I am so excited to show you my special method for sewing a beautifully neat and very comfortable snap crotch for your Rowan bodysuit! I must admit I have seen a lot of snap crotch finishes and didn’t really love them. The thing that is great about this method is that there is no fussy fiddly topstitching stitching, the crotch facing is sewn all in one go, and is perfectly neat and fully enclosed. I think you’re going to love it as much as I do!
For your facing, you can basically use any leftover scraps of fabric you have. I’ve used cotton poplin, voile, and even silk cotton. It’s up to you, pretty much any lightweight woven fabric will do fine. Another thing you’ll need is some snaps. In this tutorial, I’ll use sew-in snaps, since they are the most readily available – but I also use Kam snaps for most of mine, as I have a press (from when I imagined I would make some nappies) and they’re fast and easy to install.
Alright, let’s get to it!
Cut two pieces of elastic as per the lengths indicated on the sizing chart.
Mark the halfway point of each elastic piece. You can do this with a pen or pins.
Pin the elastic to the wrong side of the bodysuit leg opening, ½” (1.25cm) from the raw edge. Line up the halfway point of the elastic with the side seam of the bodysuit. Line up the ends of the bodysuit with the opening edges of the crotch. Pin in place.
Sew along the elastic, right through the middle, using a wide zig-zag stitch, stretching as you sew so that the elastic and fabric line up. The leg opening along the back will gather up more than the front of the leg opening.
Please note that I would definitely recommend matching your thread colour to your fabric. In this tutorial, I am sewing with white thread so that it is easy for you to see what I am doing, but I wouldn’t usually do this, matching thread looks much nicer.
Fold ¼” (0.6cm) along the top edge of both bodysuit facing pieces [11 and 12] and press. I used some logo fabric that I bought a while ago, and I think it adds a really cute touch!
Turn the bodysuit right side facing outwards. Place the bodysuit facings on the crotch openings with right sides together. Take care that you place the front-facing on the front crotch opening and the back facing on the back crotch opening. The notches on the bottom of the facing pieces should line up with the centre of the bodysuit crotch.
Beginning at the top edge of the facing, sew down the side of the leg opening using a straight stitch, 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge. Stop ¼” (0.6cm) from the bottom edge and pivot. Continue sewing ¼” (0.6cm) along the bottom edge of the facing till you reach the other side. Pivot then sews back up the other side of the facing 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge.
The elastic should not be caught in your sewing and should sit just inside the seam allowance as you sew.
Clip the corners of the facings and trim the seam allowance back along the bottom edge.
Turn the facings the right way around, and using a pointing tool push the corners out neatly. Press the facings.
You can turn the edges of the leg opening in when you are sewing, but here I’ve turned them over and pinned them so you can see what is going to happen.
Using a zig-zag stitch and beginning along the top edge of one of the facings, sew along the top edge of the facing, attaching it to the bodysuit. Once you reach the leg opening, pivot. Turn the edges of the leg opening in, and zig-zag along the raw edge encasing the elastic, stretching as you sew so that the two pieces of fabric lay flat whilst sewing. This will prevent stitches from ripping in the future.
When you reach the other facing, pivot and sew along the top edge of the facing, attaching it to the bodysuit. Then pivot at the leg opening once again, sewing along the raw edge with a zig-zag stitch, turning the edges of the leg opening in, and stretching as you sew so that the two pieces of fabric lay flat whilst sewing.
Sew snap closures or hook and eye closures along the crotch opening. In the instructions we say that the front crotch edge should overlap the back crotch edge by 5/8” (1.5cm), however, you can sew the snaps so that the back crotch edge overlaps the front crotch if you find that easier to do up. There isn’t a right or a wrong here, do what you will be more comfortable putting on and off. You may use as many snaps as you desire, we recommend three.
In this tutorial, I’ve shown sewn-in snaps, but you may also use hammer-on snaps or a snap press.
That’s it! now you know how to sew a beautifully neat and super comfortable snap crotch for your Rowan bodysuit!
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We’d love to see what you’re creating from the Rowan bodysuit and tee pattern or the Rowan Curve bodysuit and tee pattern! Don’t forget to tag your creations #MNRowan and @megannielsenpatterns to share what you’ve been working on, and check out what everyone else is up to!