Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tribal Print Knit Romper

I decided that one romper wasn't enough. Whether you call it a jumpsuit, romper or playsuit, you have to admit that there's something appealing about one-stop dressing. That's why we all love dresses, right? So why not up the practicality and dive into rompers? I know what you're thinking...but where does one wear a playsuit? A playground, of course!

Although you should probably have a small person with you, otherwise you're one of those creepers that I avoid when we go to the park.

The pattern for this romper is Simplicity 1355, View D.

I originally wanted to make View A (top left) with shorts, but after seeing a bunch of cute versions of View A on Pattern Review, I took the plunge. Obviously, this view isn't terribly bra-friendly, but oh well. It's fun. And yes, I own those Strap Perfect doohickeys that convert any bra to a racerback.

ethnic romper

The fabric is a cotton/rayon/spandex knit from Girl Charlee, and I ordered it specifically for this purpose (don't you love when that works out?). This pattern is meant for woven fabrics, so I made some adjustments since I was sewing a knit:
  • finished the armholes with a single-turned hem instead of bias tape
  • cut a smaller size (XXS for the bodice and XS for the shorts)
  • omitted the pockets
  • used store-bought cording for the drawstring (from the jewelry section at Jo-Ann's)

Unfortunately, I had to sew most of this on my sewing machine instead of my serger. The front and back keyholes and the underarms all needed single-turned hems, the center front and center back seams required the seam allowances be open (and not serged), and the casings for the neckline needed to be sewn on a regular machine. The fabric was NOT pleasant to sew that way, so I kind of hated this whole thing while it was in progress. But once it was done, I LOVED it and might have worn it three two and half days in a row. You cannot beat a knit romper for comfort!

ethnic romper
I adore the back!

One major change I made was to add a middle band with a drawstring, resulting in a more drop-waist style. Frankly, I hate waistlines at my natural waistline. I think a drop-waist is more forgiving since it doesn't expand when your tummy expands, and for me it's more comfortable. I did remove a few inches from the waist portion of the shorts since they're sitting lower on my body than intended.

I'm super proud of the pattern-matching on this romper. Can you find the center-front seam on the bodice?

The middle portion is a black cotton/spandex knit, double-layered so it creates a casing. I interfaced the center front and then sewed two buttonholes for the drawstring. Bathroom visits are kind of a pain with TWO drawstrings (this one and the neckline) but meh. I've gotten over it.

Sometimes when you play hard, you pop stitches, which I apparently did during this photoshoot.

I know summer is coming to a close for half the world, but I encourage anyone who hasn't tried a romper to DO IT! Sometimes trendy sewing is just as rewarding as making those long-lasting navy pencil skirts. And c'mon, don't we all have a playground-loving kid hiding inside us?


  1. That turned out quite nicely - I love the back, too!

  2. Ooh, now you've made me totally bummed that summer has come to an end here :( No but seriously, cute playsuit and perfect pattern matching!

    1. I thought it was wrapping up here, too, but then suddenly it was crazy hot this week. I guess I'll get some more wear out of this romper than I thought!


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