Baby Tuxedo Pattern

Hello, everyone!

Gosh, it’s been a long time hasn’t it! I am so sorry about the silence over here on my end! I wasn’t aware that when you add a third child to the mix, the hours you have in a day decrease by about ten, but somehow they do. Don’t ask me the physics of it, but it’s science! Let that be a warning to you all! Ha! But seriously I have felt like I have so very little time it’s difficult to feel like I’m making progress on things. But I need to give myself a dose of grace because I am accomplishing things, even if at a slower rate than ever before. I even have a small (and growing) stack of things I’ve made for me that need to be blogged, but I just haven’t gotten around to taking photos. I will get there someday, promise!

Meanwhile, here are some photos of my delicious, tuxedo-clad gentleman. (It’s much easier to take pictures of a cute baby than of my post-partum self). I made his tuxedo! (Well, and I guess I made him too:).

So, in my church we don’t do christenings but we do something called a baby blessing which is just basically an opportunity to officially give the child a name as well as a blessing, which is kind of like a prayer only one that gives gifts (or blessings, hence calling it a blessing). Every blessing is different. It’s a special day for the baby and the baby’s family. Traditionally, the baby wears white, though that’s not really necessary.

When my twin and I were blessed as babies (did you guys know that? I have a twin!) my grandma made my twin (who’s a boy) the sweetest little tuxedo to wear for his blessing. My brother has since used that same tiny tuxedo to bless his own sons and I always thought I’d borrow it to use for Owen. But the original, grandma-made tux is in South Dakota (where my twin lives) and in the end we didn’t think it would fit Owen, so wouldn’t be worth shipping to us. So I had to make my own!

Luckily, I found this pattern on Etsy. As far as I can tell, there’s nothing like this, so I was super glad to have found this one! You only get one size when you purchase the pattern so make sure you are buying the right one for you. I bought the Large, meant for babies 11-13 pounds (and at his two month appointment, Owen was 11 lbs 11 oz). It isn’t the exact same design as the one my grandma made, but I’d say it’s pretty close, and I tried to copy the original where I could.

Sewing this pattern wasn’t necessarily a breeze or anything, but as with anything tiny, no step really takes all that long. But there were a lot of steps. The instructions were enough to get you through the project but they definitely don’t hold your hand, so it’s most helpful if you have some experience with garment sewing so you can intuit in the places where there’s less explanation. There wasn’t any part that tripped me up, but I did have to read through some of the steps a couple times to make sure I understood. There were a few points where the instructions told you to use your overlocker, but otherwise it doesn’t instruct on finishing seams, so I just did that as I went where I thought it was necessary.

As far as order of construction goes, you sew the top first, then the pants, then you connect the two. At this point I put the jumper onto Owen to see how it fit and it was big, mostly in the pants. So I unpicked where the pants and shirt were connected and I started chopping. I took 1/2 an inch from the bottom of the shirt. I took 1 inch from the top of the pants and 1 1/4 inch from the bottom of the legs. I was actually happy to take off the hem because it looked a bit of a train wreck and looks much better now. And it fits much better too! Fit for baby clothes isn’t nearly as finicky as it becomes for adults. Hacking away and resewing takes time but not very much brain power, so not too big a deal.

There aren’t a ton of pictures on the pattern listing and, in fact, there are no photos of the back so here are some pictures of the back of the jumper and the jacket:

The buttons on the front of the shirt are functional and that’s how you get the baby in and out. There is elastic in the back, as you can see in the pictures, to help with fit. And there is snap tape along the inseam of the pants for diaper changes.

I did change the tails pretty drastically on the jacket. The pattern had the top of the tails extend around the body, about an inch or two from the edge of the front. Also they were drafted to be rather squarish in my opinion and I didn’t love the look. But since my experience with tuxedo tails sits exactly at zero, I wasn’t sure if there is a correct way to “do tails.” I did some googling and it would appear that tails are much like anything in the fashion world-do whatever the heck you want. And I wanted these tails to be smaller and more curved. I had a photo of the back of that infamous Original Tuxedo (should I say it again? That mY GraNdmA madE) and I tried to copy that as best I could. I altered the pattern piece and then just kind of continued to slice off slivers until they looked good to me. As they are now, the tails start probably about 3/8ths of an inch in front of the side seam. If I did it again, I’d probably try to alter them so they just start right at the side seam, but whatever. I am pleased with the shape of the tails! Ha! Who knew I had such a strong opinion on these?

One other place where I went rogue and didn’t follow the pattern was for the bow tie. The pattern piece for the bow tie is just one long skinny rectangle, which is supposed to make up the band and the bow. I knew this wouldn’t create a very full bow tie, so I just kind of made one up, loosely following the instructions in this tutorial (obviously altering dimensions to fit a baby). And for the first time ever, I was able to give Ben the opportunity for twinning! I made him a matching bow tie, using the above tutorial for the adjustable bow tie. Ben and I agreed that next time I’ll make the bow a little bigger, but otherwise the instructions were great. The satin was a bit slippery, so next time I use a similar fabric, I’ll interface it!

So the sewing did take some time and require a bit of tweaking. But when we finally put the whole outfit on, it was heart eye emojis all around. Owen looked so adorable in his little tuxedo. I guess that’s another benefit of sewing clothes for babies: the baby makes the finished product shine.

As far as fabric goes, I bought the blue satin from Hobby Lobby and everything else from Joann. I wanted the baby blue satin specifically to copy cat my twin’s version.The pattern photos show plastic snap tape and that’s what I wanted, since it’s all white. But Joann didn’t have it, so I got the metal but that ended up being great because I didn’t have to worry about melting when ironing. The pants and jacket are made from some bottom weight something or other (mom brain is a real thing) and the top made from a poplin shirting. Both had a small amount of stretch to them, and I don’t think that was a big deal while constructing. I didn’t have the elastic size called for, so I used one that was slightly different and that was fine. And then I didn’t quite know where to place the buttons on the jacket since I altered the tails so much, so in an act that is adequately representative of my life right now, I just forgot about them and left them off!

Anyway, there were some small issues with the pattern drafting, but I don’t think there was anything that would totally throw off the results of someone less experienced. The project took some time, but I was really happy with the end results.

Pattern: Baby Tuxedo pattern from Twirlybird Patterns
Size: Large
Adjustments: Removed half inch from bottom of top, one inch from top of pants and 1 1/4 inch from hem of pants. Also adjusted the jacket accordingly (so half inch from top and 1 inch from top of tails). Changed tails curve
Fabric: shirting and bottom weight fabric from Joann, snap tape from Joann, satin from Hobby Lobby, buttons, elastic and thread from stash
Cost: Pattern cost $10. And I can’t remember the cost of the fabric and notions, sorry! Probably between $20-$30.
Would I make this pattern again?: Yes, if the need arose, I would make it again

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