How to change a sleeper into a onesie

Babies grow out of clothing so quickly it’s hard to keep up with replacing wardrobe pieces so often. Parents must purchase many baby clothes while storing others that have barely been worn simply because baby has outgrown them. There are some clothing items that can be altered to make a new outfit that baby can still wear. One such outfit is a footed sleeper. Often the sleeper still fits the baby but the child’s legs have grown too long to continue wearing the outfit.

It’s easy to make the sleeper into an onesie. The outfits are comfortable for warm weather and are perfect for babies of all ages. The sleepers come in different fabrics but the ones that are best for this project are the ones made from a jersey-type fabric. The sleepers that are of a fuzzy material are harder to work with and don’t look as good after alterations. To alter the sleeper first cut the sleeves off of the outfit. Decide how long to cut the sleeves by measuring short sleeves on a baby’s shirt. The sleeve should be cut at an angle to allow less fabric under the arm and more on top of the arm. Allow 3/4″ for hemming.

Draw a chalk line from the side of the hip, at the top of the diaper leg opening, to the in-seam. When you draw the line take a look at how the snaps are positioned. Decide to which snap you’ll alter the garment then cut just above the next snap down. This will leave enough fabric for hemming the legs without hitting the snap during stitching.

Turn sleeve edge up a quarter-inch then half an inch more. Since it’s such a small area to stitch it’s not usually necessary to pin first but its okay if you do. Start at the underarm seam and begin stitching around the armhole, very close to the edge. Be careful not to pull the material as you sew or it will have a puckered look when finished. When you get back to the underarm seam back-tack to secure. Snip threads. Do the other arm in the same manner.

To make the onesie with no sleeves cut them out at the seam. Turn under a mere eighth-inch then once again before stitching around the hem.

When it comes to hemming the legs you must be careful not to hit a snap with the presser foot. Unsnap the snaps in the leg opening. Fold the edge of the leg hole under a quarter-inch then a half-inch again. To keep the hem straight pin in place. Beginning at one end sew a few stitches then back-tack. Begin sewing forward again until you get to the opposite end where you’ll back-tack once again. Do the other leg in the same fashion.

If you don’t happen to have a sewing machine this is a great project for fabric glue. Make sure you purchase the type that can be washed without removing the glue. The glue dries clear and after washing will feel almost like the rest of the garment. Use enough glue to hold the layers of fabric together but not so much that the glue seeps through to the right side of the material. Turn fabric under and glue. Allow to dry before turning under once more and gluing.

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