I made this romper for Kids Clothes Week and I loved it so much. BUT once I had it on Michael I had several ideas for small hacks that could make a big difference, so this one has ended up being a little bit of a wearable muslin.
(Are you sick of this (adorable) owl pattern yet, because this is my last bit of it. That is one good thing about sewing for babies, a little bit of fabric goes a long way, and this gray just goes with everything!!)
Anyway, onto the modifications.
I thought the other romper was a little too high on his body (it stopped just under his chin) and a little wide for my preference. If I had a little girl and was trying to keep her top half covered that would be different, but for baby boys it’s okay if we see a bit of that chunky chest sticking out!
I reduced the top of front piece by 1 inch, and the sides by 1/2 inch each. I also added 1 1/2 inches to the length of the straps to accommodate for the length that I took off the top front, and also to give him a little more room to grow. I widened the straps by 1/2 inch just out of preference.
Now I loved seeing Michael’s chunky legs in his other romper but the cinched in leg holes reminded me too much of girl’s bloomers, so the leg holes were the next thing on my list to tweak.
I added 1 inch to the bottom of the leg holes, and added leg cuffs which were 3/4 inch wide. But I hadn’t considered that since I wasn’t folding the fabric up to make an elastic casing this would add extra length too. Also the longer straps let the whole romper drop down a little bit lower on his body. I think I ended up with just a bit too much length for such little legs.
I wasn’t going for a full on short-alls look, so I need another attempt to get this part right. But it definitely does look more boyish. 🙂
I love the look of the leg cuffs and will definitely do that next time, I just won’t add any extra length to the leg holes themselves and see where that leaves me. Hopefully it will be the perfect middle ground. But luckily we are only midway through April and there is still plenty of time to tweak summer wear!
Michael has been sizing out of almost all of his clothes based on how long he is, so I wanted to make the strap length adjustable so that he could wear his rompers throughout the summer. Since I have a new collection of KAM snaps (which are incredibly easy to use, if you’ve been on the fence), and I hate buttonholes (as everyone does), I went for those.
I used two snaps for each strap so that I could keep the straps anchored on the slant and help them to stay up and across his shoulders. I hid the “male” part of the snaps under the elastic fold of the romper back so that they aren’t visible from the outside. Then I added two “female” snaps to the bottom of each strap. Then I tried this on Michael so that I could see about the fit before I added more snaps.
This works. Two snaps ensure that the straps stay diagonal across his back and on his shoulders, and I like the hidden snaps in the elastic back. HOWEVER, this is for a 4 month old baby who is unable to sit unassisted and still spends most of his time horizontal or at least reclining. So a bunch of plastic snaps under his back is probably not the most comfortable thing, right? (Face palm!) He wore and played happily in this and didn’t seem remotely uncomfortable or agitated, but once I had this thought I didn’t want to add more snaps, even though that was the point in the first place! Snaps at different points along the length of the straps is what would make this adjustable, but if the straps are just going to be anchored down than I might as well just sew the straps to the back! Sigh. Oh well, it’s a muslin for a reason, right? It’s all a learning experience designed to make the next one(s) perfect.
If I have my heart set on adjustable straps I probably need to go with buttonholes on the back of the straps and a thin button inside the back piece.
Alternately when the straps get too short I could just remove the old straps and make new longer straps. It would be totally easy and not time consuming, but as I’ve said before about unpicking and re-hemming a dress, I would probably rather just make a completely new version than fix up an old one. 🙂
I also added this kangaroo pocket, which you can barely see. 🙁 For some reason I forgot to stabilize the back and I can’t shake that it looks slightly crooked even though I am positive that the top and bottom horizontal lines are parallel to the top line of the romper. But fabric with four-way stretch is tricky like that, so definitely stabilizing next time, and I’ll use a fabric with more contrast or I won’t even bother.
The last thing that I will keep in mind for next time is that if I’m going to use a lining fabric that is this cute, than I need to take a few extra steps to make the whole thing reversible. Since the front and straps are already lined it is an easy addition to the pattern, it will just require one more pattern piece and a little bit of thought before I start putting it all together. Which should be no problem since I already ironed out so many things with this version. 🙂
And the cliff notes, just in case anyone cares: reduced height of front, reduced width of front, increased leg holes on front, increased leg holes on back, installed hidden snaps in back back, installed double snaps on bottom of straps, lengthened straps, widened straps, added kangaroo pocket, added leg cuffs.
Whew! What do you think?