Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Long Sleeved Onsie to Short Sleeved Top - Tutorial

I pretty quickly turned the knit onesie on the left into the short sleeved top on the right - if you can sew a zigzag hem (or have a serger) and can cut a straight line, you can do it. I had several of these onesies from last winter that still fit Sweet P, but she doesn't need long sleeves in our sweltering summer, and she is potty-training, so snappy crotches just slow her down. I've also turned long pajama bottoms into summer pajama shorts the same way, and I received a bunch of snappy-crotch type oufits that have been turned into cute little tops. I figure, since they are just going to be passed along to friends with smaller kids, or to goodwill, be bold and if you make a mistake, move on. It is not like cutting into haute couture. And these are so easy you almost can't botch them.

Measure across from just above the hip opening (if you are doing a onesie) - since the hem is going to be finished in a "lettuce" style, pretty straight is good enough. If you are type A then by all means, use a straight edge and fabric marker, or a rotary cutter works too. Ignore the blurry photo (we got a new camera, yay! I'm still trying it out, more on that soon)

When cut, you will have this.

Now, don't be shy about the arms. I made them more of a cap sleeve, but when you are cutting into perfectly good clothes you can make them any length you want.

It probably does go without saying but I'll say it anyway - cut off the other sleeve. I used the first sleeve as a template to make them approximately matching.

Now you can use a serger. I don't have a serger, so I have to use the zigzag on my regular machine. If you stretch it a little as you zigzag the edge, it will make a lovely lettuce edging. If you are J Jill you can charge more for this.

To be honest, I'm not all that great at sewing on knits without stretching them into lettuce-y shapes, so this is a perfect project for my skills.

Hope your kids get more use out of their old onesies!


  1. Hopefully I've resolved the photo issue above - I uploaded in two batches and looks like only one "took" - I can see them all now in IE and Firefox, and yes, I should be better about checking both. Evil IE.

  2. Love it! for me. Now I can lettuce my edges instead of crookedly hemming them!
    But, what about Tomis? Think I can make lettuce a boy thing? Call it 4WD edges?
    Nah, he's too pretty already. Crooked hems it is.


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