I can’t even tell you how happy this recent warm Colorado weather has made me. It has brightened up our home and has helped give these lingering colds/infections the boot. We’ve had the windows open and have been playing outside. It’s been so refreshing. (I hear there’s snow in the forecast for this week……but I’m ignoring that.)
With all this warm weather, we’ve been pulling out short sleeves, twirly skirts, bermuda shorts, and sandals.
Little Baby Girl of the family doesn’t have many cooler things to wear yet……..so I made her a little bubble romper last week, to scoot around in. The long legs keep her a little warmer and also keep her legs covered while crawling around.
And yeah, we still need a little more warmth and moisture before the grass is softer to the touch. (But do you spy the green grass poking through? It’s coming. Yay.) So the longer legs are perfect for that too.
The top of the jumper is encased elastic, for easy on/off. With simple little bows on each shoulder. The little legs are cinched in with elastic as well.
Pretty perfect for all this high 70’s business.
I think it will surprise you how simple this romper is. To keep things extra sample, there is no snap crotch to deal with. And because it’s an elastic top, taking it on and off for diaper changes is actually quicker than unsnapping/re-snapping the leg area. (However, if you prefer a snap crotch, maybe I’ll help you tackle that another day.)
We’re so happy the sun hung out with us all last week. We have missed him.
Speaking of this baby girl, look who is finally standing solo. She still hasn’t mastered walking solo……but I’m kinda loving the last drippings of her immobility. (Standing felt better to her than sitting in that weird grass stuff. So it was good motivation to practice.)
Summer is quickly approaching. So I’m finding every excuse to start the light and summery clothing projects. Hooray.
Sewing for little ones is so satisfying.
Would you like to make your own bubble romper?
Let’s get started with this little romper. I think it will surprise you how simple it is.
First of all, you’ll need to cut out 2 pattern pieces. You need a front piece and a back piece. Basically, the bottom half of each piece is identical to making a pair of pants…….but just stretched upwards. So use a pair of pants as a guide to get that basic crotch shape but then cut it a bit wider, to give the romper more room and that “bubble” look. (Here’s the basic concept of creating your own pant pattern pieces from a pair of pants you already have. Just be sure to use a pair of pants that is looser [not fitted at all] so that the romper will bubble out.) As for cutting the romper upward, just cut straight up (no curving or tapering), making it long enough to go from the crotch area, all the way up to the upper chest area. But add a few inches to that because the crotch area of the romper shouldn’t hug the crotch area. It needs to have plenty of room for comfort. Now, curve the top of each pattern piece upward so that the neckline will scoop just a bit after sewing it together. And then cut a little arm slot out on each side. (It doesn’t have to be a full arm cut-out because this cutout won’t go up and around to the top of the shoulder. It just needs to go from the armpit up to the front of the arm. The elastic band will go up over the shoulder.) Make sure to include seam allowances to your pattern pieces. And add 1.5 inches to the bottom length for the leg hems. (Important: You don’t need a seam allowance for the arm cut out sections or the top neck line sections. You will be adding bias tape [explained more below] to these raw edges so they won’t be hemmed or taken away from.)
The front and back piece are cut out exactly the same, except for the crotch area (the back is bigger and slopes down a bit more because of the bum) and then I made the back piece just a tad longer at the top too……but the same shape. You don’t even have to make the back piece taller at the top…….and to be honest, I’m not sure why I did for this project. I’m just used to making the back neckline higher than the front for shirts and dresses…..but this little romper doesn’t need that. So don’t waste your time! :)
**Just be sure that the chest section and the leg section will be wider than you would need to fit the child perfectly. You want it to be larger so that you can cinch it in with elastic……and then it will bubble out.
Then, fold your fabric in half with right sides together and then cut out 2 front pieces and 2 back piece. (You fold your fabric in half so that you have 2 front pieces that mirror image each other and 2 back pieces that mirror image each other.) I also cut a long strip of fabric to be used for the neckline. (I’ll explain more about the measurements of the strip down below.)
Now, place the two back pieces together (pictured on the left) with right sides together and sew along the side with the scoop of the crotch, starting at the top and ending at the end of the scoop. Do the same to the two front pieces (pictured on the right). Use the seam allowance that you allowed yourself when cutting out your pattern pieces. Then either zig-zag or serge your edges to finish them off.
Then open up the front and back sections and lay flat. Then make a piece of narrow double folded bias tape out of your fabric (or use store bought bias tape) and sew it to the scoop of each arm cut out (4 total)……enclosing the raw edges of each arm cut out inside the fold of your bias tape. (Need help with making bias tape? Click here.) Repeat with all 4 arm cut out sections. (To make my narrow bias tape, I started with a strip of fabric that was an inch wide and then as long as I needed for all 4 arm cut outs.)
Then, place the front section and the back section together, with right sides together. Sew along each side, sewing the romper together. Then either zig-zag or serge your edges to finish them off.
Now, time for the stretchy neckline. Essentially, you’ll be making a wide double folded piece of bias tape. (Remember, more on making your own bias tape here.) I started with a strip that was 3 inches wide and then long enough to go across the entire front and back of the romper plus double the amount that you would need for the shoulders. For example, the front of my romper was 12 inches wide across the neckline and the back of the romper was 12 inches wide across the neckline too. From measuring my little girl, I knew that I needed about 2.5 inches to go up and over one shoulder…….so to double that, I needed an extra 5 inches for each shoulder. So, I added up 12 inches twice and 5 inches twice……which made my strip 34 inches long x 3 inches wide.) For this width of bias tape that I made, a piece of 1/2 inch wide elastic fits perfectly.
Open up each end of your bias tape, and sew it together with right sides together, making a big circle of bias tape.
Then re-fold it (and iron again if needed), enclosing that seam.
Then lay your circle flat, with your seam at one end. Place a pin at the one end with the seam and then place a pin at the other end too. This will mark the center front and the center back of your neckline.
Now, you’re going to be sandwiching the bias tape around the neckline of the romper. To make it evenly spaced, match up the the seam of the bias tape circle (where one of your pins is) with the seam along the center back of the romper neckline. Sandwich the bias tape around the raw edge of the neckline and then pin it in place. Then match the other pin with the center front of the romper, sandwiching it around the raw edge of neckline.
Now, work your way outwards from the two center pins, attaching the bias tape to the rest of the entire front neckline and the entire back neckline.
Then sew the bias tape right down to the romper, making sure to include all the layers of the bias tape plus the neckline of the romper……..but leave about a 2 inch opening along one of the shoulder areas. (Sew nice and close to the bottom edge of the romper…..but be sure you’re catching all your layers in your stitches.)
Here’s the 2 inch opening at the shoulder.
Then thread your 1/2 inch elastic through this entire piece of bias tape. (You’ll need to measure your own child to be sure it’s the right length of elastic…….but I cut mine 18 inches long.) Overlap the ends of elastic, sew them together, then sew the opening of the bias tape closed.
Now, for the legs. Open up each leg and fold up the bottom edge a 1/2 inch and then iron in place. Then fold up an inch and iron that in place.
Sew the very top of the fold to the pant leg, about a 1/4 inch from the top fold. Then sew another seam, about a 1/2 inch below the first seam.
Then, thread a piece of 1/4 inch wide elastic through this casing that you just made. As you pull your elastic through, don’t let the elastic pull all the way through the first end……..and then sew it down in place.
Then pull the elastic, cinching in the fabric, then sew the elastic in place on the other end. (You don’t want the elastic to be really tight around baby’s leg. In fact, mine isn’t snug on her at all. It’s just tight enough to cinch in the fabric……about 7.5 inches for each leg.)
Then fold the legs together (right sides together) and then sew the crotch area closed. Then either zig-zag or serge your edge to finish it off.
This is optional, but you can sew a strip of fabric into a tube and then tie them into little bows and sew them onto the shoulders. I just zig-zagged the two tails of each bow……I didn’t even worry about hemming them under.
And that’s it.
Now, make a few more. The warmer months are on their way!