16 June 2010

Summertime Romper Tutorial

I'm sorry this has taken so long to post.  Life is busier with everyone home, and I've also been a little worried about how to make the PDF not a pain to download, yet still usable.  I decided to go ahead and publish it in its current form, and then use your feedback and comments to help make the pattern better in the future.  That way we learn together.

My favorite part of this romper is that it is truly a blank canvas...you can embellish and decorate it to your heart's content.  I am really excited to see what you come up with.

I'll show you the main construction techniques first, and then show the differences between the boy and girl versions.  If any are interested, in a later post I'll show you the techniques I used to make the ruched panel and the pocket/applique.

As always, this is for personal use only.

Let's get started.

Gather your materials.  You'll need:
  • Your pattern. You can print that from HERE.
  • One yard of fabric. Pick something light like woven shirting, soft seersucker, or madras.
  • Four grabber snaps and tools to attach them.
  • Three buttons that coordinate.
  • Matching thread.
  • Light interfacing, a 12" by 12" square should be plenty.
  • One yard of 1/4" elastic for girly version. 
  • Scissors and seam ripper.
  • Sewing machine.
  • Hand needle and pins.
  • Iron and ironing board.

Step One.  Cut out your pattern pieces.  The front and back pieces are distinctly different.  Your version has you cut it out on the fold to reduce paper.  In the pictures you see my rough draft on newsprint.  Please note, the boy's button placket  needs 2 inches added to it's length.  I realized that as I've been writing, and didn't do that on the pattern until it was already uploaded...so be sure to add 2 inches to the button placket length.
With the crotch interfacing pieces, trim the outer edge 1/4"...as shown here:

You should have the following pattern pieces:

Girl version:
  • Front piece.
  • Back piece.
  • Button placket facing.
  • Three crotch facings.
  • Interfacing for two crotch facings, and that fits half of the button placket. 
Boy version:
  • Front piece.
  • Back piece.
  • Button placket facing.
  • One long neck facing.
  • Two short neck facings.
  • Three crotch facings.
  • Interfacing for two crotch facings, and that fits half of the button placket.  
  • Two leg cuffs, 14" by 1.5".
Time to sew!
Step One.  Prepare facings.

Button placket facing, Girl Version.
Find the middle/center of your back piece.  Iron to mark the center.  Also fold the button placket facing in half.  Make a cut down from the neckline that is the same length  as half of the placket.

Open up the cut you've made so that it is in a straight line.

Lay the button placket, right sides together, against the opening, and pin in place. 
Carefully sew the facing to the opening with a 1/4" seam, except when you reach the center point.  Here you'll sew as close as you can to the edge.

Lay the opening flat on your ironing board, and iron the seam toward the facing.
Take the interfacing you cut, and tuck it under the 1/4" fold.
Fold the facing back over in half, matching the folded edge with the seam.
Topstitch the facing over the seam.
Fold the placket and mark the closed position.
Congratulations!  You just completed the hardest step.  Aren't you glad the rest is easy? 

For the Boy Version.
Construction is exactly the same, except you leave an inch of facing sticking out above the neckline that will connect with the neck facings.

Crotch facings.  (If anyone has a better term, PLEASE SHARE!)  Instructions are the same for both versions.
Iron the interfacing to two of the crotch facings. 
With one facing, zigzag the outer edge.  With the two remaining, place right sides together, and sew the outer edge at 1/4".  Trim the edges as shown.
Turn the second set of facings right side out, and press.

Sew the single facing to the front romper piece.
Front of romper is now ready for the next step.

Back crotch facing.
Pin the facing to the right side of the back romper piece.  
Sew the facings together with a 1/4" seam.  Trim the curve as with the other facing, and zigzag stitch the seam edge.
Back facing is finished.

Step Two.  Sew the shoulder seams.
Match the shoulder seams, right sides together.  Sew with 1/4" seam.  I added some clear lastin to the seam to give some additional strength.  Zigzag stitch to finish the edge.  Press the seams to the back.

Step Three.  Attach the sleeves.
For boy version:
Before attaching the sleeves for the boy version, make a small rolled hem on each sleeve by ironing in 1/4".  Iron in again 1/4", and topstitch closed.
For both versions:
The sleeves are marked with a "front" and "back".  Place the sleeves so the right sleeve is in the right place.  
Carefully sew the sleeve into place, and finish the seam with a zigzag stitch.  Repeat for other sleeve. 

Step Four.  Sew the sleeve and side seams.
Pin together the side seams, right sides together.  Pin from the beginning of the sleeve to the end of the leg.  Repeat for  both sides. 
As you pin the side seams, you will find that there is a gap between the front and back at the leg.  This was to give a little extra fullness in the bum area.  Just trim the legs to match.

Step Five, Finishing arms, legs, and necklines:

For the girl version, elastic in neckline and leg hems. 
Both the neck and legs are finished in the same manner.  The neckline is finished with a small casing and elastic threaded through it.  Cut an 11 1/4" length of elastic for the neck, and two 9" lengths for the legs. 
 Use a locking stitch to secure the elastic on one side.  Fold over the casing with the elastic inside.
Stretch the elastic to reach the other side of the casing and lock stitch the elastic in place, just inside of the facing or placket.  Fold over the fabric to create a casing, and while stretching the elastic tight, sew the casing closed.  Stitch just on the inner edge of the casing. 

For the arms, cut two 8 1/4" lengths of elastic.  Sew each piece to itself, making a circle.
Iron over the edges of the arm sleeves 1/4" as with the other openings.
With the elastic tucked in, fold the fabric over again to create your casing.
Sew on the edge of the fabric, like a topstitch.  Sew all the way around the sleeve.
Repeat for other side.

For the boy version:
To finish the neckline, prepare the neck facings.
Carefully pin the facings to the neckline, matching the the shoulder seams.  Pin the edges of the facing to the button placket facing that is sticking above the neckline.
Sew the facing to the neckline with a 1/4" seam.  Clip the corner where the neck facings and button placket facings attach.  Turn the facings right side out, and finish the outer edge with a zigzag stitch.
Complete the neckline with a topstitch around the edge to hold everything in place.

Finishing the legs for the boy version.  Take the leg cuff pieces and iron in the short sides 1/4".
Pin the cuff to the leg, right sides together.  Sew with a 1/4" seam.  Iron the unfinished edge over 1/4", then iron over to match the fold to the seam.  Pin in place and sew along edge.
Finished cuffs.

Step Six.  Closures.
For button holes, lay out your buttons and determine where to place the buttons.
Final step...apply the snaps.
Update:  There is a great tutorial on snaps from Sew4Home if you need more info.
Repeat for the remaining sockets.
Transfer the location of the sockets to the other facing where the snaps will need to be.  I used pins and my pen to mark the spot.
Apply the snaps as you did the sockets.

You've completed the outfit.  I hope these instructions are somewhat clear.  I would love to hear your feedback so I can improve.  Please share your likes/dislikes, and suggestions, and as always, I love to see what you come up with.

Featured on Craft Gossip and Women Who Do It All.

Linked up to:  Someday Crafts, Women Who Do It All, Tea Rose HomeLife in my PJs, Just a Girl, Somewhat Simple, House of HepworthsA Few of My Favorite Things, Those Northern Skies, KoJo Designs, The Train to Crazy, Tatertots and Jello, and Creative Jewish Mom.

29 happy thoughts:

Diane said...

Thanks so much for this wonderful tutorial and pattern! I've found so many great patterns this summer for little girls but so few for boys. Now I can make my little grandson something too!

Julianna said...

This is great! I love rompers. I might have to try this for my little boy! Thanks!

Jess@craftiness is not optional said...

awesome tutorial, very detailed! thanks Chris!

memakingdo said...

Those are so adorable and great tutorial.

Anne Maskell said...

They are so sweet! The tutorial is fantastic. I'm visiting from TRH, hope you visit me too!

jamie said...

Wow! These are both so adorable! I love rompers and have been sad each time my boys grew to old to wear them.

Anne Maskell said...

Hi Chris! Thanks for your return visit! I'm your newest follower. Thanks also about your understanding comment about fibro. It helps to know someone understands! Please send your mum my best wishes, and all the best to you and your family. Anne

Decor To Adore said...

This project made me heart go pitter pat. Well done.

Rachel said...

Fantastic! And you included a pattern!! I'm so excited and ready to try this out!

Found you through Tea Rose Home


Suzanne said...

Both of these little rompers are so adorable. I also LOVE your refurbished sweater tutorial down below. So cute!

ByNightCreations said...

Wow, this is beautiful! thank you for the idea & the tutorial! I wish I had a baby boy ;-)

Craftcherry said...

Need to get much better tools for my grabber snaps (mine are horrible plastic...that work but take FOREVER). Once that is done my son might be wearing rompers for a while. :o) SO cute!

FrouFrouBritches said...

Precious!!! makes me wish I had one little enough for a romper!! Soo cute!

Andrea said...

Yay! I was planning to draft my own pattern and now i don't have to! THanks!!
Andrea @ TheTrainToCrazy.com

Melissa said...

Wow!! You are amazing... I can't believe the designing that you are doing lately - way too cool!!

Anonymous said...

Amazing tutorial, you make it look so easy! Great to have you again on Craft Schooling Sunday, hope to see you again this week! all the best!

celeste said...

chris! this is a fantastic tutorial. totally out of my league, but fantastic nonetheless. :) filing it under "someday".

lisatoronto said...

I just found your tutorial through google images-- what a beautiful project. It's so generous of you to share your patterns! :)

seemesew84 said...

Cute, cute, cute! I am featuring this on my blog! I can't wait to make one for my little guy!

Holly said...

Thank you for the great tutorial! I made one of these rompers and posted about it on my blog. http://interlacingloops.blogspot.com/2011/06/plaid-romper.html

S said...

Thank you for this tutorial! I sewed a romper today for my little boy (I just copied one he had) but I had a terrible time with the facings. I wish I'd read this first -- you explain the leg opening facings so well!

On the sleeveless one I made today, I made a large facing that combined the neck & arm facings, but I might try it this way and make one with sleeves. It really is easy to knock together one of these boy rompers - I'm not a good sewist, and it only took me 2.5 hours, start to finish.

Thanks for this very clear tutorial. It's so helpful!

Ginger said...

Love this tutorial show us more loving your blog!

Ginger said...

I love your blog, and will be back to see more.

sciencerant said...

This is adorable, and the instructions are generally quite good, but I couldn't figure out how to attach the neck facing to the button placket (for the boys' version). It looks like the pictures don't have the extra inch of button placket above the neckline!

Apollonie said...

This is so cute, and I'd love to make one for my son, but the pattern seems to have been removed? Is it still available anywhere?

Kelly said...

Is it possible to still get this pattern? I clicked on the link but it said the pattern was removed.

Thank you

Mama Afiya said...

Thanks for these patterns

chris said...

I've updated the link. I had to create a new upload site and re-scan the pattern (after digging it out of storage!) Let me know if you have any problems.

chris said...


I have updated the link to a google drive, which should work. Let me know if you have any problems.

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