I’m a huge fan of heirloom sewing and could spend a pretty penny on vintage laces, trims, buttons and all things darling. I’m also a huge fan of saving a buck and being creative. I love little boutique clothes on baby girls and have sewn on Etsy for many years. A few weeks ago, Laura Kelly, designer of “Me and my Peeps”, sent me a package of goodies for the “Me and My Peeps” blog hop. Inside were about 7 different 1 yard lengths of colorful ribbon. It made my heart pitter patter. The cheerful colors, the polka dots—they all screamed, put me on a onesie!
You’ve seen the embellished onesie’s on Etsy. A few years ago, Snazziedrawers stormed the site with her Ella bottom onesie.
The pattern is available in her website here , but the trim is extremely hard to find. In the last few years, ruffles of all types have found their place on many a baby girls bottom. For ruffled bottoms, I recommend Tie Dye Diva’s pattern for ruffled diaper covers.
This time though, I was thinking of something different. For some reason, I thought of Kari Mecca’s Sewing with whimsy books and remembered her technique with her patented “Whimsy sticks”. She has a video on youtube that highlights the sticks and one way to make a ribbon rose. I’m sure they are a fabulous product, but I was short on time and decided to come up with my own version. Not as detailed, precise, and certainly not as easy to use (but in a pinch!) my son’s ruler worked fabulously.
The issue I kept coming up with was trying to space the loops apart. I didn’t want them as close together going straight down, but more loopy. I will show you in this picture how I looped the ribbon around, and then on the next picture my solution.
So to loop the ribbon around, follow the design in this picture. I like to secure my ribbon with a tiny slice of Frog tape. Painters tape works great because its not too tacky, easy to remove and doesn’t leave a residue. I spaced them about 3/4 inch apart, and just looped my ribbon to the end of the ruler where I again taped the end.
Now, for the hard part of making the space in-between the loops. I solved this by starting all over. I wrapped the ruler with tearaway stabilizer. I made sure it was covering both sides of the ruler with a bit of overlap. I secured it with frog tape. Frog tape is actually thicker than the piece here. I merely place the tape on my cutting mat and use my rotary cutter to make the tape strips about 1/4-1/8 inch wide. I then repeated the wrapping method shown above.
I then placed a piece of frog tape that ran the whole length of the ruler down the middle of ribbon on each side. Now comes the very tricky part. You have to unsecure the tearaway stabilizer from the ruler and very very very carefully remove it off the ruler. This is the hardest part! Next, take the ribbon/stabilizer and sew down the side. I usually use a scant seam to 1/4 in seam, depending on how much of an edge I want. For the onesie I used 1/4 inch. It seems weird to sew in-between the loops, but trust me–this will work.
Once you have finished this part, it’s off to the second tricky part. You now need to “tear away” the tearaway stabilizer. And yes, you should check to make sure your stabilizer will really “tear away”. They also sell wash away but that can get pretty gummy and I think the tear-a-way works best. Be super careful of the threads in between the loops. You don’t want those to break. Then, just like that —Wow!! See what I mean—you just made homemade trim that is super cute.
Next you want to mark the onesie for placement of the ribbons. This varies according to size, but I usually go 1/2 inch from the leg seam. I then spaced the lines about 1/2 inch apart. Use a fabric marker that washes away for this. You can see my markings here:
Line the inside of the onesie with another sheet of tear-a-way stabilizer. Then take the ribbon you want on bottom and line the top of the ribbon up with the bottom line. Secure with pins. Lots of pins. I like to start at a loop and try to stretch it. If the size is a bit off, that is fine, just cut the middle of the loop so a portion of the ribbon is still there on the edge. For a cleaner edge you can seam rip the side of the onesie open, sew the trim on and then serge the onesie back together, but that is purely optional.
Next you will sew the trim on. For my pictures I used white thread so it would show up on this tutorial. I would suggest using invisible thread to minimize the stitching showing. For the machine stitch I would suggest the STRETCH zig zag stitch. It’s the zig zag stitch that looks like it has dashes in it. This allows for more stretching and flexibility for the bottom, so it won’t be stiff and break if the threads get tugged or stretched too much.
Repeat, until all your ribbons are on the onesie. After I sew the last looped ribbon trim on, I prefer to add a finishing touch, to cover the trim stitching. I simply lined up a flat ribbon and edge stitched each side down, directly over the looped trim. I love how the top loops still peak out —so cute!!!
When you are all done, tear away any remaining stabilizer.
Here is my little friend Emma modeling her new “beribboned” bottom onesie.
Since her name begins with the letter E, I did an easy peasy appliqué on the front. I made a looped flower with ribbons, hot glued on a button and a pin back to the other side and added that little embellishment off to the side of the letter “E”. She loved it and kept playing with it. You could secure the flower and button on with thread as well, but I prefer to take them off when washing.
Speaking of washing–for this outfit (and other beautifully made boutique clothing), I suggest hand washing with a very mild detergent and hanging to dry. If you have to smooth out wrinkles, use a low heat iron and stay away from the ribbons as they can melt.
Need another idea for your new homemade trim–see how I added it to a little girls dress for an added touch here.
What’s your favorite boutique item out there on eEsy for little girls right now? There are so many to choose from, but so much creativity out there too!
Hope you enjoy this tutorial. Please let me know if you have any questions, and please send me pics if you use the tutorial to make some cute trim or onesie’s!