How to make a summer romper suit (quick & dirty pattern mod!)

Looks like we may be having a summer over here. Guess I was slightly unprepared in terms of baby clothes – we only usually get a week or two of sun so I hadn’t anticipated needing many light summer clothes. It’s been hot and muggy for the last week and Ellie was in need of something light to wear. I ran up a quick summer romper suit by modifying the Easy Bloomers pattern.

 

 

Here’s how I made my summer baby romper:-

1) When cutting out the easy bloomers pattern (download for free here) add extra height to the top of the waist. I made size 3-6 months and added ca. 2.5″ onto the top. You should add between 2-5″ here depending on which size you are making for but it is better to have more fabric than less. I cut my legs an extra 1″ longer on the pattern.

2) In a contrasting fabric, cut trim for the legs, top and waistband. I cut these strips 2.25″ thick (apparently, after I’d measured them with a tape – I had used the tried and trusted method of ‘going by eye’). I gauged (guessed – ahem) the lengths by lining up with the piece I had already cut. Basically if you cut the leg trim on a fold the same as the leg width of the bloomer then it will be correct. The waist and top trim need to be a lot longer to go all the way around the body- their length should be 4 x the width of the bloomer top as folded (or 2 x the width of the top when laid flat). An extra strip this length, then cut into 2, will make the straps.

To make the pattern even easier you could omit the contrasting trim, use hems instead and just cut one strip to make a waistband. I just wanted my romper slightly more fancy (for not much more work).

3) Sew the bloomer front and back seams but only sew half way up on one of the sides – to leave an opening.

4) Cut fabric and interfacing pieces for the romper openings at the back and legs (to secure popper fastenings). I measured my pieces by eye again – laying the opening near to my fabric and cutting. You may want to use chalk/fabric pen to mark the curved opening on the legs before cutting. I allowed about 2.5″ thick on the strips and cut them down after I’d fitted in place. These pieces aren’t sewed on yet – it is just easier to measure and cut them at this point.

5) Add leg trim. Fold the trim piece in half across the length and then pin and sew onto each leg edge, right sides facing.

 

6) Repeat for the top edge but start pinning from the centre seam and the middle of the trim strip. You should end up with a bit of trim overhanging at the edges – this will be tidied up later but don’t cut it down!

 

7) Now add the waistband casing by adding to the top of the romper, tucking the sides under along the length. The finished width will depend on how thick you need to make this to fit your elastic (I used 2 cm elaxtic). I pinned mine in place by starting at the top of the back opening. I used patterned fabric which made it very easy to gauge if I was pinning the band in place evenly as I followed the design. You can cut any excess trim off this piece so that it sits even with the fabric opening edge.

8 ) Add elastic to each trim casing. I added 5 mm thick elastic on my legs and top and 2 cm on the waist. (Kirby grips are great for threading the thin elastic if you don’t have a bodkin to hand).

 

Thread elastic – stitch securely into place at one end – pull to desired tightening (I normally aim for the exact circumference around the legs and top so that it doesn’t mark the skin by being tight, and about 0.5″ less than exact waist measurement to give a nice shape but again, not too tight). Stitch elastic into place at the other ends of each casing.

9) Add edge and interfacing to the bottom leg openings by pinning and sewing in place right sides facing with the interfacing on top. I used a minimal seam and not the 1/2″ allowed in the pattern because these bottom edges need to overlap when the snap fasteners are added.

 

10) Turn these pieces of lining over so that wrong sides are together and top stitch the edge. You also need to turn over the edges of the leg trim and topstitch along with this piece to give a nice edge.

11) Repeat for the back opening in the same manner. Tuck the excess overhanging trim fabric on the top under itself to give a nice edge and topstitch in place as with the legs.

 

12) Stitch the straps together down the length, right sides facing (I used 3/8″ seam here) and turn right side out. Pin into place on the front and back, adjust for the correct length and stitch to the main romper bodice.

 

13) Add snap fasteners along the bottom leg opening and the back opening and you are finished!

I however, decided that I wasn’t finished at this point and went on to add a simple bow to the front of my summer baby romper. I call this the ‘Daddy Bow’. Because on the rare occassion that he may have to dress baby, having a bow on the front of an outfit can help Daddy to identify the front, which can be especially confusing when the poppers fasten at the back. The Daddy bow is not foolproof however. Baby still sports the odd back-to-front outfit no matter how many bows are on the front (and end up down her back) ;-)

To make the bow I cut another 2.25″ strip. 6″ long. Seamed up and turned as for the straps. Folded the sides of the bow into the centre and stitched in place.

I then cut another short strip the same and wrapped around the bow, stitching in place by hand and then stitching to the centre of the romper waist.

The finished article:-

The more astute amongst you may have noticed that baby gained an extra frill on her romper in the very first picture! I added this later as I decided it needed a thicker trim at the top to balance out the thicker waistband trim. I’m not sure it does need it – I quite like both incarnations of this romper. It does show the potential for varying this design though.

 

You could add frills and embellishments until the cows come home to really make this super simple pattern into something super smart.

 

 

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One Response to How to make a summer romper suit (quick & dirty pattern mod!)

  1. Sarah Latham says:

    This is exactly what I have been looking for! thank you!

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