Dominic is outgrowing his pants faster than you can say boo and since we haven’t been clothes shopping in a while, I decided to dig into my stash recently and whip some things up for him. It didn’t go exactly as planned, but some friends on Facebook wanted a tutorial, so I am obliging!
This tutorial is for a romper made from a men’s shirt. When I went to do another, I realized that it really only works if you use a men’s shirt with no pocket, which this one just happened to be! The romper was inspired by a tutorial for pjs from sweaters, which I cannot for the life of me find again. Anyway. Here’s how to make a romper quickly and easily and it’s perfect for buttonhole-phobes like myself, since you use the existing buttons!
First, I put a romper that fits Dominic on top of the shirt I wanted to use.
I positioned this so that the buttons would go down the side, but in retrospect, it would have been fine down the middle, too. So, this is more of personal decision, though if you have huge buttons like I did and your baby is still laying on his tummy a lot (Dominic is always upright at this point), then you might want them to the side.
Here’s where it gets technical . . .
Cut around the romper. You need about 1/2 an inch for seam allowance. I cut a rough block and then trimmed the arm on one side to start. The reason I did this was so I could fold the piece in half and make sure the arm holes were symmetrical, since I tend to mess these things up.
This is what the arm holes looked like after I cut them both out. It looks wonky, I know, but that’s because of the button placement.
Next, cut out the bit between the legs. Notice that I did NOT leave a seam allowance here. That’s because I sewed the legs up instead of using buttons, so I didn’t need the extra.
For the neck, separate the two pieces. You want the back to be higher than the front. This is the back, which I cut to fit the romper.
And the front, which is deeper. Make sure the two match up at the shoulders or you’ll have issues sewing them later.
And that is where all my great photo taking came to an end. The cutting is the hard bit anyway. To sew it all up, you can follow this lovely diagram . . .
Starting with the blue lines. Put the romper pieces right sides together and sew up the sides first, then the shoulders and then the crotch. You COULD do this in a different order, if you prefer, but quite frankly, I find this the best way to keep things from shifting around too much.
Next, you need to hem, which would be the red marks. Now, this is where I totally mucked things up. If I’d been thinking clearly, I would have done a deeper hem on each section and done some top stitching to keep it all nice and neat. I didn’t, though, and the edges of my seams show around the neck and the arms. It would have also been good with bias tape, but I was on a roll and didn’t have time to stop to make bias tape! Maybe later.
Here’s what you have when you’re done.
Yeah, wrinkly, I know. It looks much better on the model.
Things I would do differently next time:
- Smaller arm holes, they gape a bit, but they ARE good for a super fast crawling baby.
- Pick a shirt with smaller buttons closer together to ease the gaping.
- Sew a deeper hem or use bias tape to finish the edges.
So, there you have it. If you make a romper yourself, feel free to link to a photo of it in the comments, I’d love to see!