The tricky thing when buying gifts for babies is that they grow so mighty fast, and who knows just what size they will be in any given season. Both of our girls were born at a decent size (Both around 8 pound 4 ounces), but then gained weight very slowly, making it almost impossible to guess ahead of time what size they will wear.
When each of our girls were born, our friends and family have been so generous with an abundance of beautiful clothing and other gifts. Of the gifts we're given, there has always seemed to be a couple of items that I have particularly loved, either because of who gave them to us or because they are beautiful designer pieces that I would never go out and buy myself.
In Hannah's case, my absolute favourite clothing piece was this beautiful onesie, given to Hannah by my Uncle and Aunt. It's made from a cotton floral fabric. I love the colours, I love the bodice design and I love the buttons down the back. Sadly, when Hannah was born last Christmas this little onesie was too big on her. Then because she was slow to gain weight, and because last summer in Sydney was pretty mild, she never had a chance to wear it. I kept it in her drawer with anticipation of it fitting this summer. However, when I tried it on her on one of the first hot days of the summer it didn't fit ... well, it fit perfectly on the body, chest, top part, but she was just a little long for it, and I had to strain to get the clips done up at the bottom. I almost cried!!
I couldn't bring myself to put it in the "too small" box, so I sat it on top of her dresser and looked at it longingly every time I went into her room. After about 2 weeks of pondering, I realised that I could quite simply turn this into the cutest little top. Paired with a little pair of ruffle-bottom shorts (a gift from her Grandma for Christmas), I think this is just a gorgeous little summer outfit. I'm so glad I did it, 'cause it's just too cute to waste.
Since then I've found another onesie in a similar situation - gorgeous little outfit, but too short. This was also a gift from a lovely friend, so I don't want to waste it. I think this would work with pretty much any onesie that you want / need to transform into a top, so I thought I'd share how I did this very simple transformation using this second onesie in case anyone is in the same boat!
What you need:
- A cute onesie that needs transforming
- Coordinating bias tape or maybe some lace (if it's too short to hem)
- Sewing machine and coordinating thread
1. Lay out your onesie on a flat surface. Try to get it sitting as flat as possible.
2. Cut from one side to the other, making sure you cut only just above the clips to give you maximum length. I did the cut free-hand but it was pretty nerve-racking, so it might be a good idea to use a pencil to draw a line to cut along.
3. If you have enough length, simply turn the raw edge over 1/4" and press, then turn another 1/4" and pin. Then sew around the hem.
In this one, the onesie was lined, so I simply hemmed both the lining, and the outer fabric pieces separately. I made the hem on the lining slightly bigger than 1/4" so that I could be sure the outer fabric would sit slightly lower than the lining.
4. If you need as much length as possible to make sure it's long enough for your munchkin (as with my floral one) find a coordinating bias tape, then fold the tape in half and press. Sandwich the raw edge of the onesie into the middle of the bias tape, pin and top-stitch the bias tape in place. If you need to add a little length, you could use a piece of lace joined to the bottom to make it a little longer.
This is a really simple transformation, but so rewarding. I hate to waste clothing, especially when it's been lovingly chosen as a gift, and this was the perfect answer to that predicament for me!