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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Easy Onesie Tutu (a tutorial)

This guest post is part of the Welcome Baby Tutorial Series!

Today I'd like to welcome Kat from Diary of a Flutter.Kat. Kat is an Australian quilter and sewist, mom of two beautiful little girls, and just all-around creative. On her blog you'll find a variety of pretty tutorials, interesting series, inspiration, and encouragement.  She also has a shop full of personalized of kids wear, that would make great gifts as well.  So, stop by and say thanks for sharing one of her great tutorials with us!

Hi Everybody!
My name is Kat.
First up I'd just like to thank Jennie for having me over to visit today & contribute this awesome series! And of course congratulations to her as well. It sure is an exciting time for you at the moment Jennie and I know we all wait to hear the happy news of baby's safe arrival :)

Today I would love to show you all how to make a super easy onesie tutu...

Today I've just made it using a very basic white onesie that I happened to have on hand, but these also look fabulous when made with a coloured/printed onesie, and you can really make the top look so pretty by adding more rosettes, some ribbon etc...

I also like to make a coordinating hairclip or headband and wallah - such an easy princess outfit (which would have cost me less than $10 to make - bonus!).

You can use the same technique to add a cotton skirt as well - just hem the bottom for that rather than doubling it over...
Soooo many possibilities!

So, to make this onesie tutu you will need:
**  A basic onesie in the size of your child - I was using a size 1 here.
**  Some soft nylon netting - WOF x (double the length you would like it + 1 inch) - I'll explain this more in a moment.

Optional additions for embellishments
**  Some petals or washable flowers/decorations for inside the skirt (found these at my $2 store)
**  15+ inch length of satin ribbon
**  24 x 4.5 inch length of netting for the rosette
**  fabric glue
** small circular scrap of felt
**  rhinestone or decorative button
**  small scrap of velcro (hook & loop) (if making rosette removable for washing)

Step 1: Working out your measurements & how much netting you will need...
To do this you need to measure the length you would like the skirt to be on your child - so from their hip down to the length you want.
Then double this measurement & add an inch for seam allowance. That is the length of fabric you need by WOF.
E.g. my daughter needed hers 9 inches long - so I cut my nylon 19 inches long by WOF.

Step 2: Cut your netting...
The easiest way I found to cut mine was to use my rotary cutter & cutting mat (I'm a quilter can you tell ;) ) But if you don't have these tools you can just use scissors & a ruler.

This is how I cut mine:

Put the surplus aside for your rosettes if you are choosing to make those.

Step 3: Making the skirt band...
Now we need to join the short ends of the netting together so it is in a continuous circle. I used my overlocker/serger (just because it's a new toy & we're still in the honeymoon phase where I want to use it for everything ;)), but if you don't have one of these then you can just sew a simple 1/4 inch seam - netting shouldn't fray.

sew down the short sides to join
Now we need to fold the skirt length back over on itself again and if you are using petals down in the skirt you can stuff those in now...

You can see that I found it helpful to pin the netting together at the bottom fold to stop it moving around everywhere.

I then serged the top opening closed (round in a circle with only 2 layers together - not all 4 layers closed like I have pictured below - it just looks like that since it's all a circle).
This step isn't entirely necessary but I found it made it easier for me to work with tutu that's all.

Now we want to gather the top of the skirt. So increase the stitch length on your sewing machine to the longest length it goes (mine is 5) and sew a scant 1/4 inch gathering stitch around the top of the skirt...

Once you have finished cut off your thread, then gently pull your bobbin thread at each end to gather up your skirt. You want to make it so that it is about 1.5 inches bigger than the width of your onesie and make sure that the gathers are very evenly distributed around the skirt...

Step 4: Joining the skirt to the onesie...
First we need to draw a line on our onesie where we want the skirt to go across. I have to confess that I just used a regular pencil for this (look away sewing police) but you can use a chalk marker or whatever fancy erasable sewing notion that strikes your fancy ;). The mark is going to get sews into a seam so it's not that big a deal to use a pencil...

Draw your line about waist height - I actually drew mine a little low in this example so don't copy my photo exactly... I should have done it about an inch or so higher than I did... more waist height.

Then take your tutu piece and place it upside down over your onesie over the line like so...

Now we want to pin the tutu to the onesie at each side seam. Only 2 pins total. Too easy.

**  Please just note: because we made the tutu wider than the onesie it won't fit exactly. Therefore you just need to be careful to make sure that when you pin it at the seams half the skirt is at the front & half at the back. Then as we sew it we are going to gently stretch the onesie to match it up to the tutu.
We do this so that it has some give and that when the baby wears it a) the stitches don't all get stretched while they wear it and get broken & b) so it's more comfortable for the baby.

So with that in mind are you ready to sew your skirt to onesie? So close to finishing this part!

Reduce your stitch length back down to about 2.5-3. If you have a stretch stitch you might want to use it now... and slowly sew the tutu to the skirt using a very scant 1/4 inch seam or 1/8th seam and also gently pulling the onesie so that it stretches to the same width as the tutu as you sew.

I start at one seam & work my way around...

Make sure that you have the arm of your sewing machine in between the top & bottom layers of the onesie at this point so that you're not accidentally sewing it completely closed ;)

Also make sure that you reverse your stitches at the beginning & end to secure them in place.

Once you have gone all the way around then fold the bottom part of your onesie over so that you can see the underneath of the seam you just sewed and so that you have the tutu trapped in between the fabric of the onesie.

Sew around again, this time using a generous 1/4 inch seam, so that the top tutu seam is now trapped nice & neatly in the onesie... hopefully you can just see what I mean from the photo...

How seam looks inside after sewing
Clip your threads, turn the right way out and you should have a lovely onesie tutu to admire!

Now just for the decoration...

Step 5: Embellishing your tutu...

To make a rosette find a long scrap of netting. Mine measured 4.5 inches x 24 inches but it doesn't have to be exactly this. Fold it so that you have doubled the long sides over...

Increase your stitch length back up to it's maximum and sew 1/4 inch gathering stitch down the whole length...

Gently pull your bobbin threads so that you have tightly gathered up the netting as much as you can & wrap the bobbin threads around the bottom of the rosette...

Now at this point I decided that I wanted to make my rosette removable using a velcro attachment, so I cut a circle of felt and glued my rosette onto it using fabric glue, then I glued a piece of velcro (hook & loop) onto the back of the felt.

If you choose to make yours removable also then please just be aware that it could form a choking hazard for infants under 3 - so you need to do so at your own risk...

Otherwise you can glue it onto the felt then hand stitch it onto your onesie.

Then I sewed the soft piece of the velcro into the middle of the onesie where I wanted the rosette to sit (I eyeballed it) and glued a rhinestone to the middle of the front. You could just as easily sew a decorative button onto the front instead which will help keep it all together.

You could use a brooch if you wanted instead of the velcro - but I wasn't keen to do that to Abbie's because knowing her she would figure out how to undo it and stab herself with the brooch needle!

Yay our rosette is finished:

If you would like to add a ribbon to the tutu then tie a coordinated satin ribbon into a bow & handsew it on.

Step 7: Stand back & admire your cute cute creation!

Now at this point I would usually show you gorgeous photos of my beautiful peaches & cream model showing off her new wears, but unfortunately yesterday she just wasn't playing the game...

Have you ever seen such an attractive face on a tutu'd princess?! I think not...
Poor tired Abbie was so.not.interested in playing to the camera for Mummy!
A little too much "it's my party & I'll cry if I want to" and a little less of her usual "look at me I'm a beautiful princess" poses!

Even when bribed with chocolate this was the best I could do I'm afraid...

 half a smile with a mouth full of chocolate and a face full of tears...

These were minus the bow too - oops, my bad. You'll just have to use your imagination ;)

Anyway thanks so much for having me to visit today & I really hope you have fun with making a gorgeous tutu!

Feel free to stop by my blog & say hello, I'd love that!
I'm having a special feature linky party today too which might be of interest to you called "Nosey Parker in the Neighbourhood" - it's all about getting to know other bloggers in our crafty community, so feel free to come & check it out and link up if you can :)

Take care


  1. Very cute, even if your model wasn't co-operating!

  2. Love it!! I have a picture of my 3 grands that is just priceless. Gbaby #1 is lying on the floor with her knees bent looking "la-de-da-da", Gbaby #2 is skeeming because he'd had quite enough thank you, and Gbaby #3 looks like "am I related to these two??". I just love it!

  3. That's so adorable! And that tutu isn't bad either :) I love the idea. My girls are grown and don't have any grandbabies yet but there friends are having them! I think I'm going to have to try this for the newest and 2 yr old! Yay!

  4. I love this tutu!!! I can't wait to make one!!!!

  5. What a cute tutu idea! My 1 yr old granddaughter would look sweet in this.
    Poor Abbie, even princesses can have off days when the publicity is just too much and they want to spend the day in bed :).

  6. I actually love the tutu low on her hips like that! I'm going to attempt to make this for my daughter to wear at her first birthday and like me she has a short torso so I think I'll make hers sit low to help giver he some length! Thank you so much for sharing this!!!!!!!!!


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