I'm over baby bodysuits.
Snapping them with wiggly, wild legs, is a chore.
So if you're over bodysuits, too. Well, this tutorial (with FREE PATTERN PIECES) is for you.
Welcome to Chuck's Tee and Bummies Set! Perfect for summah summah time.
Here's a handy dandy chart for picking out your size and the amount of 3/4" elastic you'll need for those bummies.
- 1 yard of Jersey Knit Fabric with 50%-4 way stretch (this means the fabric stretches up and down and side to side and also recovers. If you stretch it and it's now long and funky looking, you don't have 4 way...or 2 way for that matter). To get this recovery your fabric is going to need some percentage of spandex (also known as Lycra). My preferred fabric content is 95% cotton and 5% spandex. I like jersey knit from The Fabric Cottage for my character prints and the solid fabric from Purple Seamstress. Anyway, the jersey knit is for the front and back of shirt and the sleeves and all the pieces for the bummies.
- 1/2 yard Rib Knit for the neckband. I usually just by the black and white option from JoAnns. There are other online shops that offer Rib Knit but are a little more expensive.
- 3/4" Wide Knit Elastic see cut chart above for the amount you'll need for your size
- Adobe Reader
- Home Printer (for printing pattern pieces) + 4 pieces of paper (you can use US Letter (8.5"X11") or A4 paper. Remember if you are using A4 paper that in the print setting to change it to US Letter...yes, you still need to change that setting to the US paper size even if you are using A4 paper. If you print A4 and your paper setting is A4 the pattern won't print right, so just believe in the magic and change the setting to US Letter (8.5"X11")).
- Sewing Machine + Stretch Needles
- Ruler + Tape Measure
- Pins (or clips)
1. Open the pattern pieces in Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat Pro. From the Layers Menu you can deselect all the sizes you don't want to print. If you need help with how to do that check out my Chuck's Baby Hat Blog real quick for a picture.
Next, select the size you want fPrint out and assemble your pattern pieces. If you need help here's a video on how to assemble a Rain City pattern.
2. Cut out your fabric using your paper pattern pieces.
For the Tee you will have:
1 - Neckband cut from Rib Knit
1 - Back cut from Jersey Knit
1 - Front cut from Jersey Knit
2 - Sleeves cut from Jersey Knit
For the Bummies you will have:
1 - Back cut from Jersey Knit
1 - Front cut from Jersey Knit
2 - Leg Bands cut from Jersey Knit
1 - 3/4" Wide Knit Elastic (cut to the length from the chart pictured above or measure the infant's waist and subtract 2")
3. Lay the tee's front and back right side together. The Right Side refers to the side with the print. Sew the shoulder seams (shown by the green arrows below) using 1/4" seam allowance (use this seam allowance on all seams). You should use a stretch stitch like a zig zag or a stitch from your serger for all seams unless otherwise stated (like the bands you can use a straight stitch).
Lay the bummies front and back right side together. Sew the side seams as shown by the green arrows.
4. Line up the crotch pieces and sew them, too the way you sewed the other seams.
5. Fold the neckband and leg bands right sides together and sew using a straight stitch or a serger, down the short side where the raw edges are (opposite to the folds).
6. Fold the bands in half so the seam is inside the bands (wrong sides together).
7. Turn the shirt right side out so you can see the print. Fold it in half like shown below and mark the center front and back of the neck hole.
Fold the neckband in half at the seam and mark the side opposite of the seam.
We're going to use these marks to line up pin the neckband to the shirt. We're using only two pins because from center back to center front is equal on both sides. As long as you stretch the neckband evenly between these two points your neckband will be sewn on evenly.
8. Unfold the shirt and neckband. Position the pieces like shown in the picture with the neckbands seams in the back.
9. Pin (or clip) the right side of the shirt's front to the mark we put on the neckband (the side that doesn't have the seam).
10. Pin (or clip) the right side of the shirt's back to the neckband (the side with the seam). Your neckband should look something like the picture below.
Now when you go to sew this I suggest starting in the back at the neckband seam.
Start by raising your pressure foot and with the neckband and shirt hole raw edges lined up put it under the pressure foot. Your seam allowance in this step is still 1/4". Sew a couple stitches and then with the needle(s) down stretch hold the front centerline and stretch the pieces towards you just until the neckband is the same length as the neck hole. Now, start sewing again. Right before you get to the shoulder seam stop and fold it towards the back of the shirt. Continue sewing till you reach the front. Stop here with the needle(s) and foot down. Grab the back centerline (the seam of the neckband) and stretch just until the neckband is straight (just like we did before). Continue sewing till you overlap the back stitches by at least 3 for a serger or backstitch if using a sewing machine.
11. This is what the neckband looks like after its been sewn using a serger (overlock).
12. Turn the neckband out and give it a shot of steam and press. I recommend top stitching the seam down with a zig zag or cover-stitch machine but that's totally optional.
13. Moving onto the leg bands on the bummies you're going to want to line up the seam of the leg band with the side seam of the bummies. With the leg band laying flat like shown below, mark it 3/4" away from the edge closest to the crotch.
This mark is where we will pin the leg band to the crotch seam in the next steps.
14. Insert the bummies leg hole into the leg band. Line up and clip (or pin) the bummie side seam with the leg band seam. Line up the mark we made in the previous step with the crotch seam (fold that crotch seam back towards the bum) and clip (or pin) that in place.
15. Sew the leg band on using a stretch stitch or serger with a 1/4" seam allowance.
I prefer to sew in the round. Meaning my pressure foot is inside of the bummies with my leg band touching the needle plate and my bummies touching the pressure foot. I start at the side seam by placing the side seam under the pressure foot, lower the pressure foot and sew a few stitches, then I take the pinned crotch/leg band section and stretch the leg band out till its the same length (or width however you want to think of it) as that side of the leg hole. Then once I get to the clipped crotch I sew a few stitches and with the needles down (inside of the bummies) I reposition my hands to grasp the side seam side to stretch the leg band to the same length as that side and continue sewing. Pretty much the same technique that I use for the neckband.
Anyway, with the leg band sewn on it should look something like this.
16. Repeat step 15 on the other leg band.
17. Great job, you're doing super. Okay lets now move onto the waist elastic. Go ahead and fold it in half with the two raw ends together and sew it together using a straight stitch. Don't forget to back-stitch.
18. This picture is pretty blown out so bear with me as I explain what we're doing here.
So with your waist elastic sewn you're going to fold it at that seam and just mark the opposite side. This is the exact same thing we did with the neckband elastic.
Next turn your bummies inside out and then fold your bummies in half like shown and mark the center front and center back.
You guessed it, we're going to position the elastic's seam on the back and the other mark at center front. You've got me all figured out!
19. Here we go.
Position the mark opposite of the elastic seam on the bummies front centerline and pin/clip in place. You're, if you can't tell, but I'm sure you can, pin/clipping to the wrong side of the bummies.
20. Now pin/clip the seam of the elastic to the back of the bummies.
21. We're going to sew this just like we sewed the neckband on so, if you skipped that step you may want to go back and check it out or if you skipped it you probably don't even need to read this step at all. The only other thing I'd like to add is that when you go to stretch the elastic make sure your needles are up, not down like when we do the neckband. You can do them down for sure but for me I have a better chance of not breaking a needle with them up when I go to stretch. You still want to keep that pressure for down in both scenarios.
22. Good job getting that elastic sewn on. It can be a pain so you're a troop. Okay, almost done.
Next fold the elastic down once towards the inside of the bummies.
You're going to sew it in place using a stretch stitch (like a zig zag or a stitch from a cover-stitch machine). When you sew it down make sure you are sewing 1/4" away from the edge of the elastic...basically, keep it in this blue-ish thread area in the picture below. When you sew you're going to want to stretch the elastic like you did in the previous step.
23. BAAAAM bummies done! Friend, pat yourself on the back cus you are almost done.
24. Take your sleeves and fold them in half to find the centerline. I marked my centerline with pins.
We're going to line these marks up with the shoulder seams in the next step.
25. Take your shirt and lay it open with right side up like this picture is showing.
Lay that sleeve on top of the shirt, right sides together, with that mark lined up with the shoulder seam. Pin or clip it in place but make sure that seam is folded towards the back of the shirt.
26. Open the sleeve up so it looks like the picture below.
Sew the sleeve on using a stretch stitch or serger.
Start by taking one sleeve corner and bringing it up to the corner of the armhole. This the two aligned put the pieces under the pressure foot. Lower the foot and begin sewing. Gently stretch only the sleeve as needed to get the the shoulder seam/pin area. Remove the pin/clip and with the needles down bring the other corners together and continue sewing, gently stretching the sleeve as you go.
Repeat on the other sleeve.
27. Fold the hems up 3/4" and press. Don't sew! All we're doing here is creating a crease in the fabric. This memory crease makes it easier to hem at the end.
28. You're almost done! I'm so excited! Are you excited, too?
Okay, so unfold the hems like shown. Fold the shirt right sides together like the picture below. Sew the side seams of the shirt starting at the sleeve and moving towards the bottom of the shirt. Use a stretch stitch or serger and don't stretch the fabric while you work, let the machine pull the fabric. If you pull or otherwise get in the machines way you'll likely end up with a wavy ass seam.
Repeat on the other side seam.
29. THIS IS IT! THE LAST STEP! THIS IS ALMOST AS GOOD AS FINDING OUT GROVER IS THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THE BOOK....almost.
Fold the hems back up and sew in place using 1/4" seam allowance and a stretch stitch or cover-stitch.
AND THAT'S IT, YOU'RE DONE. WOOOOO! Once you get it sewn up come on over and visit me in Rain City's sewing group on facebook and share a picture!