June 11, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Summer Time Romp & Play by Julia Faye

We have a special guest with us today for Tutorial Tuesday! Designer Julia Faye Davison has written a wonderful tutorial on how to make this adorable Summer Time Romp & Play Romper for babies. Such a cute, comfortable summer outfit with ties at the shoulder for easy dress time.

Julia Faye shows you how to draft a pattern and sew your own romper with her thorough tutorial below. Read all about it and then go make your own! 

Hello Girl Charlee readers! I love rompers for the summer time. They will not slide up like dresses do and Girl Charlee fabric is so comfortable for my daughter. Here is a tutorial of a ruffled bottom romper that ties at the shoulders.

What you need:

Tank top onesie in your desired size (I used 9 months)
5/8" base fabric
1/4" 1st contrast
1/4" 2nd contrast
1/8" interfacing (optional)
4 plastic rings (available at any sewing place)
3 pair of 10" or 14" snaps
Paper (I used packaging paper)
Tape measure


1. Trace around the front onesie (minus the sleeves). 
2. Mark center front at the top and bottom of the onesie. 
3. Draw a line down the center front with a ruler and add 1/2" to the side seams and leg openings. With a 1 1/2" at the bottom opening.
4. Then just add 1" up from side seam top and bottom, 1" outward from top and 1 1/2" from bottom. Then connect the curve to the top armhole and bottom leg hole. 
5. Slash center front to 1/8" from bottom and open 3 1/4".
6. Place paper underneath it and tape close. Drawing a new center front line. Divide 3 1/4" to 1 5/8"
7. Add 3/4" at top of center front and 3/8" at armhole.

8. Draw a straight line from armhole (about 2 1/4") and a parallel line from center front upwards at 3 1/4" (each size u or down add or take away 1/4").

9. Connect the curve from armhole to points drawn to center front. (as shown) 

10. Copy the front pattern to make the back pattern, but add 2" to bottom opening and 1/2" to bottom side opening, and 1 1/4" to middle of leg opening. Connect the points to blend. 

11. Cut one of each on the fold. 

12. to get the ruffles for the back, measure the back pattern piece and times it by 4. You will make 5 pieces this long with a 2 1/4" width. Mine turned out to be 28" for a size 9 month. 

13. Measure your armhole of front and back and add 3". 9M is 11". Cut two bias strips out this length with a width of 1 1/2". Then cut 4 parallel to the selvage strips at 10" by 1 1/2" for your ties (add 1/2" down or up for every size). 

14. If you have a serger then roll serge one end of each ruffle and flat serge the other. Or you can turn hem under 1/4" or just leave raw (this type of jersey rarely frays). 

15. Gather all 5 ruffles at 1/4". 
16. Place first ruffle 5/8" away from bottom. Then pin in place across the back at a slight curve.
17. Sew in place at 1/4" from edge. 
18. Place next 4 ruffles (one by one) at an overhang of 1/2". 
19. This is what all 5 sewn in should look like. 
20. Baste all ruffles down flushing at side seam.
21. Measure back of onesie with elastic and add 1"
22. Sew elastic in place with zigzag stitch and stretch elastic was you sew. 
23. This is how the back inside should turn out.
24. Sew front and back together at side seam with a 1/2" seam allowance.
25. Finish leg edge and upper back and front with a flat serge, zigzag, or leave raw edge. 

26. Press upper edge of front and back under 5/8" and stitch from fold a 1/2" seam, then a 3/8" from that. 
27. Do the same for the leg opening making sure not the catch your ruffle by picking and dropping needle.
28. Next cut 2 elastics for each leg. threading it through with a safety pin and stopping 5/8" from the ends. Sew in place 1/4" from the end of the elastic. My elastic length for a 9M was 10 3/4". Add or take awa 1/2" for every size. 
29. Measure top opening and add 1/2" to front and 1" more  to back. My 9 month size measured 5 1/2" for front and 6 1/2" for back.
30. Thread elastic through as in step 28 and sew elastic in at the armhole seam (1/4")
31. Pin bias strip right to wrong with 2" overhang on front and back top edge. Stitch 1/4" from raw edge.
32. Turn under 1/4" of other edge and sew along the seam edge.
33. Put plastic ring in all four ties and roll end 1/4" and stitch down at bottom and again near ring.
34. Fold your four tie ends in half and sew from the fold edge at 3/8" and across one end. Turn inside out. 
35. Place each tie end through the plastic loos and roll under hem and sew. (as shown). 
36. Fuse 5/8" wide of interfacing to both front and back. (optional)
37. Roll under 5/8" then again 5/8" and sew along the edge.
38. Place 3 snaps in the bottom opening (making the first snap in center front then equal sides, with 1/4" from the edge)
39. I poke the prong part through the fabric first, then I place the knob part on the prongs and gently put knob through a thread hole and hammer down. (but follow manufactures instructions).
40. You can also make sure the snaps are in place by placing thread over the knob part and hammering the top of the thread. 
41. The knob of the snap is on the front and the flat of the snap is on the back. (as shown below)


Thank you so much for bearing with my first tutorial! If you have any questions don't hesitate to comment. You can find a lot of other rompers, dresses, and much more made by Julia Faye in my Etsy store.
We hope you enjoyed the tutorial! Be sure to check out Julia Faye's designs on her Facebook page and remember if you make something with our fabrics, we might feature it in our next KnitPicks. Email your images to gcblog(at)girlcharlee(dot)com. Until next time...

Keep sewing!
~The Girl Charlee Team


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Zafarani! We do too. :)

  2. I featured it here:

    1. Thank you for featuring the tutorial. :)

  3. can you just draft up a 3t pattern for me? lol :) I get so overwhelmed at all the adding and subtracting! :) Super cute Romper! :)


  4. Thank you for a great explanation. I was looking online for a similar idea and really appreciate it

  5. That looks like fun and it's something I've never tried thank you

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