Saturday, March 20, 2010

DIY baby project: embellishing onsies


Here’s another project I did while on bed rest. It’s a onsie. It’s not scary. Even if you end up hating it, you just put it under pajamas and no one will ever know. It’s a great little project because it uses up your little scraps of fabric and it is one of those projects that is small enough to take with you so you can work on it while you’re waiting in the pick up line at school. It’s quick and satisfying and personal.


I made a little tree for Eden and a little birdie for Jane. Someone put them on the wrong baby and I couldn’t let it be. I had to change them around so they were worn by the proper owner. Eden is a sacred garden. Adam and Eve walked and talked with God there. It was beautiful and peaceful and celestial. So I made a tree to represent her. Jane’s middle name is Olivia, of Latin origin, meaning olive tree. The olive tree/branch is a symbol of peace, fruitfulness and beauty. Also, religiously speaking, Noah released a dove and it brought back an olive leaf to Noah to let him know that the floods were receding. It is a symbol of hope to me. So I made a bird for Jane. She also loves music and is calmed by singing and will hum as she’s wandering around the house, so I am still planning on embroidering “songbird” next to her birdie. I like to make things that are meaningful to me in some way. Even if no one else gets it, I get it and for some reason it makes me happy.

You start by making simple sketches. Keep it super simple. Think about using 2-5 different fabrics. I make a couple small sketches until I like the concept and then have at the fabric. I like to freehand it. It can be a scary thing to do if you’ve never done it before, but it is very satisfying and I like that each one that you make is it’s own little one of a kind. If you want to, practice with some construction paper before you try it with fabric. Sometimes I mess it up and have to start over, but most of the time the freehanded things come out perfectly fine.

freehanding it

If you don’t want to think up your own designs, you can use one of mine.
apple pattern

owl pattern

 I sketched these out quickly for you and then left them out and one of the babies got to them. They have been crinkled up and sucked on, straightened back out and scanned in my scanner that could obviously use a good cleaning. But you get the picture, and I just don’t have the time and patience to do it a second time.

click HERE for the bird and tree pattern.

So here we go, step by step:


Cut the fabric shapes for your shirt. Make sure to have the onsie handy to check the size of your design, because the area that you are working on can be really small if it’s for a newborn.


With embroidery floss, sew the shapes together so that it is one piece that you will be able to attach to the onsie without making the inside of the shirt a mess of embroidery strings.

Pin it onto the onsie.

2: Sew pieces together; pin to onsie

 Sew it on, following the edge of the design closely.


embellished onsie

After washing, the edges will be frayed and it’s a sweet little effect. You can embellish it with buttons and felt and whatever else your heart desires. But keep in mind that babies sleep a lot and depending on their age will be laying down most of the time, so you don’t want to add any embellishments that will irritate their skin or dig in while they are sleeping.

Here are the originals.  Those babies have gotten much cuter if you ask me;)
4 weeks old
Have fun creating!



Kara said...

These are adorable and a wonderful idea for gifts. Thanks for the idea.

Hey, I've been missing your VT messages. I haven't done my VT-ing the last 2 months and I blame it on you... haha, jk!

xianfern said...

Those are so cute! I wish I had thought of that when my babies were in onesies! Your talent and creativity is endless!

Tara said...

I want to wear an owl onesie!

Shannon Gish said...

You inspire me!

Shannon Gish said...

I love the spring banner! Bring on the sun and color.

Sharrieboberry said...

Cute, cute tree! Love the colors all together.

I have a lot of the "leaf" fabric. I mean lots! Maybe 3 yards. I have no idea what it will evolve into. But its there...!

emily piper said...

I am loving this! SO CUTE!! I just wish I could find super cute material. I seem to always miss it!

Julia said...

very very cute