A quick browse through Etsy will show that many shops sells customised onesies but few actually sell onesies sewn from scratch.
Dont ask me why but the idea of sewing your own bubba a onesie from scratch appeals 120% to me. Yes it involves knit fabric. Yes it involves snapping on fiddly poppers. But knit fabric and poppers are just really so much easier when it’s for someone who weighs less than 10kg 😇
What I used
I know there are quite a few PDF patterns that you can download on the internet to sew up a baby onesie. The one I contemplated using was by Shwin and Shwin but in the end I decided on Simplicity 2291 as I wanted the flexibility to sew a long-sleeved onesie for the bubs. Nonetheless, Shwin and Shwin’s webpage is a really good tutorial/pictorial on how to put together a onesie which is pretty invaluable. Plus what an adorable baby to look at as well! 🙂
I used knit fabric for all three versions I sewed from Spotlight. You need about half a metre for a onesie, and this includes bias binding if you choose to make it yourself. Also, poppers, as well as matching or contrasting threads.
Sewing the Onesie up
Simplicity’s pattern is a teeny unconventional insofar that it doesnt have an envelope neckline, but rather 2 poppers each on both shoulders. This can be quite tricky because quite frankly, there isn’t much time to measure equidistance between poppers when you’re looking after a teething baby 😉
Version 1 was a fun doggy print. In this version, I made my own bias binding and used white thread. The pattern instructions are pretty clear and I had no real issues with it at all. My seam allowance was clearly over-generous but heck, babies grow!
Version 2 was a really sweet bird themed knit print. In this version, I hacked off the sleeves to make it short as its much better suited to tropical weather.
Word about the poppers, you need to source for small poppers otherwise they take up too much space. Also, put in the poppers AFTER you sew the bias binding on the neckline and set in the sleeves. Otherwise, it’s a really tight squeeze as you have to maneuver around them.
In Version 3 I decided to play around with the poppers! I thought, since they are so fiddly, why not just use one big popper per shoulder instead?
This was the least successful 😂
As you can see from the pic one big popper doesnt do the trick.
It just didnt sit flat at bubba’s shoulders and makes a rather messy neckline. I also had some serious haywire sewing on the bias bindings!
The bubba was a good sport about it, however ☺
Sewing a onesie entirely from scratch may seem daunting. The commercial world will try to convince you, that there is no point reinventing the wheel when thousands of factories churn out thousands of onesies every day. Why not just customise a onesie with appliques? Indeed I have (my next post! :)), and customisations can be really fun and cute. But there is nothing quite like sewing something 100% handmade for your nearest and dearest, even if the poppers and bindings aren’t perfect and are somewhat of a mess. Plus, you can go wild on fabric choices and really stand out from the baby crowd! 😉 Handmade clothes are always full of love, good tidings, and fond memories, even if it has the odd sewing mistake here and there 🙂