DIY Baby Romper

January 20, 2014

Unfortunately many of the photos in the post are sub par, but I can assure you that the end result is seriously cute! I am obsessed with baby rompers. I think they look so adorable on babies, especially those that are taking their first few wobbly, bouncy little steps! And so, I made this romper for Nora in a size that will fit her this summer- romper season! By then, she may just be one of those toddling babies!
You need 2 colours of fabric- preferably one patterned one and one contrasting plain colour. The black in my case is the top part which needs to be stretchy, but the legging part could be any weight of material. I used cotton jersey knit for both of my fabrics and actually, as you can see here, the black was repurposed from an old pair of worn out leggings of mine! I am not sure how much fabric is needed in total, but this patterned piece I used was a fat quarter. I used the entire thing for a 12-18 month size romper. You would probably need about the same amount in the contrasting colour. As well as the fabric, you will need a sewing machine with thread, scissors and straight sewing pins. That's all!
I didn't use a pattern for this. All I did was eyeball my cutting by using a pair of Nora's leggings that fit her now. These are a 9 month size legging. Fold your fabric as shown in the photo above and lay your guide leggings on them, nice and flat, as shown.  
You want to make your cut about an inch bigger than the original leggings to allow for the sizing difference, seam allowance and to create the bubble leg effect. Cut 2 of these pieces. 
From your solid colour, cut 2 pieces for the top (rectangles sized 20x8 inches), 2 for the straps (3x8 inches) and 2 for the ankle cuffs (4.5x6 inches). I like to cut all my fabric first and then I can put aside all the scraps and get them out of my way before I sew. 
Pin your legging pieces together as shown and sew along those edges. This entire project was done with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. The wide part is the waist band and the narrow end will become the legs. If you have a pattern such as mine where the pattern needs to be angled a certain way (i.e. the cats facing right way up), make sure you think about that when you are cutting your fabric. 
After sewing from the wide edges down to the points, open the pants and pin and sew as shown in order to make the legs.
From here you could add an elastic waist and hem the cuffs to make regular leggings. But we are going to turn these into something much better than that! Put your leggings aside for now. 
In order to make the shoulder straps, fold the pieces in half and sew along the long sides of each piece. Turn them right side out. 
Lay down one of your body pieces right side up and place the straps on it as shown. You want to make sure they are centred. Lay your second bodice piece right side facing down (so that right sides are together) and pin it together. Your straps will be sandwiched in between the two pieces. Sew along the top edge. 
Your bodice should now look like this. 
Fold the bodice in half so that the short sides are together and sew through all 4 layers of fabric. Your bodice is almost done! Turn it right side out and check that the straps are centred and even. 
Now you need to attach the other side of your straps. I could have done this in a way that was much more complicated by inserting them in between the back pieces and sewing them that way, but I figured... it's in the back! It won't show that much if they are simply tucked into the back of the bodice and topstitched with black thread!
This is what the wrong side of the back looks like. 
The right side looks like this. Easy, no fuss, doesn't look that bad- right!? Your bodice is done!
In order to attach the legging piece to the bodice, you will need to gather the top of the leggings. The bodice is smaller in circumference than the leggings so you need to gather the waist of the leggings to make them the same size. This is actually quite easy to do. With your sewing machine set with the stitch length at the longest length possible, stitch around the waist band, but DO NOT backstitch or fix the beginning or end of the thread in any way. Once you have gone all the way around, all you do is pull the thread and it comes out, gathering the fabric as it goes along. Work the fabric around the waistband so it is gathered evenly as shown. 
Place your bodice right side down around the leggings and pin in place. Once you have it on and start pinning, you may have to fiddle with the gathers to get the waistband the right size. Sew around the waist right over the gathers. 
Turn it right side out and voila! If I were to make another one of these, I would make the waist of the leggings even bigger so that there were more gathers in the waist. I like the baby bubble pant look!
Fold and sew the cuffs as shown and turn them right side out and then fold them in half, folding one end inside the other. Use the same technique to gather each leg opening with the loose stitching to make the cuff size and ankle size match up. Sew them onto the leggings in the same way the waist was sewn. 

And there you have it! An adorable baby romper!
It is too big for Nora, but I have a good feeling about her toddling around in it this summer! 

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