Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tutorial : Onesie to Long Sleeved T-Shirt

I picked up this onesie for $3 a couple of months ago, simply because Matty luuurrvvees Kiss:

Quite clearly it is a onesie designed for wear in the Summer and since it's well under 10 degrees most days here at the moment, Little Snicker isn't getting much wear out of it. With that in mind, I decided to turn it into a long sleeved t-shirt.

Here's how I did it...and it really isn't as hard as it might seem!

You will need:

A short sleeved onesie (to make into the t-shirt)
A long sleeved onesie (to use as a guide for the sleeves)
An old adults tshirt
A ruler
An air erasable marker (or tailor's chalk)
Some Pins
A Sewing machine
A pair of scissors


Take your onesie and lay it out flat. Using your air erasable marker, rule a line directly above the top of the leg holes:

Cut along this line to separate the two pieces. You can discard the bottom part of the onesie as we no longer need it.

Take your long sleeved onesie and lay it out under the onesie you are making into a t-shirt, like so:

This next step is a little tricky to explain, so let me tell you a few things first:

  • The bottom hemmed edge of the adult's t-shirt forms the long sleeved onesie's cuff, so there is no need for a seam allowance on that end (and it means that we cut down on the amount of sewing we need to do)
  • The long sleeved onesie's sleeve is pretty much symmetrical, so it doesn't matter that in the picture below it looks as though the seam of the sleeve we'll be sewing will be on the top. We can just flip it over and it won't effect the end product.
  • The long sleeved onesie I am using has sleeves wider than the opening of my short sleeved onesie, so I haven't added a seam allowance. You may need to add a seam allowance depending on the width of your long sleeved onesie's sleeve.
  • You need to fold your adult's t-shirt in such a way that ensures you are not using the t-shirt's side seam in any way. If you include that seam where you're going to cut, you will essentially end up with two seams on your sleeve (the seam on the side of the adults t-shirt and the seam that you will sew to complete your sleeve).
Ok, did all that make sense? I sure hope so!

Once you've got your adult's t-shirt folded right, place under your long sleeved onesie (with the edge of your onesie's sleeve against the bottom hem of your t-shirt) and make a mark on the t-shirt to the left of the onesie band, like so (you may need to enlarge the image to see where I've marked):

Next, mark out the shape of your sleeve:

And then cut it out:

Unfold your sleeve and serge down the long edge (the edge opposite to the existing t-shirt seam) so that it doesn't unravel or fray. I'm too lazy to get out the serger, so I just used the serger stitch on my sewing machine:

Next, fold the sleeve back together with the right sides together and serge along the edge to complete the sleeve. I also run a straight stitch down this side just to ensure it's secure:

Next, turn your sleeve in the right way and pin to your onesie. Ensure that the seam on your sleeve and the seam under the arm of your onesie match up as best as possible:

Using a straight stitch, carefully sew the sleeve on using the existing seam (or seams in this case) on the onesie as a guide:

You should end up with a sleeve that looks like the one below. Repeat the process to make a second sleeve:

Next, run a serger stitch along the unfinished bottom edge of your onesie:

Fold the serged edge of the tshirt up approximately 1/4 of an inch and pin:

Run a double topstitch around the edge to secure:

Once you've done all that, you've finished!

Here is a picture of Little Snicker wearing his long sleeved onesie t-shirt!

I'm pretty sure he's saying something along the lines of "Thanks mum for making my onesie into an awesome long sleeved t-shirt".... but I could be wrong lol!


  1. Oh... my... god! I cant believe you butchered my best t-shirt!
    I was going to wear that tomorrow!

  2. So cute! Maybe you could keep the bottom of that onesie to sew to a dress shirt to keep it tucked in.

  3. I totally *heart* that shirt!!!

    I think he's saying "I wanna rock and roll all nite and party every day" ;o)

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