When I was getting ready to have Mia, everyone told me that babies grow so fast so not to get very many newborn or 0-3 month clothes so I tried not to get very many. Either Mia is growing slowly (which isn't indicated in her weight gain) or I get bored with just the few outfits she has to wear that fit her after a couple of times wearing them, so I wanted to get some more clothes for her. After going to a couple of stores and realizing that they don't make a whole lot of clothes for babies under 6 months and clothes that are cute, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make some for her.
I started with this basic jumper. The great thing about this jumper is you can add different embellishments or leave it simple and no matter what, it will be a cute and easy addition to your child's wardrobe. I made this jumper for my 3 month old, but this sizes can easily be adjusted to fit your child by just using their measurements.
What you'll need:
1/3 yd of fabric (I used corduroy)
thread that matches your fabric
Some paper to draw pattern
Ok, now that you have everything gathered we're ready to start making our pattern with the paper. These are the measurements that I got when making the dress to fit my 3 month old. If you want to make a different size use a shirt or dress of you child's to help with the measurements, then roughly draw your front and back pieces. Keep in mind a 1/4 seam for sewing pieces together.
Once you've cut out your pattern, cut out two of each of the front and back pieces. For the bottom piece of the jumper you are going to cut a rectangle from your fabric. Mine measured about 13 inches wide and 12 inches long. *For bigger sizes you just want to at least double the length of your measurement from your front piece and make it as long as you want for your child. Also keep in mind a 1/4 to 1/2 inch seams while making your measurements. When you are finished you should have all of the pieces seen below. (The two half circles are for the pocket)
Now take your two main pieces of the jumper and put rights sides together and then fold the whole thing in half to cut your armholes. Draw an arch from the top to the side, creating the armholes. It should look something like the picture below.
Once you have done that, still with right sides together, pin from the bottom of the armhole to the bottom of the main piece and sew. Repeat on the other side. To finish off the seams and to prevent fraying I like to zig-zag the edges. Now we are going to finish the armholes. Fold the unfinished edge of the armhole in a little less then a 1/4 of an inch, iron, and then fold over again; iron and pin. Sew as close to the edge of the fold as possible.
Below is what your finished side seams and armholes should look like with the top of the main piece still unfinished so you can gather it.
Now, we're ready to gather the tops of the main piece. To gather fabric, set your sewing machine on your highest tension and longest stitch. Sew each top piece separately with a 1/2 seam and don't back stitch! As you sew the gathering will already start to happen. To gather more once you are finished pull the bottom thread of the seam. (Gathering fabric is easy once you have done it once or twice, but the first time can seem a little tricky. Just go slow and don't pull too hard while gathering your fabric or you will break the thread.)
This is where I got a little lazy with taking pictures. Sorry! Now that we have finished the main piece of the jumper we are going to sew the front and back pieces. You should have 2 front pieces and 2 back pieces. Pin the two front pieces together with right sides together. Sew together with a 1/4 seam, leaving the bottom open to flip your front piece to the right side. I started from the bottom corner and sewed up the shoulder piece, down the collar and up and down the other shoulder piece to the other bottom corner. Repeat these steps with the two back pieces. Flip the front and back piece to the right side and iron flat.
This is what you should have so far.
Next, we are going to sew the front and back pieces to the main piece. First, take your back piece and fold and iron the unfinished bottom edges in about 1/4 inch. Then pin one of the gathered sides of the main piece to the inside of the back piece. You might have to gather the main piece a little more or less to make it fit into the back piece. Starting at the bottom corner of the bottom piece, top-stitch across the length of the bottom piece and then continue to top-stitch the rest of the bottom piece. Make sure to top-stitch as close as you can to the edge. Repeat these steps to sew on the front piece to the other side of the main piece.
(Sorry for the misspelling in the text on the picture!)
You're almost finished! Now all you have to do is hem the bottom of the jumper by folding the unfinished edge up 1/4 inch, iron, and then fold up another 1/2 inch and sew. Lastly, sew button holes to each shoulder strap on the back piece of the jumper (I did this using my sewing machine, which did it all for me. I love it!) and then sew your two buttons onto the two front shoulder straps of the jumper.
You now have a cute jumper for your baby! (Mia was getting a little impatient that it was taking me so long to get a picture of her after all the smiling she had done earlier.)
Like I mentioned earlier, you can add different embellishments to your jumper. I added a pleated pocket to mine. You could also add ruffles to the bottom of the jumper or to the top of the pocket. Another thing that you could do with this jumper is use two different fabrics for the top and bottom pieces and the main piece. The possibilities are endless!