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Interchangeable Bowtie Onesie….with Attached Suspenders (2 variations)

Oh my word……I’m completely loving this whole “boy” change-of-pace.  It causes me to think a little more because, well, creating ruffled skirts and flower accessories just pops right into my head.  The boy stuff……well, I have to play around with it a little more.  I think that’s why one of the top requested projects that I get asked to do around this blog, are BOY projects.  Because there’s a lot less out there.  So, I’ve had twice the reason to create boy things lately.  A baby boy in my belly…….and plenty of you out there with little guys of your own! :)


And something that is fun and easy about a little girl, are all the accessories you can put on her.  But who says boys can’t accessorize?!!


Today’s idea originated from some headbands I used to make Elli when she was a baby (7 years ago).  I would make her a main headband with a snap on it and then added snaps to flowers and bows so that I could change them around, without having a billion headbands.  It was fun, it kept me busy, and I adored making (and selling) them.  I remember thinking back then, that I needed to figure out something similar for boys, so that I can sell those too.  That’s when the bowtie on a shirt idea sprouted…….but then my selling days ended, so it never came to be.  It wasn’t until recently that I saw somethings very similar at a little craft fair and it reminded me of that old idea I had.  I guess my idea wasn’t so original (funny how that happens…..all the time. ha!).  So, I was excited to play around with it once we found out there was a Little Mister growing in my belly.


So, here they are……some interchangeable accessories for BOYS! 


Add some suspenders on top of that……and I can’t control the gushing. :)




I mean, really, you could create hundreds of these little bowties, one in every color of the rainbow.  And switch them out for whatever outfit you’re trying to put together.  Keep it casual, make it fancy….whatever!  Hey, girls have 12 colors of tights, 37 hairbows, and shoes of every variety…..maybe we need to have a little more fun with the little fellas! :)





 I created TWO suspender variations……and both are secured right to the comfy little onesie.  Nothing will fall off the shoulder, there’s nothing much to adjust, and the cutie-pie factor??…’s kinda WAY up there!




The suspenders with the clips are sewn partially onto the onesie, with the lower portion free to clip to a pair of pants/shorts.  Also, I added a couple snaps so that the suspender length could be adjusted.  Even if I never adjust them, I kind of love the look of the added metal!




Add some jeans, switch up the bowtie……….and your little guy is ready to go!




The other suspender type has some simple metal fasteners on each side, that kinda dangle…….just to give the look of a suspender adjuster.  And well, mostly because it makes it pop!




This suspender type doesn’t move or adjust.  So, you could wear this Onesie plain (especially in the hot summer)……but oh golly, add some little shorts, and ACK, be still my heart!!




What I love about these little Bowtie Onesies is that you could fancy them up, add a sweater, some nice shoes, etc…….OR, you can keep it really chill and cozy.  (And, once the Onesie gets too small, add a snap to a bigger Onesie…..and you still have plenty of little bowties to use.)





Okay, I’m having too much fun dreaming about putting these little outfits on this baby of mine.  So, I need to stop before I get too carried away.  :)


And yeah, this project may not be a necessity by any means, but you know, it’s just kind of fun to create cute little boy things for the little dudes that you know!


So go on…….and have fun with it!






Want to make some Bowtie Onesies….with Suspenders??


 The measurements for the bowties below were created for a 3-6 month size Onesie.  If you’re creating a different size, adjust as needed. (But most likely this same size bowtie will work all the way to 12 months.  Or maybe even 18 months.)


Okay, let’s get started. 


To help reinforce the snap on the Onesie (and so that it doesn’t tear through the Onesie after pulling the bowties on and off) cut 2 circles of woven cotton fabric (which doesn’t stretch as much as the Onesie fabric) that are 2-3 times bigger than the snap.




Place the circles on the inside of the Onesie, right behind where you attach the snap.  (Need help attaching a snap?)






For each bowtie, cut a rectangle that is 2 1/4 x 3 1/2 inches and another one that is 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches.  (I used regular woven/quilting cotton for the bowties….but you can get creative and use satin for a fancier occasion.)



Fold the bigger rectangle in half lengthwise and sew into a tube (along the 7 1/2 inch sides), using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Then, turn right side out and iron flat……with the seam pressed open along one side of the flattened tube.



Fold the flattened tube in half, matching up the two raw ends and sew the two ends together….using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.



Turn this newly formed circle right side out and open up the raw edges that are on the inside of the circle.



Flatten the circle, keeping the raw edges open and along the center of the flattened circle.  Sew a seam down the center, keeping the flattened circle in place.



Make mini accordion folds along the center of the sewn seam, creating a pinched bow shape.



Wrap the pinched center with thread several times and then knot n the back, keeping the center pinched tight.



Fold the smaller rectangle in half lengthwise and then open up and fold the outer edges in towards that center fold……just like when you fold an iron strips of bias tape.



Attach a snap to one end of the folded strip, about 3/8 of an inch from the end. (Need help attaching snaps?)  Just be sure that you are attaching the opposite snap piece from what you attached to the onesie.



Wrap the non-snap end of the strip around the center of the bow first, positioning it so that the snap end finishes at the back side of the bow.  Tuck the 3/8 inch raw end under the snap and hold in place with your finger.



Hand stitch the tucked end in place…..making sure that the snap ends up centered along the back side of the bow.  (Need help with hand stitching?)



Secure the fabric strip right at the center of the pinched bow (so that it doesn’t shift around) by stitching some of the bow together with the center strip.




Now, create several more bowties that you can swap out.



Onto the 1st suspender variation:


For the suspenders with the clips, cut two strips of fabric (I used woven/quilting cotton) that are about the same length as the onesie (to be sure you have enough length) and are 2 inches wide.



Fold each strip in half lengthwise, sew together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and then turn each tube right side out.  (Need help turning a tube right side out?)  Then, press each tube flat, with the seam running down one edge of the flattened tube.



Place each of the strips along the front of the onesie, tucking the top end behind the shoulder flap of the neckline.  Pin in place.



Slide the suspender clip onto the strip and decide how long you’d like your suspenders (holding up a pair of pants or trying on your subject is helpful).  Then, fold the excess fabric up and out of the way, while you decide where to add your snaps.  Keep in mind that the child wearing this onesie will grow and offering 2-3 adjustment snaps will lengthen the time that this onesie can be worn.  Plus, the snaps are a cute detail! :)  Place a pin at each snap location, to mark your spot.



Decide how long you need the end of your strip to be, so that it can properly reach each snap location and then cut off the excess fabric.  However, add an extra 1/2 inch to the length needed, tuck the 1/2 inch towards the inside of the tube and press flat with your fingers.  (Using a pin to tuck the raw ends towards the inside of the tube is helpful!)  Pin the end of the tube shut to hold in place.



Attach the snaps to your strip of fabric……right where the two pins were, marking your locations.  Repeat with the other strip of fabric.



Now, if I would have thought ahead, I would have waited to attach the snaps……and would have top-stitched around each of the strips, finishing them off and closing off each of the lower ends.  However, I didn’t….and had to sew really carefully next to the snaps, as I sewed around the bottom portion of each strip (NOT attaching it to the oneise).  But…… as I say, and not as I do, and top-stitch around each of the strips (without sewing it to the onesie) before attaching the snaps. 



Then, sew around the upper portion of the suspender….attaching it right to the onesie………stopping just below the arm pit section of the onesie.



While sewing along the very top edge of the strips that are hidden beneath the onesie neck line, sew a zig-zag strip to enclose the raw edges. 



Slide the suspender clips(circled below) onto the ends of each suspender strip and then attach the complimentary snap piece (the arrows below) to the strip ends.  Just be sure that the clip hardware and snaps are facing the correct way.



Snap your suspender ends in place.




Now, for the 2nd suspender option:


I purchased these metal fasteners at Hobby Lobby, a couple dollars for 6 fasteners.



First, I created suspender strips the same way as I did above.  Then, I plaecd a strip to the top of the onesie, tucking the top behind the flap of the neckline, the same way as above.  Next, I slid two of the fasteners onto the strip and positioned them right about arm-pit level……to be sure I liked the placement.



Then, I slid the metal fasteners off and attached the top half of each suspender to the onesie, the same way as above.



Then, I slid the fasteners back on and then pinned the rest of the suspender strips on down to the bottom of the onesie.



Then, I sewed the bottom half of each suspender down to the onesie.



I cut the bottom of each strip to the contour of the onesie…….and then sewed it down in place with a zig-zag stitch.




And that’s it!  Fun little bowtie Onesies….with some cutie-pie suspenders!


P.S.  I would hand-wash the bowtie real quick in the sink with soap and water instead of running it through the washer.  Yeah, spit up happens….but that’s okay.  The bowties would probably wash just fine in the washer…..but they would probably lose their cute shape and you’d have to steam them to get them to return to their original shape.  Just a thought I had…






Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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