Thursday, December 10, 2009

Baby Onesie into Doll Onesie -- TUTORIAL

A few weeks back I got an email from Crystal, asking how I made the doll onesie in this post. I finally have a tutorial put together! The basic idea is pretty simple, although it takes a lot of photos and explaining. It is somewhat similar to my Baby Clothes to Doll Clothes tutorial, but definitely more involved. You don't need a pattern -- you will custom fit your onesie to your particular doll. Don't be scared!

What you need:

~ a doll to dress
~ a onesie to remake
(I found this onesie at the dollar store, but you could use a thrifted or outgrown onesie.)
~ pins
~ sewing machine
~ small piece of velcro
~ patience

STEP ONE: Carefully cut your onesie apart at the seams. You will end up with four peices -- front, back, and two sleeves.

STEP TWO: Lay your front and back pieces over your doll, right sides facing the doll, starting with the back and then the front. (This way they will be on the correct sides when you turn it right side out.)

Pin at the shoulder seams. Very gently pull it over your doll's head. This is a good way to be sure it will come off and on!

NOTE: If your doll has a really huge noggin, making the neckline of your onesie giant and unflattering for Dolly, try pulling it down and off instead of over the head!

This is what it will look like when it is laid flat.

STEP THREE: Sew the shoulder seams slightly to the outside of your pins. You will only need to sew from the edge of the ribbing on the front to the edge of the ribbing on the back.

STEP FOUR: Decide whether you want short sleeves or long sleeves. (I chose to do long sleeves this time.) Place a sleeve on the doll and mark at the top of the shoulder where the shoulder seam should be.

Cut the sleeve all the way across at that length, making sure to add a seam allowance. (I didn't cut mine very straight!!)

STEP FIVE: Determine how wide you want the sleeve. Mark each side with pins...

...and cut a sleeve shape. Don't forget the seam allowance! (I did; the sleeves ended up a little too tight!)

STEP SIX: Here's where I missed a photo. I put the onesie back over my doll's head, inside-out as usual, and marked with pins where the underarm seam would be. I then cut away some of the excess fabric, leaving a seam allowance, as shown in this photo.

STEP SEVEN: Attach the sleeve! Pin the sleeve in half and mark the center. Line it up with the center meeting point of the front and back of the onesie. Lay them right sides together, matching the pins, and pin the sleeve on. You may need to stretch the sleeve piece a little to make it fit the arm hole.

STEP EIGHT: Go ahead and sew the underarm seam of the sleeve, stopping at the armpit.

STEP NINE: Back on the doll again, inside out! Pin the side seams down past where the leg holes will be -- approximately mid-thigh.


STEP TEN: Back on the doll again, inside out, then AFTER checking to make sure the fit works, trim away the excess fabric.

NOTE: If you like, you can stop here and make a little gown! Cut the length down past Dolly's toes, make a quick little casing, thread some narrow elastic through, and you are done! I've made a few of these, and they are just so cute -- that's what JellyBean wore to bed up until she was 3 or 4 months old!

STEP TEN: Trim one side of the front to create a onesie shape. You do not need to leave a seam allowance.

Remove the onesie and fold it so the side seams are together, then trim the other side of the front to match. You can then trim the back approximately the same, leaving it full length in the back.

STEP ELEVEN: On the doll AGAIN. :o) Trim the back to a more appropriate length. Remember that the back will need to overlap the front.

STEP TWELVE: (Bad picture!!) Using the smaller of your two leftover onesie scraps, cut two strips, approximately 2" wide. Sew them together to create one long strip.

STEP THIRTEEN: Open one of the side seams a couple inches.

Begin sewing your strip to the lower raw edge of your onesie, right sides together. Give your strip a little stretch as you go. You'll have to fiddle it around the curves.

STEP FOURTEEN: This photo shows how I folded the raw edge of the strip under, also leaving it overlapped a little bit. (Look at the left side, under my thumb.) Life would have been much easier for me if I had pinned the whole thing before sewing. But I didn't. You will sew all the way around the lower edge. Then re-sew that side seam you opened up.
(If you are putting in a little brand-name tag at the bottom, like on the butterfly onesie pictured at the top, you will stick it in during this step.)

Now you just need to decide whether you want your onesie to velcro together back-over-front, as onesies traditionally do...

...or front-over-back. I chose to do mine this way, because it obviously looks SO MUCH better! Pin to mark where your velcro pieces will go, and sew them on.

This long-sleeved onesie looks very much like a leotard -- I think a tu-tu is in Dolly's future!!

Trust me, the second time around (if you can stand to do it again!) goes much more quickly and easily than the first one you make. If you end up being brave enough to try this out, I'd love to see a photo!

Keep that other piece of the original onesie. You could make a cute little newborn hat using Wendy's Newborn Doll Hat Tutorial at her blog, Old Days - Old Ways!

What I've learned:
~ I prefer the look of the short-sleeved onesie.
~ My butterfly onesie was 100% cotton; the dollar store version was 65% cotton/35% polyester. I definitely prefer the cotton one.
~ On this onesie I should have cut the bottom edge a little higher for a much cuter fit.


Andrea Hardman said...

Awesome! Tip: At Walmart right now on the clearance racks, there are super cute long-sleeve dresses with matching panties for a dollar each. These are newborn to 18 months. They have great refashion potential. I bought two of one style. One in 18 months (which will fit my 3T as a shirt with some revision of the sleeve) and one in newborn. (to be revised into a matching dolly dress) All for $2! Yay.

Andrea Hardman said...

Oh, and I bet they are at your Wal mart too because they are in Brigham City, Salt Lake, Las Vegas, and Huntsville, AL.

Vicki said...

so adorable! I love it!

Anne said...

Thank you for sharing this tutorial!! My daughter loves playing baby dolls, but the clothes are surprisingly difficult to find (and expensive!).

I featured your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:

(link will go live at 10:07am CST)



Thank you! It is very detailed! I can't wait to try it out, but it will have to be after the holidays. Have a great holiday!!

SONDRA said...

I just happened upon this tut and couldn't believe it! I have onesie to use for a doll. I have really been thinking about how I was going to scale it down. Thanks to you, I don't have to think about it any longer!

Carmelina said...

Thanks for the tutorial!!
I don't think I'll ever do it again 😂😂 except I probably will 😉 Not sure how to attach a pic but my little onesie for an Emma Wiggle costume turned out great!! I'm pretty sure my daughter will live it 😊

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