Refashion – Sew a bubble romper for your girls

Hello everybody! I’m Irene (alias MammaNene) and I write of sewing and refashions on my blog SergerPepper, where I share my love for creating sewing patterns and clothes! Lately they’ve opened a “shop” near here, where you can’t buy/sell anything: you can only swap one piece of clothing with one other: it’s my personal Heaven! When I knew I was going to write a post about refashion for Megan, I suddenly thought: “I have nothing to wear?refashion” like if it was a first date… and it is, somehow! So I took some pants and went to the “swap/shop”… coming back with a bunch of new-to-me treasures that will go into my to-be-refashioned-soon pile (for hubby’s joy… shhhh, don’t tell him!) Back to business: I’ll show you in a minute how I morphed two adult tops into a super-cute (but comfy) Girl Romper… and you’ll be able to sew your own, because instructions are suitable for any size…

can I have a Bubble Romper?for me, please?!

Serger Pepper - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - Title

Materials:

  • one or two Tops/T-shirts/dresses… anything you want to refashion – seek?for jersey!

Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper materials

  • flat elastic (height = 1/4″) length = chest girth + 2 x thigh girth
  • sewing machine, thread, scissors, needles…  (a.k.a. your usual sewing stuff!)
  • serger (completely optional)

Step 1: measure your model (or yourself)!

You need to measure and mark down:

  • chest girth;
  • hip girth;
  • chest to seat (take this on back, vertically, from chest level to the crotch area);
  • thigh girth;
  • romper’s legs desired length.

This is a bubble romper, with elastic around legs and chest: this is good for you because to achieve this relaxed fit you won’t need to be maniacal in measurements 😉

Step 2: Create your pattern

Draft a rectangle, where: width = 1,5 x hip girth height = chest to seat plus leg’s length This will be the only pattern piece you need, corresponding to front, back AND legs, all together. If you have a T-shirt with these measurements and you’d like to make a uni romper, you can cut out this shape and simply close it in circle with a side seam, right sides facing, then go to Step 4. Otherwise, go on reading!

I chose to colorblock because:

a. I love it! b. I hadn’t fabric enough to cut my rectangle in one piece… c. My ladybug top was perfect in width but too short! Now, please kindly allow me a digression… I’d like to share with you some basic rules in my refashion routine: – save time whenever you can (well, this is one of my life’s rules too!) – use existing details, like hems in knits, usually they can save your precious time (see above) – if you need to colorblock, do it like if you want to do that way, not like you need it… (My mom used to add length to my pants when I grew up and the looked exactly like if I grew them up… while if she only had cut them in a different way, adding a knee strip, or some ruffles, they could have looked Cool, not … Extended!) Let me add here a couple of general tips for sewing knits (I know some sewists are scared from knits… no need at all!): – a simple sewing machine is good, also if a serger is better! – use ballpoint needles (better stretch needles if your knit have lycra inside) to avoid holes: they often appear a couple of washing cycles later; – use an elastic stitch: my favorite are triple straight stitch, triple zig-zag and three-step zig-zag (but a plain zig-zag will absolutely do the trick). Ok, I’m done, I can put away my schoolmistress’ glasses!

Step 3: Add stripes, please!

In this particular romper, I planned my colorblock so that I could use the red hem as the romper hem, sewing it to the ladybird bottom. Here’s the how-to: Cut red strip with height equal to the desired length of romper’s legs (4″ for a 5 years old girl) + 3/4″ for seam allowances If you, like me, have one of the tops wider than the other, you’ll have to cut and reduce it’s width (in three easy steps): Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - one is wider 1. Fold the strip right sides facing, align one red side seam to one ladybug side seam, cut the exceeding red fabric, leaving 3/4″ for seam allowances; 2. sew with an elastic stitch (my favorite is the triple straight stitch) along the short opened side; 3. press seam open. Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - first strip With ladybug top right side out, slip the red ring of fabric?onto the outside of the top, match up the only side seam you have in the strip to one of the side seams of the ladybug top, aligning raw edges; pin here and there. Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - pin first strip If you have a serger, directly serge with a four-threads stitch, if you don’t have it, sew with a triple straight stitch (optional: trim and zig-zag edges). Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - sew first strip Here’s the result: it looks nice! Why not keeping it like this? Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - first strip done! Uh, certainly, we want a romper… let’s go on, then! Go on adding strips, alternating the ladybug and the red fabric, until you reach the measured chest to seat (your rectangular pattern piece’s height). Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - all striped!

Step 4: Ruffle that top 🙂

We’re going to do something fancier with that last red strip: ruffles!

Disclaimer: This is the only tricky part… follow me and I promise it won’t be as bad as it seems!

Cut one more red strip of fabric, usual?length,

height = double height you want the finished ruffle (+ 3/4″ for seam allowances)

– For a size 5 years old, 2″ are perfect –

Close it in circle, as you did for each stripe?in step 3. Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - ruffle 1 Fold in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press to crease. Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - ruffle 2 Sew one row of straight stitches 1″ from the fold, parallel to it, all around the ring of fabric. Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - ruffle 3 Cut a length of your 1/4″ flat elastic, equal to your model’s chest girth. Secure heads together sewing back and forth multiple times (do not twist the elastic!). Insert the elastic in the casing you’re creating, put 4 pins to keep it in place, at cardinal points. Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - ruffle 4 While stretching?the elastic?and keeping it out of the needle’s way, sew a second row of straight stitches to encase it and create ruffles. Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - ruffle 5 Add the ruffled strip to the top of the romper, exactly as you did adding other stripes on step 3, being ?careful to:

  • match side seams on one side and pin:

Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper -attach the ruffle

  • Then the opposite side:

Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - attach the ruffle 2

  • now, sew (but remember: stretch the elastic while sewing!)

Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - attach the ruffle 3

Step 5: Legs

Turn inside out your romper, fold in half along the center and cut the crotch like in the picture. Height of the cut is equal to leg’s length you chose while taking measurements. Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - legs Here’s what you get: Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - legs 2 Sew one row of stitches all around (better use an elastic stitch, this is a stress point!) and finish edges?with zig zag or serger. Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - legs 3 To create bubble shape to the bottom of each leg:

  • cut a length of elastic equal to tights girth;
  • secure heads together sewing back and forth multiple times, creating an elastic ring (do not twist it!)
  • using your favorite elastic stitch (here I would choose a three-step zig-zag), stitch in place the elastic, to the wrong side of the original T-shirt’s hem, stretching it while sewing.

Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - legs 4 See my little trick? Use a red thead in the cone and a white one in the bobbin… almost invisible on both sides! Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - legs 5

Step 6: Optional touch: add a bra!

This ladybug top had such a nice feature I couldn’t miss?(it’s my daughter’s favorite!): I used top of the “bra” detail and spaghetti straps to add some spice (and to stay on): just cut out those two triangles: Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - bra Then sew them to the wrong side of the fabric, stitching in the ditch of the seam that join the ruffle to the romper. I’d suggest you to add a simple spaghetti string if your original top is missing this kind of detail… What do you think, Megan? Is a ladybug bra allowed? Better than white, true? 😉 Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - bra 2 If you like (my little fashionista does), wear it with a super simple skinny belt, or made one with leftovers. That’s it! Now for the fun part: take your model outside in a sunny day and start your photo shoot… Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - final shoots Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - final shoots - front and back Serger Pepper - Guest Post on Brassy Apple - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - final shoots - C U soon I hope you enjoyed my Refashion Tutorial, if you’d like to have more, come to SergerPepper.com… there’s always something new! PS: Pardon the ramblings… I get passionate when it comes to talking about sewing! Irene (MammaNene)

Comments

  1. Nice job, Irene! It looks great! 🙂 Lisa

  2. Simply adorable! I love your refashions, Irene, great job!

  3. Love it great job Irene !!!!!!!!! Cute model you got there !!!!

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