Two
I then sewed each strip together at each end so I could have one long strip instead of two shorter ones.  

Step Three
You could use your elastic thread again but since it isn't cheap I decided to just use regular thread to make a ruffle.  To make the ruffle just use a longer (basting) stitch.  Back stitch at the beginning and sew to the end but do NOT back stitch at the end.  Pull the thread at the end and push your fabric the other way creating a scrunched ruffle.  

Step Four
Take your ruffled strip and roll it into a spiral so it looks like a flower. Hand stitch the bottom of your flower with some strong thread and just sew the heck out of it to make sure all the layers are secure and together.  You want to make sure it is curious baby proof and that it will make it through the laundry!  Once you are happy with your flower, pick where you want to attach it to your shirt and hand sew it to that spot, again using lots of stitches to secure it in place.  

Your done!  Put it on your little girl and it will be as cute as can be! 

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