I can’t get enough of this pattern! When the May 2016 Burda Style issue arrived, I started on the romper (5/2016 #116) immediately! It went together so quickly, and was very well drafted. I did change some of the finishing details and construction steps on the top (more on that below), and omitted the pockets after deciding they weren’t worth the trouble.
First, I made a romper with contrasting trim, and then used the tank top pattern to up-cycle some printed tee shirts. Some of the tees weren’t big enough, so I had to improvise. For those that didn’t have enough between the top of the print and the shoulder seam, I just lengthened the joining band (that loops through the keyhole). In the case of the Cookie Monster tee, it wasn’t wide enough. For that one, I used some red power mesh and did a side insert. Also, I thought Cookie Monster needed some bling, so I used my Bernina Crystalworks to layout some crystals for his sunglasses… now that is SWAG!!
Notes on the Romper:
My measurements are 38-31-38 at 5’2″. Since my weight has been going down recently, I went with the size 38. The way this pattern is drafted, it’s very easy to adjust how the top hangs off of the shoulders by cutting the neck band shorter or longer. After some quick measurements, I decided to cut my band slightly shorter due to my narrow-ish shoulders. I did not make any alterations to the shorts. After overlaying my pants sloper, I concluded that the shorts would fit fine. Worst case, I would need to scoop out the seam a bit.
If there is one criticism that I have, it’s the waistband construction steps. The markings on the pattern and the instructions are very vague. To simplify,
- construct the tank top (I wound up having to refer to one of the other models for instructions, I think the romper instructions are incomplete). I put my steps below to construct the top, with pictures, but they are for a style which includes a trim band (vice narrow hem).
- sew the shorts … i.e. side seams, inseams and crotch seam (in that order) – i didn’t do pockets
- attach the upper shorts edge to the lower tank edge
- cut a piece of waist band elastic, plus 1″ for overlap. I used 1 1/4″ waistband elastic
- make a casing for the waist band elastic by folding the upper edge of the shorts to meet the markings on the pattern … I folded right sides together. Stitch down, leaving a narrow opening for insertion of the elastic.
- Insert the elastic into the casing and secure the overlapping ends. Stitch the opening closed. Distribute the fullness, and topstitch the band (if you want to, I didn’t).
- Sew the hems
Notes on the Tank Top:
My version includes a narrow band, which is topstitched in place, vice hemmed. I did this because I find that hemming often distorts the neck line, plus it is a much more professional and clean look.
When I traced off the pattern, I added a 1/4″ seam allowance to all pieces (instead of the typical 5/8″). I do this because it’s much easier to construct on my Babylock. I find that the knife action on the Babylock is not as precise as my Bernina MDA was. I turn the trimmer to the smallest setting, and there is no guess work on the seam allowances.
In addition to the pattern pieces, you’re going to cut a rectangular band (refer to the instructions for measurements). Adjust the width to the reflect the seam allowance you’ve decided to go with.
For the finishing bands, I cut strips approximately 24″ wide by 1″ tall. I pressed this in half to measure 24″ by 0.5″. I needed about three of these total.
For the construction, I minimized the use of serger and coverstitch conversions. The first steps are set up for a 4 thread overlock, unless otherwise noted.
- sew the center back seam to form the keyhole. press
- measure the finished keyhole edge and cut a piece of the finishing band (plus 1/2″ for the seam allowance). sew the short ends together to form a loop. press.
- pin the loop to the keyhole, anchoring the top seam and lower point of the keyhole. sew the trim in one continuous seam. press.
- sew a strip of finishing band to the neckline. I don’t pin. I just stretch gently as I serge the pieces together. This is another advantage of the 1/4″ seam allowance – it makes it much easier to manipulate. press.
- sew the side seams. attach the front to the back of the top.
- similar to step 4, stretch the finishing band gently as you sew the remaining edge. I pieced two pieces of finishing band together before attaching. press.
- fold the rectangular piece in half, right sides together – you should have a band that’s approximately 2 1/2″ by 15″ long. sew the long edge and turn. Press so that the seam is centered on one side.
- convert to a twin coverstitch. sew the lower hem.
- remove a needle and convert to chain stitch. topstitch the finishing bands in place, about 1/8″ from the seam.
- Here’s where it gets a little tricky … I attached my straps in an enclosed fashion so that I would have a clean finish. Unpick some of the seam on the rectangular strap, about 1″ from each, about 1.5″ long.
- carefully lay out the top and position the strap, running through the keyhole, so that nothing is twisted. now carefully pin the retangular strap to the front straps, right sides together (only catch one layer of the rectangular strap).
- pull through the strap tube and carefully pin the ends in place. sew with a sewing machine.
- turn back out. sew the openings closed. I did a lazy edge stitch, but there are cleaner ways to do this!