The Life of Jennifer Dawn: Necktie Onesie or T-shirt Tutorial

Monday, July 23, 2012

Necktie Onesie or T-shirt Tutorial

The necktie onesie seems to have become a must-have, staple for every baby boy's wardrobe.  Due to having made a few changes in the way that I make these, I decided to redo my old necktie onesie tutorial.  Here is the new, updated version.  The necktie applique can be put on either a onesie for a baby or on a T-shirt for a toddler or older child.  You can also get as creative as you want with color and fabric combinations.  Here's how to make one of these cute articles of clothing for the little boy that you know and love...

  • pencil and paper
  • fabric
  •  T-shirt or onesie
  • scissors
  • iron
  • sewing machine
  • matching thread with both the fabric and onesie
  • seam ripper
  • heat set applique glue
  • thread end glue

1. Prewash, dry, and iron your fabric before beginning.  Also prewash and dry the onesie or T-shirt.  
2.  Draw and cut out a knot and tie shape from paper to make your pattern.  Pin the pattern pieces onto your fabric.  
3. Cut around the paper to make the necktie applique.  
4. Apply a thin, even coat of heat set glue to the backs of both applique pieces making sure to especially cover the edges and corners.  The heat set glue is not time sensitive, so you can take your time with this step.
5. Place the applique pieces in the desired position on the onesie or T-shirt and place a piece of paper in between and the front and back layers of the onesie or T-shrit to prevent the glue from seeping through to the back.  Activate the heat set glue by ironing over the applique with the iron set to the wool or cotton setting.  This permanently adheres it to the onesie or T-shirt.  
6. Thread your sewing machine.  Use the thread that matches the applique for the top spool and the thread that matches the onesie for the bottom bobbin.  (I used brown thread for the top spool and white thread for the bottom bobbin to make the necktie onesie shown in the pictures.)  Feed the neck of the onesie into your sewing machine.  Straight stitch around the edges of the applique.  I sew around both the knot and the tie separately.  Do not back stitch at the start and finish like you would normally when sewing.  This will allow you to use the seam ripper to pull the threads to the inside of the onesie or T-shirt.  Tie the loose threads together in a knot a few times for both the knot and tie.  Snip off the excess thread and use the thread end glue to secure the knotted threads.  
7. Iron over the applique one final time.  That's it!  Now you have a cute article of clothing for an even cuter little boy.

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Happy Sewing!


  1. These are so cute. I have made a couple but they always end up looking a little funky. Next time I'll try it using your tutorial. They make such great gifts. I also love you fabric choice.

    1. Michelle, Thanks! You're right the do make good gifts. If you are interested in the fabric, I got it from one of my sponsors...Raspberry Creek Fabrics and Trims.

  2. Sooo adorable! I'd love you to link up to my linky party going on here:


  3. I featured you today! Thanks for linking up--

  4. What happens if you don't wash the onesie and fabric?

    1. That's a great question! The fabrics shrink during washing. A basic rule for sewing is to preshrink any fabric before sewing with it. When making these, the onesie may shrink more than the applique fabric causing it to pucker. Once you've already washed everything, it is unlikely either fabric will shrink much more.

      Care instructions: Prewash, sew, turn inside out to wash, tumble dry low or lay flat to dry, iron if desired


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