Friday, April 27, 2012

Upcycle Project: Men's Shirt to Baby Pants and Onesie

I really began to sew when my first child was due. I was pretty much self taught at that time. I sewed out of neccesity, as funds were tight (aren't they always?) and because it helped me feed that "nesting feeling". I loved sewing for all my babies but sadly my babies are big now. Well, yesterday a friend of mine found out that her soon to be 6th child (I have six too) is going to be a boy. Wow! I'm sew excited for her. They only have one boy now and a whole lot of girls, just like me.

I went to my local thrift store and got some great deals. Lots of baby boy clothes and it was one of those fill a bag for $5.  She likes to shop at thrift stores too, so I knew she'd appreciate my bounty. I brought them home and washed them and delivered them to her but I kept a few because I plan on adding to them and making them even better. One of them is a little white newborn onesie. I also got a supply of men's shirts from a friend so I used the sleeves of one of the shirts to make newborn pants and to embellish the onesie with a 'tie' applique.

Here's a little tutorial of how I did it.

First of all, you need a simple pants pattern. I got this newborn pattern from the Made By Rae blog. You can find it here. Check out her blog, it's great. Her pattern is not for lined pants but it is easy to line them. The shirt fabric I used was very thin and my friends baby is due in October so I thought I should line them. I had some medium blue flannel in my stash so it worked out great. I basically made the outfit for free.

First I cut the sleeves off of the shirt. This was an extra large men's shirt and it was the perfect size for newborn pants.

As you can see the sleeve is the perfect size for baby pants.
  Cut out 2 pattern pieces in your outer fabric and in your lining fabric, in my case, the flannel.

Two pieces cut from each fabric

Pin the outer fabric to the lining with right sides together and stich along the bottom of the legs with a 1/2" seam allowance.

 Press the seam, then flip over where wrong sides are facing each other and press again. Then top stitch with a 1/4" seam allowance.
I also used a basting stitch along the top to help keep the lining and outer fabric together.
Now that the outer fabric and lining is joined, treat each leg as one piece.

Pin the two legs together and stitch the two pieces together from the top of the pants to the crotch but be sure not to stitch the legs. Use a 1/2" seam allowance and finish and reinforce the seam in whatever manner you like. I used my serger.

Now match up the two pieces and stitch from the bottom of the leg, up the crotch and back down the other leg.

Now follow your pattern directions for adding elastic. My pattern called for a 13" waist. If you use the Made By Rae pattern, she has complete directions with her pattern.

I like the look of the cuff turned up so you can see the lining.

Now on to the onesie. I drew a little tie and ironed some fusible interfacing to the back of the fabric then used spray adhesive and pins and attached it to the onesie. I used a small zig zag stitch along the edges of the tie. Be sure and use some stabilizer inside the shirt for best results. This onesie was so small that it was a little difficult to do the stitching, but was able to do it.

Isn't it cute?

Isn't this a cute little outfit? And I only had to use the sleeves of the shirt which leaves the rest of the shirt for something else.

This was great sewing therapy and my friend has a nice new baby outfit.

Happy Sewing,


Sew Happy Geek


  1. Oh you clever, clever girl - this is too darling for words!!!!

  2. I am inviting you to come and be part of my blog hop: