Friday, January 14, 2011

Ruffle Sunsuit - Free pattern and tutorial!!

Are you after a little 'free' today?? Well how does an adorable, ruffle sunsuit pattern and tutorial interest you??
It's divine isn't it! I've been thinking about drafting this pattern for a few months now, but I've been a little tied up making bonnets. With Sydney's summer humidity getting worse, I knew it was now or never! Adele needs a super, cute sunsuit in this weather and it's probably the last summer that she can get away with an outfit like this.

***Edit: I've now released my bonnet pattern via my Etsy shop for a super cheap $5. A fully reversible, retro inspired bonnet really completes this super sweet summer look. Get yours here. (OK ad over)
Do you want to make one for your little one too? Well, read on my friend.

What you need:
1/2 yard of fabric for main body
1/4 yard for straps and ruffles (I've used fabric from Amy Butler's new Soul Blossoms collection for both)
A small piece of lightweight interfacing
3 x snaps
2 x buttons
approx 11 inches of 20mm elastic
approx 20 inches of 6mm elastic (don't you love the mix of imperial and decimal measurements?!)
sewing machine, overlocker, scissors, thread, needle, pins etc.

These instructions outline how to make the sunsuit with an overlocker/serger, but naturally you can use a regular machine too.

Now a short word on copyright. This is my pattern and I'm spreading the love and choosing to share it with you. I'm going to say you can sell items from this pattern (home sewing quantities only, not commercial), but I'd like you to credit me as the source of this pattern. Clearly, I cannot police this, but it would be nice if you could honour this request.  :)

Here are the pattern pieces. I've only drafted this pattern in size 1. If your little one is smaller or bigger, you could alter the size by either adding (approx size 1-2) or removing (approx 6-12 months) 1/2 inch from all sides of the pattern pieces, except the fold - does that make sense??

EDIT: Hello Sewers. Please read the instructions in relation to downloading the pattern. There are two ways to download the pattern and you do not have to pay for either. Both of these work. If you can't get them to work, please re-read the instructions step by step and try again.

Download Option 1. There are 4 jpegs here.  Please click each invidually, then right click and 'save as' to your preferred location. When you print them, make sure they are at 100% and check the scale marker.

Download Option 2: Alternatively, you can save each page via Scribd and you don't have to pay or have anaccount with them. Simply display each pdf via scribed, then right click each image and 'save as' to your preferred location. Again, make sure you print at 100%.
little betty ruffle sunsuit page 1 of 4
little betty ruffle sunsuit page 2 of 4
little betty ruffle sunsuit page 3 of 4
little betty ruffle sunsuit page 4 of 4

Step 1:
Print pattern at 100%, tape together and check 1 inch test line. Cut pattern and fabric.

From the main fabric, you will need:
1 x front body
1 x front facing
1 x back body

From the contrast fabric, you will need:
3 ruffles - each are 2 inch strips the full width of the fabric
2 straps - 3.5 x 15 inches

From the interfacing, you will need:
1 x front facing
Step 2 - make ruffles
Roll hem one long edge of each ruffle piece, then set your overlocker to a gathering stitch and gather the other edge of each ruffle piece.

Step 3 - make straps
Take each strap and fold them in half lengthwise. Sew a 1 cm seam along one short side, then pivot and sew down the length of the strap. Trim corners, turn right side out and press. Top-stitch the strap along both long sides and one short side. I use my 1/4 inch foot to do this - it's easier to stay neat!

Step 4 - press back elastic casing
Take your back piece and press the top edge down 1/4 inch, then again 1 inch to make the casing for the back elastic.
Step 5 - attach straps
Before you sew the casing, place your straps underneath the casing folds as show below. I've centred these straps 4 inches apart. You only need to tuck the straps about a 1/4 inch under this fold. Sew the casing, staying close to the fold, then flip the straps up and top stitch them to the top of the back piece very close to the top fold. This reinforces the straps and positions them facing to the top, where they need to be!

Step 6 - affix ruffles
Pin your first ruffle as pictured below and sew just above the gathered, overlocked ruffle edge.
Once your first ruffle is attached, you can pin and sew the remaining two ruffles. I've spaced mine a little over half an inch apart.
Lightly press your ruffles down, try not to press all of the gathers flat, and top stitch each ruffle down, approximately 1/4 inch below the original sewing line.
Thread 11 inches of 20mm elastic through the back casing and stay stitch it in place on each side.

Step 7 - front facing
Affix interfacing to the wrong side of the front facing and edge finish the bottom, curved edge of facing. Pin the facing, right sides together to the front of the sunsuit.

 Stitch around the top as shown below

Step 8 - connect front and back of sunsuit
Pin front and back of sunsuit together as shown. Make sure you lift the facing and place the top of the back piece between the facing and front piece. Serge along each side - you may want to do this slowly as there are a few layers to sew through here.

Trim the seams on the top of the sunsuit and clip the corners and curves, then turn your sunsuit right side out and press. Top stitch the top of the sunsuit. Again, I do this with my 1/4 inch foot.

Step 9 - prepare leg openings for elastic casing
At this stage you should have what looks like a little sunsuit that is open around the bottom. To make elastic casings a little quicker, serge around each leg opening. Do not sew them shut or together, just around each leg opening, as pictured below.
Step 10 - make elastic casing
Press each leg opening under 1cm or 3/8 inch and sew. This forms the casing for the elastic. Thread 9 inches (or the size of you little one's leg plus 1 inch) of elastic through each casing and stay stitch each end.
Step 11 - measuring and making centre snap opening.
To create a centre snap opening you need to measure the bottom of the centre front and back piece. They should both be about the same as mine, approx 3 1/2 inches wide.
As my earlier sunsuit tutorial already covers creating a centre snap opening in detail with many photos, I'm going to rush through these instructions. If you need more information to create the centre snap closures, please look here in steps 3 to 7..

To calculate the size of each centre piece add 1/2 and inch to this measurement and cut 4 pieces of fabric by this measurement and 1.5 inches. Mine will be 4.5 x 1.5 inches. Cut two pieces of interfacing this size too. Attach interfacing to the wrong side of two rectangles. Place one rectangle with interfacing and one without, right sides together and sew around the two short sides and one long side with a 1/4 inch seam.
Trim the corners of each rectangle, turn right side out and press. Press the open edges, the raw edges, inside 1/4 inch. Again, please refer to the images in my other tutorial for this stage.

You can now take these two fabric rectangles and slip the bottom of the sunsuit into the opening, as shown in the below photo. Sew to the sunsuit, catching both sides of the snap closure rectangle with the sunsuit in between. Repeat for the back of the sunsuit.
Step 12 - Sew buttons, button holes, affix snaps and wear! 
Affix three snaps to the centre opening. There are many tutorials available online for you to refer to, like this one. I use a hammer and bang each snap quite hard to make sure it stays on. Sew two button holes at the top of the sunsuit. Measure your little one and place buttons on the straps where needed to keep the suit on.

You are done! Hooray! Now slip your little one into the sunsuit and watch them play!

To complete her look, Adele is wearing a matching little betty bonnet - too cute!
If you're interested in the bonnet pattern, head over to my shop.

Good luck!


  1. Beautiful...I love it...will definitely have a go when I finish a few projects I have been working on!!!

  2. This is so cute! How lovely of you to share your pattern :)

  3. OK, this looks simple enough with each step outlined. I really need to find time to give this one a go. Can you use 'overlock' stitch on a sewing machine to finish both edges of the ruffles or is there a way to get a better finish?

  4. Don't worry - I'll teach you how D

  5. Love the feature on Whip Up! Congrats...looks great!

  6. Oh, I wish my 3yr old was one again, I would so make this pattern, just gorgeous.

  7. I found you at One Pretty Thing and I'd love to make this sunsuit! What age/size is size 0? Thanks!

  8. This pattern is for a size 1 or 1 year old child. Size 0, is for about a 6-12 month old baby. Good luck!

  9. This is soooo cute!! I love all those ruffles across the back! I linked to your pattern and tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


  10. I came to you via Craft Gossip Sewing...
    This is SUPER cute...

    I really like the bonnets... are they a challenge to make?

  11. ok, this is fabulous! how i wish we didn't have 2 feet of snow on the ground right now, atleast this can get me in the mood for summer. adorable!! thanks for sharing the tute:)

  12. this is truly adorable! I am keeping this bookmarked so I can whip it out at the first scent of Spring! LOVE IT!!!!! Am a new fan :)

  13. This is sooooo cute!! Thank you very much for sharing. I came over from CraftGossip and am now following your awesome blog. I have a niece that turns one next month that will look so cute in a sunsuit this summer.

  14. It's beautiful and thank you so much for taking the time to post such a great tute. I look forward to making these for my granddaughters, like I used to make for MY daughter.

  15. you`re awesome too, thanks for sharing this gorgeous sunsuit :)

  16. Ahhhhh So adorable!!! LOVE it

  17. Thanks for all the great feedback guys. I can't believe how popular this little pattern has been. I look forward to seeing some of your creations, please email photos if you can.


    YAH I DID IT...insert Dora 'We Did It' dance here!

  19. What a legendary sun suit. I love it. Thank you so much for sharing.

  20. I love this I just reposted it. I am pregant with twin and am looking for wonderful sewers to do guest post for me. You can do something new or old you choice. check out my site and see what you think.

  21. Thank you so much for the free tutorial and pattern:) I will make a few of these for our granddaughters- both turning one this year. Thanks again:)

  22. I can't wait to make this for my little girl! I'm thinking it'll be a great 1st birthday outfit! Thanks so much for sharing your pattern, I've been looking for one for a little while now.

  23. I tried to print the pattern, but Scribd is saying I have to pay to download or print the pattern or upload a document of my own. Is there a way to print it for free?

  24. I made one!! And I'm going to make more :) thanks so much!

  25. Hi,
    I am having the same problem as Melissa at Perry Jane. Is there a way to download the pattern for free?

    Thanks :)

  26. Hello Sewers. Please read the instructions in relation to downloading the pattern. There are two ways to download the pattern and you do not have to pay for either.

    I think the first link works best. Once the pop up appears, you can navigate to the 4 pages via the tabs on the pop out and download each page by clicking the little arrow in the bottom corner of each page.

    I'm not a computer wiz, but this is the only way I have found how to put a pdf on a blog. Please let me know if you think you have a better way to do this.

    Happy Sewing!


  27. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. I am having problems piecing it together. Im sitting here looking at it thinking no way. Lol

  28. Yay! I did it with the 6-12 mo. modifications and it worked great. I wasn't totally confident in my skills (I'm still learning!) so I skipped the buttonhole and the snaps. I just sewed the button on and put Velcro behind it, and I sewed the crotch. It's not that hard to pull the whole thing off for diaper changes! I will probably do it the right way when I try it again, though.

    She wore it down to the family farm today, and it was a huge hit! Thanks so much for the pattern!

    1. I know you created your sunsuit ages ago but I have just found this blog and have been admiring the one you made. You did a really good job and you can't even tell you have 'fake buttons'. I also love the contrasting fabrics. I was terrified to do the buttonholes too, having never done them before. I practiced about 10 times first.

    2. Thank you, Anneliese! I have figured out buttonholes, finally, so I'm planning to dig the sunsuit out soon and put real buttonholes in. I think it may still fit my girl this year, but If not it will definitely go to the next baby girl to come along in the family.

  29. Thankyou for sharing this! What sort of elastic do you put into the leg openings? I've gotten this far! :)

  30. i'm having problems piecing my pattern as well. anyone have any tips. Thanks

  31. Thank you so much. thank goodness for Google. Just what I was looking for. I bought the bonnet pattern as well.

  32. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  33. I've been looking everywhere for this pattern!! Is there any chance at all that you might add this pattern to your etsy shop with different sizes?

  34. Thank you for this pattern. I really enjoyed making it. I am teaching myself to sew and I found your instructions really easy to follow. Here is a link to my blog post where I have some photos:

  35. I also cannot figure out how to piece the pattern pieces together. I checked my one inch guide and it was correct but none of the pieces match up...Bummer

  36. Little Betty, can you please help? Im totally new to sewing and was wondering 1) are seam allowances included 2) how would you go about modifiying the pattern so its bigger and 3) can I just sew the crotch closed or do I need to add more length when I cut the fabric to start with? Thanks for a fantastic pattern and your time making it, I love it!

  37. I also had some problems figuring out how to piece the pattern together. Mine printed out with a good bit of over lay. Once I figured that out I could match up the lettering and over lap the pieces. They piece together into one larger square/rectangle. Maybe Little Betty could add a picture of the pieces taped together?
    Thanks for the adorable pattern, can't wait until my granddaughter is big enough to fit it!!

  38. What are the seam allowances

  39. Looking forward to making this! In regards to some of the others that had a little trouble piecing it together, there are two pieces (one sorta like the back top of thigh area and one that would fit just on top I think)that mean nothing (and by that, if you were to puzzle them in, they add nothing to the pattern.) The third curvy piece, one fits on top of the other (it doesn't matter, I think) so that the word "fold" show through on one side and the other opposite end extends about and inch and a half from the piece that says "fold". I think this is right and I hope this helps others... I too realized that something was amiss! Super cute pattern though. Can't wait to make it!

  40. It's cute because she didn't realize how cute she looks wearing the cloths you made.

    -Zane of ontario honey

  41. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  42. I also cannot find the pattern link, is it still avaliable? I just had a baby girl and would love to make her a few (or a dozen! :)) of these gorgwous rompers! I promise to send you photos of them when they are made :)

  43. Don't worry, I got the 2nd option to work :) Will try it out this weekend! Thanks!

  44. Hey! I just want to tell you this is a fantastic pattern! I've sewn it twice now, and I plan on making heaps more! This was the first one when Eddie was still almost new: and this is the second one {she's 8 months now}

  45. Thank you so much for the great instructions. I am printing this and will be making it for my granddaughter that is due in late June 2013 - she, of course, will be too small for it this summer but look out 2014!! She will be styling and smiling!!You have made my day with this freebie. Bless your heart :)

  46. So I have never used a pattern before. I am so lost on how to put the printed pieces together. Can someone help?

    1. cory, print them all out. The pieces overlap one another. Tape them together and then cut them out. The front will look like a bathing suit folded in half lengthwise if you line it up correctly. The back will look like the front version folded in half vertically. I hope that helps.

  47. I absoultely love this sunsuit and as soon as I finish this post, I will purchasing that cute bonnett! Thanks for sharing

  48. Thank you so much for sharing this! I would love to be able to show you my creation- it is absolutely darling! Your directions are so clear and so thorough that I was able to make this- and I've NEVER made clothes of any type before! I've never used elastic like this, never added snaps- nothing- and I was able to do it in a day! I am so proud of myself- and I've only been sewing for a little over a year!!
    I did make a few tiny changes here and there- the buttons I attached to the suit body itself and added the buttonholes to the straps. I added a 4th ruffle (how could I not with that CUTENESS?!?) and the next one I make I'm going to add a belt to the front. Thank you again so so much and I am definitely giving props to you for the pattern!

  49. I would LOVE to see bigger sizes come out if at all possible?

  50. Looks good............

    For more information about attorney general website and Website for 500, do check out my friend's website Website for 500. There's lots of useful information and he offers a complimentary service too!..

  51. That is so cute!!! Thanks for sharing your pattern...

  52. Thanks for sharing this lovely pattern. I am expecting a new baby granddaughter in May of this year and I will love making this Ruffle Sunsuit for her.

  53. Oh my this sunsuit is the cutest! Thanks for sharing! I look forwards to making this for my daughter :)

  54. I printed the pattern and cannot wait to try it this weekend!! Thanks for sharing this with us all. I will admit that the pattern was difficult to piece together but I was able to finally figure it out. It looks like it's more pieces than it really is. In case anyone else is wondering it should only be 3 pieces. I taped 1 of 4 to 3 of 4 together and then 2 & 4 together.
    Pay attention to the letters you will have to overlay them on top of each other to match up.

  55. I am in the process of making this now and the sides of front and back do not fit together correctly once you fold the back down to insert elastic as directed. That makes the front piece an inch to long on the sides. Please advise.


Thanks for leaving a comment. I love reading them, but don't always have the time to respond. Please email me if you have a pressing question :)