Welcome to my first sew-along!
We are making a Jon Jon (also known as romper, longall, or shortall). To get started, you’ll need the Johnny Pattern from Children’s Corner. This is a great pattern and easy to customize once you get the hang of it! I’ve made them by the dozens, each one different, each one special. You are going to love this finished garment. It is one of the first outfits I made for C. And now with Baby Q about to turn 9 months old, I’ve got to get busy whipping these up again!
New to sewing? Don’t worry! This is easy and if you have any questions, just post them in the comments section.
Let’s get started!
GOAL: Today we will prepare our fabric and the pattern.
Step 1: The first thing you want to do is wash and dry your fabric. This is very important. You want the fabric to shrink before you sew it together, not after.
Step 2: Iron the fabric. And leave your ironing board set up by the sewing machine, we are going to need it as we go along.
Step 3: I come from a family of Sewists and this tip came from my Aunt Margaret… and thank goodness! When I started sewing children’s clothes (something I found very intimidating and wasn’t sure I could pull off) she suggested I head to the nearest craft or art supply store and get a roll of tracing paper to trace my patterns. I bought that roll two and half years ago and am still working on it!
By tracing your patterns onto tracing paper, you can use the same pattern over and over and over again without the risk of ripping or ruining the original pattern and still have access to all of the sizes a pattern offers. This also allows you to customize your pattern while still holding onto the original. Trust me, trace your patterns and cut them out of tracing paper. You’ll be as grateful as I am that Aunt Margaret gave me that little tip!
For Baby Q., I am tracing the size 9 months pattern.
Simply, lay the pattern on the table. Lay the tracing paper over top. With a sharp pencil, trace the pattern as precisely as you can.
TIP: If a single pattern piece is meant for both your main fabric and your lining, I go ahead and trace this piece twice. That way I can pin and cut the main fabric and leave it pinned to the pattern. I pick up the extra I traced and pin in to lining fabric and cut. And it, too, can stay pinned to the pattern piece until I am ready to sew it. For me, this cuts down on confusion when it’s time to sew the pieces together. In this case I would end up with four pattern pieces: one for the lining front, one for the main fabric front, one for the lining back, one for the main fabric back).
Step 4: Cut out your pattern pieces.
Step 5: Fold your fabric. Look at the fold guide included in the instructions. This shows you how to fold your fabric and where to position the pattern pieces. You want the selvages together (the ends that were finished by the manufacturer not the ends that were cut at the store) and the good side of your fabric on the inside. Once folded you should be seeing the wrong side of your fabric.
Step 6: Place your pattern pieces (a front and a back piece) on the main fabric (folded in half) according to the instructions. Pin. Cut. Since I am using a print for Baby Q’s Jon Jon, I am cutting out each piece one at a time, so my center seam will line up in the tree branches and not in the middle of an owl. You can perfectly match your prints, but in some cases you can compromise and (for me) this is one of those times.
Step 7: Repeat step four, using your lining fabric.
Step 8: Pin the front pieces, right sides together, along the center front seam (the curved edge). Do the same for the two back pieces along the center back seam.
We made it through Day 1!
Tomorrow, we’ll start sewing and the Jon Jon will really take shape.
In the meantime…Any questions? Something unclear? This is my first sew-along, please don’t hesitate to let me know if I need to clarify! Click here to follow Day 2 instructions.