Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The Onesie Dress

This is Emily's Easter dress that I made for her last week. You can click on the picture to make it really big. I wasn't going to make an Easter dress (Melissa had purchased a really cute one already), but I saw this bunny and egg fabric on clearance at Hancock's and bought some for next year. But at the last minute I decided to add a 1/4 yard to the purchase and make a Onesie dress. I bought the contrasting fabric at JoAnn's. I found the idea for the dress at Lila Tueller Designs. She uses elastic thread wound on the bobbin and I tried, really, really tried to make it work for me. But it didn't. So here is what I did instead:

I used Lila Tueller's length measurement for the skirt and made my strip of bunny fabric and the two contrast fabrics. I used the full width of the fabrics. I cut a strip of the peach fabric twice as long as I wanted the band to be and then ironed it wrong sides together--look Ma: no hem! I sewed the peach fabric strip to the bunny fabris wrong sides together and then ironed the seam towards the peach. The green strip I ran through my bias maker even though it wasn't cut on the bias. This folded the two edges into the center (if you don't have a bias maker you can of course iron it and burn your fingers while you're at it ;). I then laid the green strip over the seam and edge stitched it in place. Then I narrow hemmed the top of the bunny fabric. Then the side seam. I was going to French seam it but it's really hard to French seam over the bulk of the bands. So I just serged it.

Using your seam as one side seam fold the skirt in half and mark that point, fold it half again and mark your center front and center back. Now we're going to gather: Ordinarily you would do your gathering stitch with the right side of the item facing up since you'd be pulling the threads on the wrong side. We'll be pulling the threads on the right side side so sew your gathers with the right side of the fabric down. I gathered at 1/4" and again at about 5/8". Stop your sewing at each side seam, and then start over. It will be so much easier to gather with only having to pull your threads this shorter distance.

Now for the onesie: Mark a line under the armholes--I did it about 1/4-1/2" away. That's going to be the sewing line you're aiming for. Mark the center front and center back of the onesie. And here comes the part where you really need to be careful so you don't have to unpick the skirt (I learned this the hard way). Pin the skirt to the onesie matching your markings. Now follow that "line" down the skirt and the onesie and pin the skirt to the onesie there also in a few more spots. This will help keep the onesie from creeping up into the stitching line and ending up with lots of the body in the wrong place. Pull up the gathering threads to size and pin, pin, pin, pin. You can't have too many pins.

Now set your machine for a narrow and fairly long zig zag stitch so that the fabric will have some stretch. Slip your onesie over the arm of your machine and carefully sew between the gathering threads. Remove your gathering threads and you're done! Easy Peasy.

The flower is just a strip of fabric folded in half and then the raw edges were handsewn to gather. I then sewed a button in the center to hid the raw edges. Since raw edged flowers are so popular it would be really fun to gather the folded edge and then you wouldn't need the button. The leaf was a circle cut free hand. Then it was folded in half and pressed. Then the folded edges were folded to meet in the center, this makes a tear drop shape. Gather the rounded edge and you've got your leaf. Or just go buy a matching flower.

One of Lila Tueller's variations uses fat quarters. Fat quarters are on sale for 99 cents each at JoAnn's April 11-17 for their Daffodil Dash Sale. Also keep a look out at quilting shops; they often run specials on fat quarters--like buy five get one free. And guess what? Lila recommends six fat quarters for her design.

The matching shoes are from a pattern I purchased at The Material Girls Quilt Shop. They were a lot of fun.

I found "imitation" onesies at Dollar Tree for, you guessed it, one dollar. Keep in mind they run really small and shrink up even more. This dress is so easy and fun to make that you don't need to worry about the durability of the outfit since you won't have a lot of time invested in the creating. Plus babies outgrow things at an alarming rate. For which I'm really thankful for because that means more sewing! The 6-9 month size shrank up to (Gerber/Carters) newborn size. I've purchased a pack of Carters onesies and am going to try dyeing a couple of them.

It can't be said enough: Prewash everything. If it's going to be a gift, subject the "raw" materials to the worst laundering you can imagine. Like hot water and a hot dryer.

Now go forth and create and email me your take on the design.


Blogger L3 said...

I think I can do it! I won't have to ask you to. I think the directions made perfect sense. I just need to get a bias maker. What kind do you have and where can I find it?
I will MAKE someone take me to JoAnn's for fat quarters this weekend.

11:10 AM  

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