Superhero onesie tutorial

In my recent experience, I have found that capes make a perfect gift for girls and boys, whatever the age.   You are never too old for superhero fantasy play!  At least that’s what my husband would have me believe.  He even made up his own hero called “The Nap-Master”, whose powers become stronger when he gets a few minutes of sleep.  Nice, right?

Anyway, this project allows for the youngest in the family to become a caped crusader in his own right.   And just in time for Halloween!  As I whipped up this bad-boy (2 hours before it was due to be gifted!), I tried to take enough photos to pull it into a little tutorial for ya.  Hopefully, there not too many gaps in the process!

First, gather your materials-  a plain onesie (or tee-shirt), a 12 x 15 rectangle of cape fabric, and scraps for your applique design. and thread to match!

Fold, press, and pin 3 of the cape’s edges.  Or, save time on this simple project by serging your edges and leaving them that way.

Finish your 3 sides with a 1/8″ edge stitch.

Next, machine gather the unfinished edge by sewing a straight stitch (do not back-stitch at the start or finish) set to the highest stitch length.

The fabric will gather when you pull on the top threads at each end.  Gather until the length of your gathered edge measures the length of the back collar of your onesie.

At this point, I was running late and decided to quickly secure my gathered edge by folding it over and running a zigzag stitch along the edge.  Then, I pinned the cape from shoulder seam to shoulder seam.

Secure the cape to the onesie with a zigzag stitch.

I snuck in a little ribbon tag for a signature look.

Now, on to the applique.  I always use Steam-a-Seam 2, a double-sided fusible interfacing, to attach my designs.  Iron paper to the wrong side of your fabric.  Draw your design on the paper, but be careful if you are drawing a letter- you will need to draw it backwards, or draw it on the right side of the fabric!  I had my husband draw me a superhero-y lightening bolt.  My own version just did not look cool.

Cut out your design, remove paper, and iron to your onesie.

Finish the applique by using a small, tight zigzag stitch around the edge of your design.  Practice your zigzagging on scrap fabric to get it just right.  I thought this gold contrasting thread would really make it pop!   And, that’s it!  Super baby to the rescue!


I am not responsible for atempted flying off furniture by caped babies or toddlers!  However, if instead your child transforms into a fearless “Nap-Master”, I will gladly accept credit!  Good luck with that one.

~ Caroline

Balancing Act

While Erin is discovering how to balance life as a mother of three (take your time girl!), the Chang kids are discovering balance in a more literal sense.  Balance Boards!

I think this is the first “pin” from my Pinterest page that I have actually followed up on.  The pin came from elsie marley and includes a great little tutorial that she did for last year’s Celebrate the Boy series.  I love Meg’s find-whatever-you’ve-got-around-the-house approach.  Later,  I came upon a neato version with bumpers made from pool noodles, from Family Fun Magazine (February issue).  I pretty much followed their project instructions step-by-step.  I played with two different board sizes.  Basic white board from Lowes, and pvc piping there too. Got the Duck Tape and noodle from Target.  That was all I needed.

 In the process, I became a born-again worshiper of Duck Tape!  So fun, so easy, and now, so decorative!

Avery was all over the balance boards, such a natural that I wonder if we have a future snowboarder or surfer on our hands.  Maybe my tweenage dreams will live on through Avery…


Jet got in on the action too.  Though he shall remain faceless.

We gave a couple boards to our friend Olivia, for her 5th birthday (of course I didn’t snap her photo while she tested them out, errr.).  Still, they were a hit with children of all ages at the party.

All in all a great project, and a cool rainy day activity for the kiddos.  Or, just do it for the Duck Tape.


Pants for the boy (kcwc day 5)

I couldn’t end my week of sewing without making something for my boy, Grant.  Nothing, too exciting here- except for the fact that he’s actually getting some homemade clothing love, which is rare in these parts!

I used a the “quick-change trousers” pattern from Handmade Beginnings.  It took a long time to cut the pattern pieces and all the fabric since these pants are reversible.  I had to scrounge for some boyish fabric… I had a lot of this charcoal blue corduroy, and some random clearance fabric.

They definitely fit well, a tad big, but if he can do his normal thing like climbing on tables and chairs- I’m happy.

I’m glad I took part in KCWC this time around… I did my fair share of sewing, but I am definitely out of steam.

Looking forward to several days of beautiful weather while my sewing machine takes a nice long nap.

Thanks for stopping by!


**one more thing… here’s Ellery actually wearing her new sweater.  She kept it on for most of the day at preschool… success!

Baby Bibs

I stopped by a friend’s house last week with some baby-warming goodies… some post-natal comfort food for her and her family, and some homemade bibs for her new boy, Cole.  These bibs are a cinch to make and are actually the very first things I learned to sew… (the pattern is from Amy Karol’s book, Bend-the-Rules Sewing).  The back of the bib is made with soft cotton flannel.

I wanted to use fabric suitable for a boy of course, but that didn’t look babyish.  The owl fabric is one of my favorites.  I got it from an upholstry fabric store (U-fab here in C’ville) and I’ve used it to make Grant a pair of overalls, a pillow for our living room, and a tote (you’ll see another version of the owl in the last picture).  You can’t really see it here, but once I appliquéd the owl, I used gold thread and stitched all around the square- it really made it look cool. 

These cute bugs have crazy bugged-out eyes!  Love them!  The fabric was a great clearance buy from   It’s by Jay McCarroll for Free Spirit.  I love his designs, and have used his garden bunnies for Ellery and my niece Avery’s Easter Dresses.  His kooky alien-bird is on the appliqué below:

For the appliqué, I cut a rough shape with my desired image in the center.  I then ironed on some lightweight interfacing to the back of the image.  Then, I cut my shape out into a clean square (or oval) and placed it on the bib.  I ironed it again and then pinned it in the center.  Stitched around the border with a straight stitch, and then using my gold thread, zig-zagged all around it to add some bling. 

So, if you’re like me and have lots of friends makin’ babies these days, give these a shot.  They are quick and unique and stay nice through many washes- my kids have been wearing the same ones for a year and a half and they still look pretty darn cute (the bibs too!).  🙂 


It’s all about this guy…

It’s been a while since I’ve sewn anything for Grant… He’s gotten a couple of pairs of overalls and a mobile, a few other random things along the way…but nothing as of late.

 I went to a great yard sale a few weeks ago and after chatting with the owner for a bit about making clothing, she brought out her gigantic secret stash of buttons, adorable vintage girl’s dresses, and a few yards of fabric.  I paid $20 for a piece of furniture, and she “threw in” some goodies.  One of them being this awesome fabric by Painting Red Rhinos:

 How cute are those little surfboards?  The first thing that came to mind was to make my boy a bucket hat:

The pattern came from the book, Oliver + S Little Things to Sew

There are so many great little things to make from this book- I highly recommend it!

The hat is reversible- I lined this one with yellow twill. 

I love the glimpse of color that pokes out…

 I had enough fabric to make a pair of comfy pants… I drafted a pattern from an old pair of pants and they seem to fit him perfectly. 

Future romance-novel cover model?? 😉

Where’s the beach? 

– Erin


For a heroic family

Superhero capes!  I wanted to craft something special for my dear friend Mary’s daughter, Reagan, who was diagnosed with leukemia last November.   At only 15 months old, she entered treatment at CCMC in Hartford, and essentially lived there for the following 7 months. Let’s just say that this little girl kicked kancer’s keister (I read that if you change its spelling, you take away its power… I da know.)!  Reagan has remained “in remission” since her first round of chemo, and is back at home with her two older siblings, where she belongs!  

This isn’t Reagan by the way, but “Rainbow Reagan’s” cape modeled by Avery.

At her age, adjusting to the new norm was easy, but for Mary, Bill, Liam and Charlotte, it was a monumental shake up.  How they managed to keep it all together astounds me!  Indeed there is not just one superhero in this family…

“Lightening Liam”, at 5 years old, is also a force to be reckoned with!

And “Shining Charlotte”, 3,  will blind you with her star quality!

Oh, I’d be running for the hills if I were cancer, I mean kancer.

Though this project was not without its ups and downs, and rips and tears (funny that tears and tears are spelled the same),  it was very enjoyable and gratifying.   Keeping the Keany kids in my mind, I was motivated and inspired, and even experienced a rare crafters’ calm (maybe you knitters are familiar with this, but i think its safe to say that sewing doesn’t allow for much zenning-out).   I have now designed and sewn 5 capes (see batman and superman), so I am pretty much an expert.  These costume fabrics can be really tricky since they do not respond to a hot iron very well.  Reagan’s cape (like the batman cape) is basically reversible, which is probably an easier design to sew, given these fabrics.  Hemming the sides on Liam’s and Charlotte’s was by far the toughest part.  The appliques were fun and experimental, and secured with my friend steam-a-seam2.

The capes were happily received by the Keanys and I hope to update this post when Mary sends me photos of her little heroes!



Hi all, its Caroline!  After a long hiatus (due to a hellish math class) I am back and ready to contribute to the blog.  Erin did such a great job holding it down, and I must compliment her on how far she has come with her sewing- she only started a little over a year ago!

Even though I have been crafting very little over the past few months, I am always collecting bits of inspiration from websites, bloggers, and clothing catalogues.  My list of “things to try” is a mile long, and who knows if I will ever get to much of it.  But I did manage to piece together an applique design that was inspired by this season’s MiniBoden collection. 

Ta da!  Not bad for a knock-off ay?  I bought a bunch of these organic onesies at the H&M outlet store during my last visit to Los Angeles.  The long sleeves were $4.95 and the short sleeves were $3.95!  I can’t wait to go back and load up again!  An appliqued onesie makes a unique (eh-hem) gift for a baby, like this little guy:

I made this next one a while back about an hour before the birthday party for a one-year-old pal named Kenji.  See how simple?

My copy-cat seagull was not as simple or quick, but I learned a lot in the process.  Next time I would consider stabilizing the jersey fabric before sewing, perhaps like this:

I don’t know.  It was a labor of love, worth it for such an adorable nephew!

Now, get to work boy!