The days may be getting shorter and sunsets coming earlier, but there’s still time to get in some summer sewing. While we’ve had a few “cooler” days this week where I live in Winnipeg (we are talking daily highs in the ‘teens) I know that even come September we can get back into temps up near the 30s.
One of my favourite sewing projects this summer has been this Summer Romper for Kids, a free pattern from Pearl Soho. I have now made it three times for two different little girls (my daughter has two and I made one for my niece) and even done my own modifications.
This isn’t a complex pattern which can kind of be nice when you are looking for easy summer sewing projects.
The original pattern is a trendy little romper with shorts on the bottom.
As ADORABLE as this is, for a 21 month old who is still in diapers – it can be not so cute the third or fourth time in one day when you have to untie the top of the romper, and slide everything down to do a nappy change.
This version is my modifed romper with a skirt at the bottom.
The pattern is a downloadable PDF, which is my favourite. I think most of the patterns I use now are PDFs. I like printing on a heavier paper and printing multiple versions if I want multiple sizes.
To make the adjustment from shorts to a dress, I modified the pattern on the bottom so that there was no curve for the rise in the shorts, and instead of cutting two for each of the front and back, I turned this into a “cut on fold” so the front and back were a seamless one piece.
The pattern calls for you to make your own bias tape for the ties and for the casing that covers the elastic around the waist.
Hands up if you love making bias tape?
I know there are tools you can use to make this easier but I prefer making it myself. I suppose you could also buy pre-made bias take for this project as well, but why buy when you can make and customize it yourself?
Another way you could modify this pattern would be to change the finish on the seams. Janomeman had a great post recently about seams when he talked about shirt making. If you left extra seam allowance you could finish these seams with a flat-fell or French seam. Or if you have a serger, you could serge the seams. I straight stitched my seams and then did a zig-zag stitch so the fabric wouldn’t fray. When you are making clothes for a toddler, you know they can outgrow them overnight, so unless we are making something special, my seam finishes tend to be more practical.
The bias tape that I mentioned earlier is used in two places in this pattern. The first is on the inside around the waist band to enclose the elastic.
And the second is for the ties that hold up the dress and finish around the arm holes.
To make sure I get a nice even stitch, I pinned my bias tape in place, and then pinned some more.
And then the final finish is to hem the dress or shorts.
Things here are pretty fast-paced these days (they go from crawling, to walking, to running) and so it was pretty hard to get a picture of Elliana that wasn’t too blurry. She adores these rompers.
Have you been doing any summer sewing? What pattern have you made more than once?