DIY: Footed Baby Sleepers into Footless Creepers/Rompers!
Today’s tutorial: take a baby wardrobe staple – the one-piece sleeper / baby pajama, and turn it into a footless creeper/romper using the sleeves from an old t-shirt (or some other stretchy jersey fabric).
This tutorial is for sleepers with legs that both open (I will be posting a tute for “sleepers that open on one side” next, since the tute is slightly different).
I don’t know about you, but I find those one-piece sleepers for babies to be a little on the inconvenient side sometimes. Especially the ones that don’t button up both legs. My daughter tends to overheat in them. Then they aren’t very comfortable for a baby when s/he starts to crawl or to walk because they can’t feel or grip the floor with their feet. I like to let my daughter (9 months old as of writing) spend most of her time barefoot. Of course, when we go out, she gets socks. And maybe a pair of knitted slippers to keep her tootsies warm. But when we stay home all day, those little sleepers are a bit of a pain. The ones that unbutton up both legs (like the Carter brand sleepers)?…those I can undo and hike the feet up to her thighs. But the zippered ones or the ones with one set of buttons on the side? Nope. Plus, she has some really cute sleepers that she has outgrown. We even have some sleepers that she never wore. I could just hold on to them for baby number 2, but what it baby number 2 is a boy? And if DD never wore the extras, what makes me think that the next baby will wear them, too? Because honestly, there must have been some reason she didn’t wear them (maybe an inconvenient ruffle here or too difficult a squeeze there).
Have you been shopping for footless one-pieces for babies? I mean, really. If it isn’t a short-sleeved summer piece, it’s not likely that you’re going to find a nice long-sleeved, long-legged creeper set for your baby, even in the fall or winter. I am not sure why. A thorough search of Walmart, Target, Fred Meyer, Kohl’s, JCPenney, Sears, and Macy’s from October to December got me one pink and green spring-colored polka dot long-sleeved/long-legged creepers. For crying out loud!
So I decided to do something about some of those sleepers that DD owns. Especially the ones that DH and I like. For the most part, DD has just out-grown the footed portion of her sleepers. They still fit everywhere else – arms, torso (with plenty of room to spare, actually), and even in the diaper area. Just not the feet.
Click here to download this tutorial as a pdf file.
To begin: this project requires sewing skills and a machine (or just needle and thread, if you’re into that kind of thing)
Please note though that jersey cotton fabric does not unravel; as a result, you could just cut the feet off your sleepers and leave them as is, though the finished product doesn’t look as polished.
- a sleeper with both legs that open (one that your baby has outgrown or one you want to convert)
- a old t-shirt (the color does not need to match, but white is a good standby)
- two pairs of snap buttons, sew-on or clamp-on (this is completely optional, but I strongly recommend it…makes your creepers look more finished and polished)
Step 1: Take your sleeper and lay it flat like so. This way, you can see where you need to cut. In this case, there is the top of the pink “faux” slipper to cut off. Do not lay both feet on top of each other and attempt to cut them both at the same time. You’ll just make a mess. Trust me. Then you’ll spend a lot of time making them both even, when they would have turned out fine if you just did them separately. Or you’ll realize you cut one of them waaaaay wonky.
Step 2: Take your scissors, take a breath, and chop the foot off (of the footed sleeper, silly!).
Step 3: If you want, save the footed part. It might be the making of a little slipper (I’ll post a tute, if I ever get to trying it out). Make sure that the sleeve on your old t-shirt is big enough to become the new hem of your sleeper. First off, match the grain lines on the t-shirt sleeve so that they all run straight. Then, lay the footed portion of your sleeper onto the sleeve, one side of the foot up against the fold of the sleeve. If it fits, then you’ll be fine. If not, you might want to consider using the body of the shirt.
Cut two strips of fabric on the fold twice the width of what you want the final hem to be (I recommend 2 – 2.5″) and the length of your foot, plus .5″. Mark the edge of the center of the strips with a little fabric marking pen (or a regular pen, whatever. You won’t be able to see it when you’re done). This way, you’ll know where your mid-point is when you’re sewing the hem onto your footie.
Here, the foot on this sleeper measures 4″, so I cut a strip that was 4.5″ inches long, 2″ wide.
Step 4: Take one of your strips and fold it in half lengthwise with the right side (the side that looks nice) on the inside.
Step 5: Stitch the short ends together on both ends of the strip using a 3/8″ stitch or more. It’s better for the hem to be a little short than to be long – you can stretch the hem, but you don’t really want to stretch the sleeper.
Then clip the corner by the fold (you can clip both corners, if you want, but I was in a hurry…plus, it doesn’t matter anyways).
Step 6: Turn your strip right-side out. This is your new hem!
Step 7: Take your new hem and pin it (or not…I don’t generally pin anything) to your sleeper, right sides together, the hem’s fold towards the neckline of your sleeper, the raw edges together. Don’t forget to match the center of your hem to the side seam of your sleeper. And don’t worry if they don’t match up perfectly. Just get the center to the side seam.
Sew the hem and footie together, stretching the hem as needed to fit the sleeper. You can use a plain ole straight-stitch for this using a regular needle (no need to get a jersey / ballpoint needle for this, since you don’t really need the hem to stretch once it’s sewn on). Or use a zig-zag stitch. In my case, I did a straight stitch and then serged it.
In this pic, the hem is sewn on already (sorry! forgot to take a pic for this step before I finished).
Step 8: Flip your hem down and voila! You now have a footless creeper for your baby! If you are a little compulsive about this kind of thing, add a snap button to the hem so that you can snap the hem closed. Otherwise, it sticks open and looks weird when you put your baby into the creeper. You can see the white snaps I added below:
And you’re done! A super-nice (super-cheap) creeper that your baby can jump in, run around in, and wreak mayhem in comfortably. And you can sit back and ask yourself why you ever thought you really needed to give your baby footless creepers. Lol!