Learn how to add a skirt to a baby bodysuit with this simple wrap skirt tutorial! A fun way to customize any bodysuit and a sweet handmade craft.
Hello Crafty Friends! I love sewing for my kids, especially when I can make something really cute I know they’ll get use out of. Today I’m excited to show you how to add a wrap skirt to a baby bodysuit (or Gerber Onesie). I have a bunch of fun bodysuits left over from my son that are in great shape and so cute I wanted to use them again for my daughter.
First off, it’s important to note there is no reason why I couldn’t have used my son’s bodysuits just as they were for my daughter. And I did for some of them! But on others, like this cute transportation bodysuit, I wanted to add a sweet skirt. At the time I made this outfit, almost seven years ago, it was really hard to find cute dresses with what are typically considered “boy themes”. So I had a lot of fun creating these cute outfits for my daughter.
I found a few tutorials online for adding skirts to baby bodysuits but each had me sew the skirt all the way around the bodysuit using ribbon or bias tape for a waistband. When I tried this method, it turned out adorable, but it was really difficult to get the bodysuit on and off my daughter. The ribbon and bias tape didn’t allow the bodysuit to stretch like it normally does making it a huge struggle.
To solve this I decided to create a wrap skirt! It is simple to make and instead of attaching the skirt all the way around the bodysuit, it is only attached along the backside. Below are the awesome reasons a wrap skirt is the way to go!
Why is a wrap skirt better than an attached skirt?
- It makes getting baby in and out of the bodysuit really easy.
- The skirt can be easily adjusted as baby grows by moving the Velcro fastener.
- The skirt is only attached along the back of the bodysuit so it can easily be taken off and moved to another bodysuit after baby outgrows the bodysuit.
Below is the tutorial on how to add a jersey wrap skirt to a baby bodysuit.
How to Add a Skirt to a Baby Bodysuit
- Baby bodysuit (my anchor bodysuit was Carters 6 months and the transportation one was Crazy Eight 6-9 months)
- Cotton jersey fabric – each skirt took me a little over 1/4 yard
- Double-fold bias tape
- Velcro fastener (1″ or 3/4″ width)
- Sewing Notions: straight pins, scissors, clear ruler, and thread
Step by Step Tutorial
Step One: Cut the bias tape waistband and jersey skirt. To figure out how long your waistband should be, lay your bodysuit out on top of your bias tape and determine how much bias tape you need to wrap around the suit. You will need enough bias tape for one side to overlap the other by a couple of inches. My bodysuit measured 8.25″ wide when laid flat. I cut a piece of bias tape that was 20.75″ long. There was 7″ extra on the left side and 5.5″ on the right side. This included 1″ on both sides for finishing off the ends of the bias tape.
For the skirt, cut a rectangle of jersey fabric. I cut my rectangle 8″ tall (so my finished skirt would measure 7.5″ tall) and 60″ wide, which was about triple the length of my waistband. You could also just double the waistband to get your width. It really depends on how full you want the gathers. I wanted the skirt to be full enough that it would not restrict any movement. For my transportation skirt, I had to make the skirt using two pieces of cotton jersey that measured 8″ x 30″ wide which created a seam in the back.
Step Two: Finish off the hem and sides of the skirt. Hem the entire width of your fabric rectangle by folding the bottom edge under 1/4″ and then another 1/4″, pressing the fold both times. Machine stitch using a small zig-zag and try not to stretch the fabric while sewing. Iron the hem from the wrong side of the fabric, being careful not to stretch the fabric while you iron.
Repeat this process for both sides of the skirt. Only the top edge of the skirt should be left unfinished.
Step Three: Attach the skirt to waistband. Start by adding two gathering stitches along the top of the skirt. I placed mine 1/4″ and 1/2″ from the top of the skirt using my longest machine length. Gather the skirt to the waistband leaving 1″ on either of the waistband free for finishing off.
Tip: My favorite way to gather skirts is to divide the waistband and skirt into four sections marked with a straight pin. Once they are divided into four equal sections, I match the straight pins in the waistband up with the straight pins of the skirt and I gather the sections to fit.
To equally divide your waistband and skirt into quarters, start by finding the center of each by folding it in half. Mark the halfway points with pins. The waistband now has two sections. Find the center of each of those sections, again by folding, and mark them with a pin. Your waistband is now divided into four equal parts. Repeat this process for the top of the skirt.
I like to attach my waistband to my ironing board to hold it into place so I can easily pull the gathering strings and gather the skirt to fit. Even out the gathers and pin in place. The skirt is then ready to be stitched along the top fold line of the bias tape.
Sew the waistband with right sides together along the top fold line of the bias tape. This way you can then fold the bias tape over to the wrong side of the skirt, completely concealing all seam allowance. After you have sewn the skirt to the waistband, you can pull out the gathering thread in case it is showing on the right side.
Step Four: Finish the waistband. Fold the bias tape over to the wrong side of the skirt and pin it in place. Stitch from the front side of the skirt along the line where the bias tape meets the skirt fabric, what I’ve always known as “stitching in the ditch”. Your stitching should be catching the bias tape on the wrong side.
Fold the end of the bias tape over and hand sew in place OR fold the ends under before stitching in the ditch like in the second picture.
Step Five: Attach the skirt to the baby bodysuit. Attach the skirt to the back of the bodysuit between the two side seams. Mark a line on your bodysuit where you want the skirt to attach. For me this was 1.5″ below the armpit. I marked this line with pins as to not put any permanent marks on my bodysuit. Top stitch the skirt onto the bodysuit along the top and bottom of the waistband only on the back of the bodysuit.
Step Six: Add a Velcro closure. Hand sew Velcro onto either end of the waistband. I always put the soft side on the flap facing the body so it is softer if it touches baby.
You can add fun embellishments to the outer side of the skirt to cover up where they overlap like fabric flowers or a cute felt car like I did for my transportation bodysuit. Just be sure not to add anything that could pose a potential chocking hazard to baby and make sure to use strong stitches and inspect the piece of clothing each time you use it.
The wrap skirt is all finished! Once you make one, it is fun to create others as the sewing is all simple straight stitching.