DIY Tutorial: Handmade Onesies

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I'm always on the prowl for fun baby shower activities -- and this one is super cute! These personalized, one-of-a-kind onesies make a great gift for the guest-of-honor. (note: purchase onesies plus t-shirts in different sizes and colors so they last a long time) Thanks Patti Milazzo, Fiskars Crafting Expert, for showing us this new technique as well as some great ideas.

From Patti Milazzo... Onesies are the standard functional everyday baby outfit. They’re inexpensive and the practical design of the simple snapped bodysuits make diaper changes and mom’s day that much easier. However, as a plain white tee they tend to lack personality. You can find onesies in colors and you can even find those that are already appliquéd and embellished. They can be found everywhere - in catalogs, on-line and in department stores. But often the price of these decorated onesies is more than you might care to pay for a baby’s bodysuit. 

So why not create them yourself? They’re not difficult to make and you can have one complete in just a few minutes. And by doing it yourself you can keep things cost effective by dressing up an existing onesie you already have. Or if you plan to use them as gifts, plain bodysuits are inexpensive and easily found in multiple packs at any department store. Family, friends and neighbors who are expecting or who have new arrivals will appreciate the unique handmade gift.


Cupcake, Flourish and Woodland Tree Shape Fiskars Templates
Fabric Scraps
White Onesies

For my appliqué designs, I wanted to use a few of Fiskars new Shape Templates. The Cupcake, Flourish and Woodland Tree Shape Templates have a variety of shapes from which a multitude of appliqués can be made. To start, I planned out a few designs on paper by tracing the shapes on paper so that I could determine the overall size of the appliqué and to show how pieces might need to be layered for the more complex designs.

Once I had a plan for each appliqué, I ironed Heatbond onto fabric scraps. I then traced each shape I would need for a design onto the paper backing of the Heatbond attached to the fabric and then cut out the shapes.

For a first attempt, I suggest keeping it simple with a basic, bold clean design without too much detail. I chose the bird as my first try. It was only 4 pieces and very little layering. I ironed on pieces, stitched around the edges of each piece and then ironed on the other pieces and stitched again. Be sure to keep the back of the onesie out from under where you are stitching. A decorative stitch (satin or zig-zag) is most often used around the edges of the appliqué. If you choose this stitch be sure to keep the stitch within the edge of the appliqué design. Going past the edge onto the stretchy onesie fabric will often cause the stitch to slip or for the material to become caught in the machine. However, I chose to use a simple straight stitch for these since the Heatbond I used will securely hold the edges in place.

For the cupcake design I followed the same basic steps of layering and stitching.

More unique designs can be made from the Shape Templates with a little imagination. Try turning the templates in different directions to see if the shapes resemble other things or objects. See if you can combine shapes from multiple templates to create a design. I created the turtle and jellyfish designs by combining shapes in unique ways. The turtle’s body is half an oval and his head, tail and feet are from the Flourish Shape Template. The jellyfish was made using the Cupcake Shape Template. Look beyond the obvious and think creatively to come up with your own one-of-a-kind designs.

I can honestly say that making these adorable little onesies is addicting. Once you start, you’ll want to do more and more. The design possibilities are endless with the various Shape Templates Fiskars has available. And you can take your customized designs beyond just onesies and try appliquéing other items such as bibs, burb cloths and more.

Design & Photography: Patti Milazzo, Fiskars Crafting Expert


Lolo said...

SO so cute! Thanks for sharing :o)

Carrie and Tyson said...

This looks so doable for a novice sewer such as myself. Thank you for the post!

Janette's Minutes said...

I'm new to sewing so if you just sew it as a single stitch won't the fabric fray after washing?

Unknown said...

thanks for your post. they are so cute, will make some.

yeny said...

Will the edges fray since its not sewn directly on the edges?