Saturday, March 23, 2013

Baby onesie pattern and tutorial

Here I am, 33 weeks pregnant and finally the sewing bug has gotten to me! Actually what happened was I went through my daughter's baby clothes and egads, why did I keep some of that stuff. I know we handed down a few less-loved items but there were still some nasty stained up onesies at the bottom of that bin.

So I sacrificed them. A variety of brands lended themselves to measurements and I arrived at my own personal onesie pattern, which I have decided to share with you all. Why, you ask, would a new mom opt to sew her own baby bodysuits when they come in six packs at Target? The same reason we sew anything, brain.


Or maybe you want to use up an old t-shirt. Or maybe you just want to dive into a project for fun... after all, a bodysuit is a freaking front, back, and two sleeves. Does not take long. And it's baby clothes so if you screw up who cares, it's not like the kid's heading to a job interview.

One of my favorite spoonflower designers, robyriker, has a whole pink girly robot collection that my daughter just has to spend her first days in. I ordered a yard of the organic cotton knit thinking I'd make a quicky receiving blanket, but spoonflower's knits are 56" wide... I could make a whole onesie and still have a 36x40" square left for the blanket. For that matter, I could have just ordered a fat quarter of the stuff! But who can stop at a quarter?

So the pattern is simple, and like my other tutorials I'm not going to post a million steps.

Here's the PDF download: Free printable onesie pattern by spacefem

It's three pages. The front and back are split into pages but there's a dotted line across each half... make sure those dotted lines are seven inches apart. The front will overlap a bit, but the back pieces have a gap because the whole back is about 17-18" high.

This pattern is meant for a sort of 0-3 months size, but can obviously be scaled, lengthened, widened, etc. I just picked that size because let's face it, after the newborn gifty stage nobody has time to sew.

First, I cut 1.5" strips, 36" long each, for the trim. One strip will go for the neckline, the other for the bottom.

Then I cut out the other pieces.

Folded the trim strips in half, then one side in half again. Pinned it to the neckline of the front and just zig-zag stitched it because that's how a hack like me works with knits. But honesty, I think zigzag stitching gives it a homey cute handmade look, so I'm sticking with it.

I did the same to the back piece.

Next I hemmed each sleeve up 3/4" - just folded it in once and sewed.

Now time for the shoulder. You lay the front piece down, facing you. The back piece down on top of it, shoulders matching up. Then the sleeve goes in. If you opted to make the sleeve wider for the cute girly shirred looking option, you'll want to sew a loose thread into it first to ease it in. Match the armpit sections of the sleeve first, then pin the middle... which I admit is not what this picture shows but keep in mind the exact center of the sleeve will NOT match the exact center of where the front and back meet, because we humans need more sleeve behind us, if that makes sense.

Once both sleeves are in, match the side seams of the front and back up, right sides facing each other of course, and sew the whole length of the side, armpit and tiny sleeve length.

Then hammer some snaps in the bottom, that's always fun.

And you're done!

Well, I'm not DONE done because I haven't HAD THE BABY YET but my time will come. Tune in around May 8th to see how that goes, so far everything's been just lovely even if I don't walk quite as fast, I can still sew! And then I'll really be able to do a fit check and maybe update this with a photo of an actual child modeling my craft. Wish me luck :)

Update: I had my baby and she's perfect!

The onesie pattern is pretty darn awesome too... but of course, like most baby items, I don't have a picture of it fitting perfectly. We put it on her when she was a six pound newborn and it was pretty big. Then we put it on her when she was a 12 pound two-month old and it's a little snug (dang, that was fast!) But I think the 12-pound picture is cuter, so here she is. Oh, and her name is Olive, she's our second daughter and her hobbies are eating, staring at things, and apparently modeling my sewing projects:

Friday, March 22, 2013

Crutch covers pattern + tutorial

In February my normally totally healthy and very active sister slipped on some ice and completely destroyed her ankle, broke like four bones and needed surgery and the works. I live out of town so there wasn't much I could do, until she sent me a link to some crutch covers she'd found online because I guess her crutches were really uncomfortable, and I thought "I could make those!" But I could not find a pattern anywhere easy online, everyone was like "What, just get some crutches and fit fabric around them." I had to measure some crutches that a coworker had, what a pain for something so standard! So here's what I ended up with, complete with measurements so you can make your own!

Here's the finished image sis grabbed for me, they fit! Yay!

I made three parts, shown below from left to right:
1) Handle covers that velcro around the grippy part
2) A bag that hangs off the grippy part, nicely sized for holding stuff like remotes or a water bottle, since when you're on crutches you CAN'T USE YOUR HANDS bummer!
3) Covers for the top part, big enough so if you wanted to add more padding or towels you can cover those too and everything will just look so pretty!

You will need:
1) 18" of sew-on velcro, unless you'd rather use snaps
2) Fleece. Either 5/8 yard of your favorite pattern ever, or 1/2 yard each of two of your favorite patterns if you have fabric selection trauma
3) 5/8 yard of webbing for the bag hangers

Pieces to cut:
1) Handle covers - 4.5x7.5" rectangles, each one uses two squares so you'll cut four total
2) Bag - 5" x 16", cut two, then cut two 4.5"x7" pieces for a front flap if you'd like
3) Top covers - 18"x12", cut four

Vague instructions:
I'm not going to go into a ton of detail here, I'll just say that I used 1/2" seam allowance for everything, and all velcro strips were 3".

The handle covers are basically sew one 3" velcro onto the right side of each bit of fleece, sew two pieces right sides together leaving an opening, turn inside out and topstitch.

The bag - fold each piece in half and sew the sides to make two bags. Turn one of them inside out. Stuff it in the the other one, right sides together. Make the flap, cut the webbing in half and sew the velcro onto the webbing so it'll wrap around the handles, put your two "bags" together right sides together, have the flap and webbing in there so it'll just all magically work out... you'll be fine.

The covers - The inside fleece gets 3" velcro bits. Again, you basically make each one into a little bag, turn one inside out, stuff it into the other one so their right sides are together, sew most of the top leaving an opening, turn them all and topstitch.

Hopefully those are good enough instructions, my goal here was mostly to provide the measurements I used so anyone whose sewn a decent amount can run from there and do your own thing. It's just big squares so you can't screw them up too much.

If anyone has suggestions for perfect types of padding, that might be nice info to add! I did not venture into that world because with the girl on crutches for only like six weeks, I needed to get these done in a weekend! This project took 2, maybe 3 hours tops and that's with my two-year-old tearing apart my sewing room like she does so yours might be faster.

Good luck and stay safe, people, nobody likes crutches! But if you have to be on them, at least this way they'll be cute!