Thursday, April 12, 2012

Customized Iron-On Baby Bodysuits

Because I'm so lazy, I mean, busy, I'm cutting and pasting a post I did last week for the Etsy New York team blog. Hope you enjoy it. Now, back to being lazy.

This past weekend I went to a good friend's baby shower. In the weeks leading up to the party, I had it in the back of my mind to make a meaningful gift for the baby, whose gender remains a mystery. Alas, time ran away from me, and with just a few days left before the shower it was clear I wasn't going to be making any hand stitched quilts or fabric alphabet baby books. But I'm a firm believer in hand made gifts whenever possible (and its always possible, if you ask me), so I settled on something that was quick and easy to make, and also very practical.

I customized these bodysuits by making iron-on labels with images of vintage album covers that I found online. The easiest way to do this is to print your images onto inkjet fabric transfer paper which then irons right onto fabric. (Make sure you reverse any images that include text in photo editing software before you print!) I opted instead for printing onto sew-on printable fabric sheets, because the "paper" is actually fabric and has, in my opinion, a nicer look and feel than the iron on transfer paper. Its also got better longevity through multiple washings, and baby clothes get washed a lot! Printed Treasures is a brand that makes printable fabric, and they have both sew-in and iron-on versions. I happened to already have a pack of the former in my studio, but I wanted to iron the album art on. So I attached a sheet of fusible web onto the back of my images and turned them into iron-ons. Here's what I did, step by step:

First, I selected six vintage album cover images, scaled them each down to about three by three inches in Photoshop and fit them all onto a single page, making sure to leave room for a thin white border around each one. Next I printed it out onto a sheet of sewable inkjet photo paper. The instructions suggest rinsing the paper in cold water for a couple of minutes and letting it air dry before use, to wash out any remaining ink on the top layer of the fabric.

When the fabric was dry I ironed a sheet of double sided fusible web onto the back. There are several brands of fusible web available; I am partial to Steam A Seam 2 for making iron-ons.

Using a straight edge ruler and rotary cutter, I cut out all six images.

I used double sided fusible web, so before ironing the applique onto the romper I peeled away the backing.

Then I ironed on my homemade applique following the manufacturer's instructions for the fusible web.

When I was finished I rolled each of the bodysuits up and tied it with a pretty ribbon, then wrapped the whole lot of them in tissue paper.

As a finishing touch I made a final applique with this vintage image of mother, father and baby with a caption that reads "Now We Are Three", and put it onto a cloth drawstring bag. I put all of the rompers inside the bag, which my friend can reuse to store blocks, dolls or Lego later on down the road.


  1. It’s a good sharing! There are many different styles tempting bodysuits on sale in the store online