Adding Snaps to Toddler Overalls
There is an abundance of cute little overalls sold for toddlers. Unfortunately, many of them don't include snaps inside the legs. If you've ever tried to change the diaper on an active toddler, you can understand why mothers love those snaps. Don't despair. You can buy those cute overalls and put the snaps in yourself.
The easiest thing to use is special snap tape that already has the snaps at regular intervals on the tape. If you can't find snap tape or you want sturdier snaps, you will need ½″ twill tape and snaps. You have a choice between snaps that you stitch onto the tape or snaps with rivets that you will hammer into place.
Removing the Seams
Begin by ripping out the stitches on the inseams. If the seam is a flat felt seam, which it is likely to be, there will be two rows of stitching to remove. Don't be tempted to simply trim the seam away. You will need all the fabric or you will be reducing the size of the overalls. You will need to take out about 1″ or 2″ of the hem on either side of these inseams as well.
Press the seam allowance flat, and trim away any loose threads. If there are frayed areas, trim them away, cutting the allowance as straight as possible.
Put snaps on the outside back and underside front.
Adding the Tape
Begin with the front of the overalls. You will want to use the tape to turn the raw edge of the inseam to the back. The twill tape will end up on the underside of the fabric. Place the edge of the twill tape on the edge of the right side of the inseam. They should only overlap about ¼″. The tape should extend all the way to the raw edge of the hem allowance.
If you are using snap tape, the side with the snap parts should be right side up as well. You may need to use a zipper foot to keep from hitting the snaps and making your stitches crooked.
Stitch close to the edge of the tape. Press the tape to the underside of the overalls and stitch along the other edge.
You will want the front piece to overlap the back to snap. Therefore, the tape and snaps on the back half of the overalls legs will need to be on the right side of the fabric. For that reason, you will need to overlap the tape along the seam allowance edge having the wrong side of the fabric facing you. Again, the business side of the tape should be right side up if you are using snap tape. Also, be sure you are starting at the same distance from the first snap as you started with the other half so the snaps will line up.
Stitch close to the edge of the tape. Press the tape to the front side of the fabric and stitch along the other edge. Repair the hem.
They may sound difficult, but rivet snaps are really fairly easy to use, and they stay snapped better than the regular kind. Once you get the hang of them, they also go in faster than the ones you sew. Read the directions on the back of the package, and see if they are something you want to try.
If you used snap tape, the overalls are done. If not, you must add the snaps next. Mark their placement on the tape. Putting one on either side of the crotch seam, even if they are only 1″ apart, is a good idea. You will also want one at the very bottom of each leg. If you are riveting the snaps and are afraid the hem will be too thick, place them just above the hem. Place the rest evenly between these four snaps, at intervals of about 2″.
If you are sewing on your snaps, sew them to the twill tape. If you are riveting, follow the directions that come with your kit. The caps or rings will be against the fabric, and the snaps themselves will be on the twill tape.