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:


  1. You have NO IDEA how much I appreciate you sharing this tut & your baby is ADORRRRRABLE!......& I like the 2 mo. pic better also!

  2. Thanks for the pattern! Just what I am looking for and the model was a bonus! Cuteness overload!!

  3. I've made two already, one for me and one for my friend who is expecting her baby at about the same time. Love the simplicity of this pattern, thanks a million!

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  5. I can't wait to sew a few of these up! One quick question though - when I printed it out, the Front Bottom wasn't quite as wide as the Front Top. Is this a printing error or do you just grade it out a bit to match?

  6. When did you trim the bottom edges? Before or after sewing the side seams?


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