Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tutorial: CrissCross Ruffle Sunsuit

If you loved my Halter-Ruffle Sunsuit, you'll love this CrissCross-Ruffle Sunsuit! With just a few different steps, you can make another adorable outfit that is perfect for the HOT Summer days!

Ready to get started??

**Please note: I am a self-taught seamstress. While I am sure there are more efficient and better ways to do this, this is what worked for me. Feel free to let me know if anything is confusing or if you think I left something out.

Gather your materials:
seam ripper (a must!),
paper (for the pattern pieces),
fabric (you can use all one pattern or mix it up with 2 or 3),
matching thread,
braided elastic (1/8" and 1/2"),
safety pin,
velcro (1/2" wide),
2 buttons,
fabric marker,

Make your pattern pieces:

Trace an existing onesie on a large piece of paper. This should give you an approximate shape for the 2 main panels. Make sure you measure your little one to make sure you are making the pieces big enough. I added 4 inches to the measurement I took on Lily, because I wanted it to fit kind of puffy.

Lily's chest measured about 18" around, so 18"+ 4"= 22". I cut each pattern piece about 11" wide, this included my seam allowance.* I measured from her armpits down to her crotch/diaper area and added 1" to the top (for the elastic casing) and 1/2" to the bottom for the seam.

Make sense?

I used a large lid to draw the shape of the leg openings.

For the back panel, I cut it similar to what I saw on the onesie.

After you cut your 2 main panels, cut 3- 2" x 17" pieces* for the ruffle (1 matched the fabric, and 2 were coordinating fabric) and 1- 3" x 50" piece* for the criss cross straps and leg casing, as well as 3" velcro*, 17" of the 1/2"elastic*, and 2- 11"pieces of 1/8" elastic*.

*These measurements are what I used for my daughter, you probably will be making a different size, so adjust the measurements accordingly.


Take your 3 ruffle pieces and fold towards the wrong side 1/8" and press. Fold again 1/8" and press again. Stitch close to the edge. Do this for both long sides on all 3 pieces.

All 3 pieces should look like this:

Then set your machine on the widest stitch for the top thread and the bobbin thread. (This is what worked for me, this didn't work on a friend's machine...she just had to widen the top stitch, not the bobbin) Sew a basting stitch right down the middle of the ruffle, do not back stitch at either end. Leave excess thread on either end. Pull on the fabric while holding onto one of the excess threads. Keep pulling and bunching your fabric until you are satisfied with your ruffle.
It will start to look like this:

Then straighten out your ruffle slightly to fit the width of the back panel. Pin all 3 ruffles in place.

Change your machine back to it's original settings and stitch the ruffle in place right down the center, along your basting stitch. Do this for all 3 ruffles. After you are done, remove your basting stitch with your seam ripper.

This is how mine looks time I make this, I will put the ruffles about an inch lower on the back panel. After trying it on Lily, I think they would look better lower. Just FYI.

Main Panels and Button holes:

Now put the front panel on top of the back panel (right sides facing) making sure to line up the sides and pin in place. Sew a 1/2" seam down one side. Trim your seam with pinking shears (or serge or zig zag stitch...whichever you prefer). Iron your seam open.

This is what you should have now:

Fold over the top edge 1/4" and press. Then fold over again about 3/4" and press again. Edge stitch along the bottom edge.

**I originally did not do the next step at this time, but I had trouble with the button holes because the elastic got in the way, so I think it would be easier to do the button holes now, instead of at the end. Just ignore the elastic and the straps in the picture. :)
Using a marking pen, measure 2 inches from each side seam (2 1/2" from the other side, to allow for seam allowance) and place a mark right under the seam for the elastic. Using your machine, place a button hole on each mark.

After the button holes are complete, finish the main panel with the elastic. Take your 1/2" elastic, attach one end to the safety pin and thread the elastic through the casing, making sure not to pull it all the way through.

Sew the elastic to each end (a few times, for added durability) with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Fold the main panel in half (right sides together), lining up the sides with the raw edges. Pin in place and sew another 1/2" seam allowance. Trim the seam with your pinking shears (or serge or use a zig zag stitch) and iron seam open.

Straps and Leg Casings:

To make the straps and leg casing, you are basically making bias tape. Fold your fabric in half (long ways) and press. Open and fold each long raw edge toward the center crease (wrong sides together) and press again. Finally, fold in half one more time and press.

Elastic leg openings and velcro closure:
Pin the casing along each leg opening, making sure to sandwich the fabric from the main panel in between the casing pieces. Sew closely along the edge(the opened edge, not the folded edge, if that makes sense).

It should now look like this:

Using your safety pin again, thread the 1/8" elastic through the casing of each leg opening, sewing the elastic at each end of the casing (make sure to sew over the elastic a few times, for durability).

Fold over each unfinished edge of the front and back panel about 1/2". Place the velcro over the folded edges and sew in place. Sew the velcro for the top panel onto the wrong side of the fabric, and the velcro for the bottom panel onto the right side of the fabric. When the sunsuit is facing down, both velcro pieces should be facing you.

CrissCross Strap and Buttons:
I measured Lily, and used about 12" for each strap*. After you cut the length you need, take your casing and cut a small corner of the end of the strap and fold in towards the center crease. Re-fold your strap and press with your iron. This will make a nice finished end for your strap. Edge stitch down the entire long open edge.

Do this to both straps, then sew on a matching button.

After you sew on your buttons, take each strap and sew the raw edges to the inside of the back panel, right under the elastic. I angled my straps, so they would criss cross nicely. You can use a zig zag stitch, or a normal straight stitch.

That's it! You are finished!

Perfect for those chubby legs!

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