JM’s Baby Dedication ceremony was on Mother’s Day. I decided that I was going to make his outfit, partly because I wanted something special and partly because I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. In my head, I knew exactly what I wanted: Pale blue linen romper (shortalls), perhaps with some smocking, perhaps not. I wanted simple, boyish and not girlie looking.
I started out searching for this dream romper. It was not to be found. I searched online. I searched in stores. I searched consignment shops and boutiques. I wasn’t willing to spend $70 on an outfit for a baby (especially since I wasn’t crazy about anything I saw) and I just could not find the vision I had in my head.
So, what’s a mama to do when she knows what she wants and won’t settle?
She makes it herself!
I was nervous about going out on a limb and just making it up as I went (as I have a tendency to do) since I’m really a learning sewer. I studied some of his rompers and thought I could do it but given my time frame (one week), I needed to just get it done and quickly. So, I decided to buy my first ever for real sewing pattern. I’ve bought a few online patterns (which I should really tell yall about) and used online tutorials, but I think those are easier because of all the fabulous pictures that come with them so you know what you’re doing. This time, I needed a real pattern with all that paper stuff to cut out, sewing lingo and limited pictures.
I went to the fabric store and finally decided on this pattern:
KWIK SEW pattern number 3035. The blue romper is the one I wanted, except with no front pocket.
It wasn’t 100% perfect because I really didn’t want the front seam, and I wanted buttons on the top (which meant using the button hole foot on my machine…never done that) instead of snaps. But I knew it would work.
I read the pattern/directions about a hundred times before I started. I googled terminology and watched some YouTube videos. I decided to go with the 3-6 month size romper since he’s growing so fast. After mourning actually cutting the pattern pieces I wanted out and knowing I wouldn’t be able to use the bigger sizes later now, I did the cutting and had my pieces. (I have saved every piece however and am determined to rig something up as the pattern was nearly $10. I will get more use out of it somehow!)
I purchased 1.5 yards of pale blue linen at the fabric store, snaps for the legs (and a very cool tool to attach them with) and buttons. Later, I ended up going back and purchasing snaps with white caps instead of silver and some decorative buttons.
Using the pattern, I cut out my pieces and followed the directions for piecing it all together. I have a really hard time sticking with seam allowances and with sewing an actual straight line so I went very slowly in an effort to keep everything lined up. I had to stop along the way and study up on what overcastting was and then had to wrap my brain around zigzagging the edges of the fabric so it wouldn’t unravel.
Working over a period of about 3 days in spare time, I was able to finish up the romper much quicker than I expected! I only had an hour here and there to do it so I can tell you this pattern is easy to set aside and come back to. If you had a good block of time and are without a baby who thinks he needs to be held constantly and 2 wild hyenas running around in the background breaking your concentration, I’m sure you could easily finish it in one day. Or if you’re a mad sewer with serious skills, like an hour.
JM is almost 11 weeks old now and the 3-6 month size fits him fine and gives us more time to wear it. I’m so glad I went with the bigger size.
I did get this cute little tool for less than $5 to do the snaps.
Dritz Easy Attacher Kit for attaching snap fasteners
Originally around $7.50, this kit was only $4.50 the week I visited the fabric store (unexpected score!) I chose to buy it instead of just using a hammer on the buttons and am I so glad I did. I tried it on a scrap without the little tool and messed up a snap.
With this tool, you push the bottom prong through the fabric, lay it down in the tool slot which holds it in place and keeps it from shifting, line up the other part of the snap and then close the top of the tool down. You can hear it click just a bit so you know its lined up. THEN you take your hammer and bang on it a few times to push the two pieces together. The Easy Attacher kit was so easy to use and is definitely very handy! My kit works on size 15 and 16 snaps which is what most baby clothes appear to use. I can also use it to repair a few outfits that were missing snaps.
Finally, I decided to add one little detail to this romper.
Aren’t they cute?!? I love how it gives the romper a little somethin-somethin!
I was dissatisfied with how blah the snaps looked on this cute romper. I wanted a bit more of a dressy or elegant finished product but not over the top. After attempting to figure out my button hole attachment on my machine using some scraps of the linen and failing, I knew I had to use the snaps and then set out to find a way to cover them up. I found these buttons at Hancock’s and simply sewed them on through the top of the snaps.
I will be taking it next week to someone to embroider a “J” on the front. I wanted it done before the baby dedication but didn’t finish it in time.
And now, a few pictures of the little man in his romper! He really wasn’t in the mood for this…
and I have to throw these two in there
Things I’d like to change about the KwikSew 3065 pattern:
First, I would not round the front flaps if I’m going to use snaps for closing the romper. I just think making them a little longer, squared and having them snap on top of the shoulders would look better. I’m going to try that on my next romper. If you like the rounded look, I think putting in button holes and using a button for closure would be totally cute; the snap leaves something to be desired. I intended on doing this myself but I couldn’t figure out how to actually make the button hole work on my machine. I tried but was unsuccessful.
Second, I wouldn’t have a seam running up the front of the romper. I’m going to try to do a single piece on my next romper.
Third, I would include a layer of lining on the inside to cover up those seams on the inside so the baby’s skin has a soft layer against it instead of seams that will probably become more of an irritant as its washed numerous times.
My overall opinion as a sewer who’s had no training and is teaching herself along the way is that this pattern was pretty easy to use. I think they could clarify a few things in their directions and perhaps offer some more options for the snaps. And man I wish patterns were drawn out where you can use them longer, especially since I paid more for the pattern than for the fabric!
I have plans to make JM a lot more rompers with this pattern as I love them on little boys! I’m hoping to figure out how to use the other sizes so if you’ve got advice on that, let me know how.
Do you have any favorite patterns for boys? I didn’t know how to sew when the olders were little so I’m excited about the possibility of making more clothes for him!