It’s a Grown-up Romper!

There was an Instagram sew-a-long for jumpsuits, and armed with the Sallie pattern by Closet Case Patterns and a few yards of a rayon jersey fabric, I jumped in to give this type of garment a try.

I don’t own any jumpsuits.  Would I like it?  Would it be hard to get in and out of?

The Sallie jumpsuit and maxi dress pattern is designed for knit fabric and has 3 views to mix and match.  I made view A which has a front and back v-neck, a self lined bodice, slash pockets, and an elastic waist.  I shortened the legs to make a romper. I think the last time I wore a romper was when I was a toddler!

I wanted a tropical print, but the fabric I bought wasn’t quite what I had in mind.  I like the leaves, but the background is quite light colored.  I would have preferred more of a blue and green print. This is also my first time working with rayon jersey which was very lightweight and stretchy.

The neckline uses clear elastic between the two layers of the bodice for a clean finish without any stitches showing or a band.  I’ve used clear elastic two times before without any problem.  With this make, I had a problem with one side of the neckline rippling and gaping.  In fact, it bothered me so much I made the bodice twice.

discarded bad neckline

Because the fabric was light colored, I decided to underline the shorts portion with a nude ribbed rayon knit I already had in my little stash.  Following this underlining tutorial by Seamwork, I pinned and hand basted the two fabrics together.

The inseam is 5 inches. I hand hemmed the shorts stitching through the interlining only.

The biggest surprise came when I sewed the top and bottom together, and tried the romper on.  The weight of the shorts caused the bodice to drop way too low, and the crotch was much too long. I had to keep hacking off fabric from both the bottom of the bodice and the top of the shorts until the fit was good.  I estimate I cut off 2 to 4 inches.  I also raised both the front and back necklines when I cut the bodice for a second time.  Being very short, I’m about 6 or 7 inches less in height than the pattern is drafted for, and these changes were necessary to fit my proportions.

This turned into a more challenging project because of my problems with the pattern, the fabric, and the fit.  Challenging is a code word for frustrating.

I bought another rayon/spandex jersey knit fabric at the same time and was planning on making the dress version of the pattern.  The elastic waist of the romper created bunchy seam allowances that poke me, so now I’m thinking I might enjoy wearing a dress without a waist seam better.  Another possibility for a future make from this pattern might be view C worn over a top in a cotton jersey with a tie belt instead of an elastic waist.

So, what do I think of this romper? While I can get in and out of it, I’m not jumping at chances to wear it.  I’m not a jumpsuit convert yet!  Shorts and a sleeveless rayon top are still my summer faves.

7 thoughts on “It’s a Grown-up Romper!

  1. jannisews

    I’m with you in the not keen camp. I made the same but with longer legs. I don’t find it that easy to get on and off, particularly when I’m in a hurry, which is most of the time. I think a matching top and pants set is the way ahead for me. It will look just the same, I won’t have any waist level issues and it will come off as quickly as needs be. I also failed with the much vaunted Zadie Jumpsuit. 2 failed jumpsuits. Will I never learn?

    1. Stitch It Again Post author

      I remember seeing your nautical Sallie on IG and it looked fantastic! But there can be a difference between a garment that photographs well and one that is a favorite to wear. Too bad even the Zadie didn’t work for you. I don’t mind trying new things that won’t get a lot of wear once in a while, especially because my garments that get the most wear are so basic.

      I was disappointed I didn’t get to see you on the Great British Sewing Bee! I saw all the other seasons on You Tube as they came out, but they must police their content better because no luck this time. I imagine it must have been an exciting and nerve wracking experience to be a contestant. Thank you for stopping by and for your input!

      1. jannisews

        Interestingly, a few weeks ago I tried on a Deer and Doe Sirrocco and it looked great even though it was a couple of sizes too small but the print and colour suited me (and the fabric was stretchy). It’s so linked up those combinations.

        Zadie was an issue because of the fabric and colour, and the fit just made my shape look dreadful, the stretch jersey of the Sallie was good, the colour suited me and it is comfortable, but it is still a faff to get off quickly enough when needs must.

        I hope you get to see the Bee. It was as much fun to do as it was to watch.

  2. seweverythingblog

    The romper looks good on you in the photos, Lisa! A word about the rayon knit. I have sewn with it but made all tops or tunics; it is just too lightweight and unstable to make a bottom. It was so clever of you to line it with another knit, though. Maybe you can get the look of a jumpsuit by separating the top and bottom, and wearing the top tucked in. No more bunchy waist seam.

    1. Stitch It Again Post author

      Thank you, it did turn out well in the end, but just feels a little awkward to wear. Yes, the fabric seemed very unstable. I used a walking foot, but it was still hard to work with. The waist seam had 4 layers with the added underlining, but I felt it was needed. The fabric grows because of the stretchiness which is another problem.

  3. KerryCan

    I admit I had my doubts but it ends up that I like it, once I saw the finished photos with you wearing it! I don’t think it’s a style I’d be likely to wear (I’m a skort and camp shirt kind of gal) but i bet you’ll find occasions to wear it!

    1. Stitch It Again Post author

      We’ll see! It’s dressier than wearing shorts so I won’t wear it to walk the dog. It makes me think of resort wear, but will I only wear it as a last resort? I like the idea of a skort, and used to wear a few! I’d have to hack a pattern because I don’t see them anymore.


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