Isn't it adorable!? Here's the how-to after the jump...
Gather your materials... You'll need:
About a yard (+/- some, depending on the size of your child) of something adorably puffy and flowy.
3/8" elastic: 1 piece cut to snugly fit around your little cupcake's chest plus 1", 2 pieces to fit their ankles +1".
Thread, pins, safety pin, scissors, pinking shears, whatever your favorite sewing supplies are.
1. First, you need to measure your little cupcake and make your pattern piece. If you would like, you can use a pair of loose-fitting pants as a guideline, or a romper you already have. If you don't have either handy like I didn't, you can go ahead and do the following steps.
- a. Measure your cupcake from their armpit down to wherever you wanted the pants to end up on their legs, then add 2" for hems & finishing. I was really limited by the amount of fabric I had, since I was using leftovers from her Easter dress. This romper is a knicker length, but you can make it shorts, capris, pants, whatever you like.
- b. Measure around the chubbiest part of your cupcake, and add a few inches. The more you add, the fluffier it'll be. I added about 4" because we like fluff.
- c. Measure their inseam. I was limited by the amount of fabric so I ended up with knickers, but if you want long pants, measure to their ankle. If you want shorts, go for the knee.
- d. Make your pattern piece. It'll basically turn out to be a rectangle. I chose to make this not with a seam directly down the center like with pants, but a J-shaped cutout for the crotch area instead. Transfer your measurements to the paper, and notch out the leg & crotch area, as a large J shape. *Use 1/2 of their measurement from step B, because this will be cut on the fold.
- e. Cut out your pattern piece on the fold of your fabric. Do this twice, one for the front and one for the back. I missed the photo for this, but it'll look like a large rectangle with a U shape cut out right in the bottom-center.
e. Pattern on the fold.
- f. Ruffle: Whatever your measurements for step B were, cut a 4" wide strip to that same length (or cut 2 on the fold using the measurement from step D).
- g. Straps: Cut 4 strips 12"x3" each.
2. Assemble the front & back of the romper.
- a. Pin your pieces right side to right side. Sew up the sides and the leg/crotch area.
|a. Sew bodice together.|
|a. Sew crotch seam.|
- b. Finish your seams if you like. This was a linen fabric, so I zig-zag stitch down the sides to keep it from fraying.
|b. Serge or zig-zag seams to finish.|
- c. Make your straps. Fold the piece in half, press and open. Fold the edges into the center fold,press. Then fold that piece in half and press. Sew down each side with a nice top seam. You can either finish the end that ties, or tie a knot in the bottom. I did both.
|c. Making the straps.|
- This is where mine got a little wonky because of my fabric-shortage issue. If you have enough fabric, you can skip this step. I had to add a 2" band to the top of the flower fabric because her chest was out, and since this isn't that kind of party, we needed to extend the top a bit. I simply made the band out of a coordinating linen I had in my stash and added it to the top.
|Fixing the boop-showing top.|
- a. Attach the ruffle and straps to the top of the romper. I failed and didn't get a picture of how I made the ruffle, but just fold 1/4" on the bottom edge and press, fold it up another 1/4" to 1/2" and press, then sew. Sandwich your straps where you want them to tie on your cupcake (I did Lilly's on her shoulders. If you want, you can make a halter w/longer straps, or whatever you like) between the wrong side of the romper and the right side of your ruffle. Pin & sew 'round with a tiny seam allowance. I'm not the greatest at explaining this, but the easiest tutorial I've found for adding something like this, is on Prudent Baby's tutorial for the One Shoulder Dressy-Dress.
|a. The strap sandwich.|
- b. Make the casing for the elastic. Turn your romper right side out, and sew a 1/2" seam around, making sure to leave an opening for you to push your elastic through.
|b. Make the casing.|
- c. Push your elastic through. Use a safety pin on the end of the elastic, and thread it through. Zig-zag your elastic together about an inch overlapping, and close your seam.
- d. Add elastic to the ankles. I was running out of fabric and didn't want her to have short-shorts, so I skimped on this by just turning up the edge 1/2" and sewing. However, you would want to add a nice, finished hem to the ankles by folding the edge up about 1/4" and pressing, then folding up an additional 1/2" and sewing, leaving a gap for the elastic. Repeat on other ankle.
- e. Put your elastic in the casing, as you did for the top.
4. Work It!
Remember that band I had to add so her boops weren't hanging out? I ended up having to take out half of it because it 1) looked ridiculously awkward and 2) made the romper much too long and she kept tripping on it (lol). If only Lilly would have stood still sooner... le oh well! You can see the band is still there, but it's covered mostly by the ruffle and blends much nicer and fits so much better. There will be many more of these cute rompers for this summer for sure.
For one of the few tutorials I've written, I think I covered pretty much everything. If anyone has questions, suggestions or problems with trying it out, please leave me a comment!