Since most of the selection of onesies I’ve seen in Taiwan have seemed a little bland to me, I decided to make my own!
There were difficulties initially with the sewing machine and with knit. I read up on everything I could online about sewing with knit (t-shirt fabric). Basically there were three things you should do:
- Get ball point needle for the machine
- Sew with zigzag stitch setting
- (and, if all else fails) try stretchy thread
Alas, all failed, and the knit would get spectacularly tangled in the machine, even when I tried sewing with a piece of paper underneath. (The paper was utterly destroyed, but threads only got slightly less tangled).
It was then that I discovered what the problem was –
I didn’t have a runner.
No wonder the sewing needle was looking weirdly naked.
So the first onesie was basically sewn by hand. I found this lovely reddish woodsy colored scrap knit fabric at the 永樂市場 in Dihua. It makes perfect sense to buy scrap for baby clothes since they’re small humans and don’t need much fabric. I decided to use an old black t-shirt as material for the sleeves, to add a little flair. For the pattern, I traced around a onesie of Knox’s, and guesstimated how much seam I would need.
Since I don’t have a serger, and have a mortal fear of sewing close to the edges with a zigzag stitch, I closed the edges using the french seam.
I also have a fear of sewing snaps, because one tends to be very violent pulling them open the baby’s fussy to check for a soiled diaper, so handsewn ones would likely tear the cloth. So I used velcro. Then I used fabric paint and cardboard to stencil some pretty designs.
This is the end product:
Branding for Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition. Did this first. This is when I understood why people don’t draw t-shirts freehand. Oh.
Check out those protruding French Seams!
Anyway his first wear of them turned out too small. I guess for French Seams you have to make much more seam allowance. Plus the onesie I’d used for the pattern was, itself, a little on the small side for him too. It turned out that he only got to wear this onesie twice, and the second time I had to stuff him in it.
Ah, little boys, they grow so fast!