7.30.2014

tutorial: romper with room!

oonaballoona romper tutorial simple simon

The last time I wrote a tutorial, I took two rectangles of fabric and tried to make Advanced Calculus out of them...AND I AM NOT THAT MATHY.  This time, I'm going to try and explain things easily and visually, as really this romper is just a marriage of rectangle and triangle, with two baby foothole curves thrown in.  Also, Proper Use Of Capitalization For Better Ease Of Tutorial Reading!

(Disclaimer: Use at your own risk, this obviously ain't no couture technique tutorial.)

oonaballoona romper tutorial simple simon

We'll talk dimensions in a minute, but I think it's easier to look at this jammy in shapes first.  The top portion is a rectangle, the bottom portion is an equilateral triangle, the footholes are small gentle curves. Erase the intersections and you have this:

oonaballoona romper tutorial simple simon

You are going to cut out two of this new shape, on the fold, one for front and one for back.  Fold is CF and CB.  (If you're playing with slippery fabric, or detailed print placement, you might want to make a whole pattern piece.) 



Ok, dimensions!  Tres important, and completely ambiguous here.  Well, not completely.  This thing can only go on by way of your hips, so let's start there...

The width of the rectangle must be as wide as your widest measurement, or you'll end up with a wadder.  Or a one legged skirt.  On me, that's my hips.  If your bust is wider than your hips, then the width must fit your bust.  Whichever measurement is larger!  The shirring will help hold it up, but you may find you need straps if you're a busty gal.

The length of the rectangle depends on where you want the waist to hit.  I wanted an empire waist feel, so my rectangle dimensions were 10 1/2" wide on the fold  (21" wide flat measurement, 40" wide tube after sewing it all up) and 7" long.  Remember to account for seam allowance, and any ease you might want!!

The length of the "skirt" portion is up to you-- but I find the longer the drop, the skirt-ier the crotch, ie less "man-junk-on-woman" effect that Ruggy so dearly abhors. If you intend on wearing the garment both as romper and skirt (by pulling the shirred section down to your waist) then the side seam should only extend to about mid calf, so that your garment doesn't drag on the ground when you wear it as a skirt.  If you're intending to wear it only as a romper, the side seam can go on down to about 4" above your ankle.

The bottom seam of the fabric should be as wide as your fabric allows, really, for maximum flowiness. Totally couture term.  My finished bottom seam is 40" wide from foothole to foothole.

oonaballoona romper tutorial simple simon


Footholes for your footsies! At the bottom corner of my triangle, I marked 4" in on the bottom seam, and 6" up on side seam, then connected those marks with a nice gentle curve.  The curve needs to morph into a straight line just at the seam allowance (there's a better way to say that, i'm sure) otherwise you'll have a weird extra piece of curvy fabric you'll have to cut off later when making the foothole hem.  Which is no biggie, again, easy-peasy-loosey-goosey-this-ain't-no-couture-tutorial.

oonaballoona romper tutorial simple simon


Time to sew it up.  On both pieces, at the top of your rectangle (the "bodice") turn under 1/4" and again 1/4" and stitch to form the neckline. You have to do this before shirring, doing it after will cause you Brain Pain.  Then shir each rectangular portion with 1/4" spacing (the tighter the spacing, the snugger the bodice).  I won't go into how to shir here, there is a landslide of tutorials out there, but I will say I don't recommend that you mess with your bobbin case tension to get your machine to shir. Some machines just don't want to shir, and I don't blame them.  I used my Featherweight.

Now sew your side seams from bottom to top (I always sew seams from wide to narrow ever since reading a Threads article by Susan "The Godmother" Khalje), in whatever fashion you choose, neatening up your seams if you're not using a serger or french seams.  Sew your bottom "hem line" seam, again, finishing the raw edges.  All that's left is to turn your "footholes" under, 1/4" and 1/4" just as you did the top neckline, stitch, and BAM.  YOU'RE DONE.  Try it on and dance around!  Do a high kick with no fear of showing the world yo lady parts!

Phew.  I hope this made some kind of sense.  The shirring takes time, but I've worn my jumper about eight bajillion times, so that's like two nanoseconds worth of shirring per wear.  Good exchange rate.



And iffin ya didn't know, this tutorial is my small, weird contribution to Simple Simon's Skirting the Issue!  Many lovely sewists have contributed tutorials, with the hope that sewists will donate skirts made from these tutes to girls living in foster care-- for example, fabulous Faye has contributed adorable items for multiple girls!  (Of course you can use any pattern you like, you don't have to use a tutorial.) You can donate skirts all the way up till August 15th, and there are prizes to be won (on top of the good feelings you'll get by simply donating a skirt). Elizabeth and liZ have a beautiful post up today about how it all started.

I think this romper would be more suited for teens, and it's the sort of thing that you can make up in a loose range of XS-XL sizes.  And hey, if you try it in a teen size to be donated first, you've had a nice practice run for a you-sized romper!  Bringing selfless back to selfish, kalkatroonaan style!

(And let's just skim over the fact that I was supposed to come up with a "skirt" tutorial.  I assume at this point Elizabeth and liZ know my brain functions on a different set of definitions.  Tee hee, and tra la.)  

ALRIGHT! I'm off! Do tell me if you try it!

31 comments:

  1. You, my dear are awesome and thank you for this tutorial. I now have to go and find the perfect fabric for this and then STOP...ROMPERTIME.

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    1. STOP...ROMPERTIME is now my afternoon's soundtrack. I can knock one of these out before returning to my Alabama Chanin obsession, right?

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    2. magpi, you can knock it out right quick (certainly quicker than a beautiful chanin make, you have patience!) and yes: fooniks. thank you for the soundtrack.

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  2. Great dress! Your sewing is beautiful

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  3. Having two degrees in math, I'm kinda disappointed to not see the Advanced Calculus version. Mais oui, ce tutorial is tres good. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. oh, don't be. you'd be more disappointed in my fake math, believe me.

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  4. Cool. Thanks for the tutorial. Very visual and easy to grasp. Well done!

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    1. i'm so glad! i truly never know if i'm making any sense.

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  5. ERMAHGERD I NEED TO MAKE ONE OF THESE STAT. I love the whole high-kick-no-seeum-lady-bits aspect of this, because heaven knows sitting like a lady isn't always my strong suit. Thank you Oona! :)

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  6. you rock this like nobody's business lady!

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  7. OMG this is amaaaazing! It's currently winter here down under, but I can see myself living in one of these come summer!

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    1. i've worn mine so much i'm surprised it hasn't fallen apart...

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  8. I remember seeing an awful cousin of this style in Threads a few years back and wanting to gag (sorry, Threads, but contrast ankle cuffs, really?). Now I see how fab rompers can be!

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    1. haha!!! yes, sometimes i don't quite understand the aesthetic there....

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  9. Thanks Oona, I'm making this awesome romper ASAP and thanks for letting me know about 'Skirting the Issue'. I'd never heard of this and have just put my first skirt tutorial on the blog (what are the chances of that?!) and I'd love to contribute to this good cause. Perfect timing!

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    1. oh and I'M SORRY maxi miette??? yes!!!!

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  10. You have elevated the concept of romper to a new dimension. Adorable!

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    1. haha!! in a kalkatroonaan world, all rompers are mad.....

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  11. This may just be the most fun I've had reading a tutorial in forever! Thanks Oona!!

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    1. thankya sallie! my hope is that if it's not understandable, it is at least enjoyable!

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  12. Pretty clever romper, and clear tutorial! " Romper Room" was the name of the old childrens tv show from the 60's... and there was also "Wanda, Wanda".

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    1. yes, my mom watched that! romper room, that is. those "wunda wunda" sounds fun (love that autocorrect).

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  13. That should read "Wunda, Wunda"...old local live tv from Seattle in the early 60s.

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  14. I think I might have been inspired. This is good for woven fabrics, right?

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    1. oh definitely, in fact i used a silk CDC. now girl, you are better blessed of bust size than me, so straps might be needed :)

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  15. Cool beans, I love this and will be attempting it this weekend. Thanks for being fantastic.

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i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!