I love a baby romper. This version has elastic at the legs, some call it a bubble. The Taylor pattern from Children’s Corner is from size 3 mo to 24 mo. It probably ends at 24 months so that people like me won’t put their 3 and 4 year old toddlers in it! Don’t you love those chubby little legs! I must have sewn at least a dozen of these for Henry in various sizes. The one I made this past weekend is for a baby shower The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul at our church is throwing for teen moms in our area. When we heard the announcement at church Charlie turned to me and said, “you can make an outfit for one of the babies” – so we looked through the tags hanging from the shower tree and found one for a 24 mo old boy and I went straight home from church and made this outfit between the time we got home from church until the start of our church picnic. These are that quick and easy to make! If I am not taking pictures and trying to mark things so the camera picks it up, I can make a romper start to finish in about an hour. *Sorry this has taken me so long to post. I had a lot going on this Spring and this took longer than it should have.*
I had this fun bright yellow cotton frog fabric in my stash just waiting for the right project. I have three primary pieces of sewing advice: 1. use a good quality fabric 2. cut carefully and accurately, and 3. press with an iron as you go. These are very important to getting your clothing to look hand-made instead of home-made. You do not want to save a couple of dollars by using cheap fabric. Not only will the better quality fabric drape and wear better, but it is easier to cut it out and sew it up. You only need 3/4 of a yard of fabric and lining for this, so it is not a lot of money.
I usually wash, dry, and press all of my fabric when I bring it home from the store so that it is ready to go when I want to sew. You wash it before you sew a garment because you will get some shrinking at the first wash and you do not want to end up with puckered seams. Since I use this pattern a lot, I traced the pattern onto parchment paper and cut it out in the different sizes. I have loads of parchment paper that I bought from a bakery that closed and it is easy to see through to trace. As a bonus it quickly irons out flat if you have folded it up and it is creased. The Taylor is easy for beginners because you only have two pieces to cut out.
Step 1. Press your fabric and fold the two selvage ends towards the middle. The selvage ends of the fabric are the ends that have not been cut. Lay your pattern pieces so that the side marked fold is on the fold. Pin and cut out the front and back. You will not be cutting on the folded line. I may know someone who did this when she was learning to sew . . . .
Lay front piece with the right side up and place the back piece on top – right sides together. Match up the right side (see where I have the pen and scissors pointed) and pin and sew. Be sure to press your seams open. Do the same for the lining except this time you will match the sides on the left and sew that side. This is important because you will be laying the outer fabric and lining right sides together and you will need the front and back piece to line up.
Step 3. The outer fabric and lining are right sides together. Pin around the top of the fabric and the bottom. Go slow but with a consistent speed as you sew around the curves. Leave the sides open.
Clip the curves or trim with pinking shears. Leave the sides open. (This is where I deviate a little from the pattern instructions.)
Step 4. This step is important in getting nice seams and a crisp finish to your garment. Turn the garment right side out. I use a crochet hook to poke the seams and corners of the shoulders. I like the crochet hook as it is not as likely to poke through the fabric. Then I iron and starch the garment. It is much easier to get nice pressed seam now than when you finish sewing.
Step 5. Turn the garment back inside out, but don’t turn the shoulder straps inside out. Reach your arm through one side and grab the other side and pull it in to match up the sides – lining to lining and outer fabric to outer fabric and pin the circle. You will want to leave an opening in your lining to turn the garment back out and so you can insert the elastic. I like to leave my opening towards the bottom but not too close to the casing. About 2-3 inches above the casing on one side. To me this is easier than the pattern instructions because you can quickly fold those raw edges under and sew the gap in the lining with the sewing machine since the lining will not be seen.
Step 6. Sew the casing for your 1/4 inch elastic. I have made so many of these I can eyeball where the casing goes, but you can transfer the markings from your pattern with a water soluble pen. Do not sew together the ends of the casings because you will need to insert the elastic and both short ends of the casings on both legs will need to be open for you to do this.
Step 7. Cut the 1/4 inch elastic to pattern size and put a safety pin on each end. (The second pin is so that you do not lose the elastic in the casing and have to pull it out and have a do over.) Feed the elastic through the leg opening taking care not to twist the elastic. Top stitch the ends of the casings which will secure your elastic and remove the safety pins. You are almost finished!
Step 8. Fold under the raw edges in your lining and sew the opening closed. Give the outfit a quick press and then all you have left are button holes, buttons, and adding the snaps for easy diaper changes. My machine makes quick work of button holes and buttons. I have a Husqvarna Viking. Actually I have two, one that is about 20 years old and still sews like a dream and a newer one that also does embroidery. I use KAM snaps. So easy to use and they come in so many colors. No affiliation on those, I just really like the products. I bought the KAM tool and the snaps from an online diaper supply company. They are easy to put in, and if you accidentally crush a snap like I have done only twice in my hundred or so snap applications, there is a tutorial on YouTube for easily removing the snap. Hint – it involves heating a fork tine in a flame and melting part of the snap so it releases. Not as intimidating as it sounds and it is a quick way to save the project.
Evidently sewing these is much easier than posting a tutorial! If you follow me on Instagram @lowcountrybliss you will see that since starting this post I have made three Taylor rompers, a zippered tote, boxed cosmetic bag, an envelope pillow with piping, and mostly completed two coming home from the hospital day gowns! I have had a few deadlines where I needed to complete some things and let’s face it – I was lured by the call of my sewing machine – leaving this post unfinished until today. Have you experienced the pull of the sewing machine where you just need to make that cute something or other? (My sewing machine is quite the temptress!)
I hope you give the Taylor pattern a try. It is truly beginner friendly pattern for making a super cute play outfit for baby.