I was inspired to make a little jumper for Ruby by this picture of Hazel on Janae's blog. It's a pretty simple concept for those of us who don't like fiddling with patterns and want to get on with things while we're feeling motivated. Here is my first attempt at something similar. I'll share what I'd do differently next time as we go. The measurements given fit my 9 week old and I'm guessing it would measure 0-3 months.
This pattern can be made according to your little one's size by changing a few measurements here and there. My favorite way to get the sizing right is to pull out a retail dress that is similar in some way and think about how my dress will fit in the same places. I also gathered some fabrics that I thought went well together. I love to mix prints and colors that coordinate well. The brown gingham is vintage and the pink floral is a reproduction.
* 40" x 10.5" of fabric #1 (gingham) as well as two straps measuring 10" x 2.5"
* 20" x 4" of fabric #2 (pink floral)
* 2 buttons
* Measuring tape or ribbon to use as measuring tape
* 3" of elastic (not shown)
* Sewing machine
* Shears or rotary cutter, straight edge ruler and cutting mat
* Depending on your child's size you may need a longer band. To determine length, measure the area under the circumference of their body just under their armpits and add about 2-3". Your elastic will keep this snug but you'll still be able to get it on and off easily.
Fold fabric #2 in half so that the right sides are facing each other. Then stitch the two short ends together.
* Depending on your child's size you may want this longer or shorter. Measure from the same place just under their armpits to the length you'd like and add 1.25" for hems. Cut your length so that it's twice as long as the length of fabric #2.
Fold your fabric down 1/4" and then again 1/2" along one long edge of fabric #1. Iron flat and stitch along the length.
Then fold fabric #1 in half with right sides together as shown above, and sew. I used a zig zig stitch to finish the edges on a short, wide setting but a serger gives it a professional look. Place fabric #2 inside fabric #1 with right sides facing together and seams lining up. Pin at the seam. Then find the halfway point of both fabrics and pin them together so that you have even amounts of fabric on both sides as shown. Pin together.
Then find the halfway point between both pins on either side and pin again. Repeat one more time so that you have eight places pinned.
Make your pleats. Keep in mind that you are looking at the opposite side of your pleats so make sure your points are meeting up on the other side. Iron flat and then stitch down about 1/4" from the edge.
Pull fabric #2 out and iron the top and bottom edges of the band in about 1/4".
Fold fabric #2 onto itself as shown so that you cover the seam. Press flat and pin in four places.
Elastic is shown on the outside here but this is where it should be on the inside. Stitch one side of the elastic so that it's under fabric #2 in this same place. Then pull it a little tight and stitch the other side. You'll trim off a little. If I were to do this over, I'd use wider elastic.
This is what your band will look like once the elastic is stitched in. (Make sure you stitched through both layers.) Carefully repin and then stitch the bottom of fabric #2 so that your seam is hidden.
This is what you'll have so far. (Notice my front pleat isn't centered! I'd double check this part next time.)
Fold your two straps length wise with right sides facing each other and sew down the long side. Turn right side out and tuck your ends in and stitch across. Then add button holes. (My least favorite thing to do while sewing clothing.)
Decide where your buttons will be placed making sure it's placed properly to fit over her shoulders. Attach your buttons first. Then place the straps onto the buttons.
Make sure your straps are even and pin them to the inside of the back slightly closer together than the front. Sew down. If you want them to criss-cross in the back measure how much more you'll need and adjust accordingly. Iron your sweet little number and you're set!
I held my breath as I tried this one on Ruby but it fits like a charm! I'm hoping to make a few more in bigger sizes so we'll always have something cute to throw over a onesie when it warms up. It's great as a dress but use the same pattern and make it a few inches shorter to wear as a tunic. If you use this tutorial I'd love to see pictures of your finished piece!