The romper builds on the trousers with a shaped bodice to create a flattering one-piece. The bodice is made with a front piece, a back piece and two strips of fabric to form a facing through which elastic can be threaded. It can be made with or without straps.
The Acid Candy romper is made with a floppy synthetic fabric. The trousers are full-length and tapered at the ankle. They have two tucks on each side at the front, each using about 4cm (1½in) of fabric. The bodice is a fairly long 43cm (17in) and flops over at the bottom. The romper is brought in at the waist by a band of elastic 3.5cm (13?8in) deep. The facing at the top of the bodice is cut 5cm (2in) deep, and has been sewn to form a channel 3cm (1¼in) deep, through which a thin piece of elastic is threaded. The romper has two thick straps. Each finished strap measures 6cm (2½in) across.
To begin with, you need to cut and join the trouser pieces in exactly same way as in the trouser instructions (see pages 172–180). Stop your trouser-making process before folding the waist edge over. Zigzag-stitch the waist edge.
You now need to cut the bodice pieces for your romper. You are going to use the trouser part you have just made and a close-fitting vest top to mark the shape.
From the book DIY Couture by Rosie Martin, published by Laurence King.
The DIY Couture collection features 10 stylish, easy to make pieces of clothing that can be endlessly reinvented in different fabrics, textures, and colors. Anyone who enjoys sewing and creating something unique will love using this book to make their own couture wardrobe. With simple, visual instructions and cool styling, DIY Couture will inspire people to join the handmade revolution. Where eco-fashion meets street style, this is the antithesis of fast-fashion. Absolutely no patterns required!© 2013 Rosie Martin / Laurence King · Reproduced with permission.
Determine how long the bodice part of your romper will be. The one shown in these instructions is fairly long, causing fabric to hang over at the waist. To make a long bodice, lay your vest top next to, and sitting above the bottom edge of, your fabric. Put a pin in your fabric (or make a chalk mark) level with the armpit point of your vest. This is shown with a purple pin on the illustrations.
You can make an even deeper top, with a bigger overhang, by pushing your vest top further up. If on the other hand you want a tighter-fitting bodice that clings to your chest and reveals your waist, position your vest top so that the bottom sits below the bottom edge of your fabric. The variations on pages 188–189 will help you decide.
Measure the width of your vest top from armpit point to armpit point. Divide the measurement in half and write it down. You are going to make your bodice piece this much wider than your vest top. Half of the measurement you have just written down will go each side of your vest top, so halve the number again and write that down. We’ll call this your extra width measurement.
Measure your extra width measurement inwards from the side of your fabric and put a pin in here.
Lay the armpit point of your vest top level with this pin.
Now measure your extra width measurement across from your right ?armpit point and put a pin in here.
Put pins into your fabric where the straps of your vest top meet the main body.
Now draw lines between your pins with tailor’s chalk.
You need to make the bottom edge of your bodice piece exactly the same width as the waist edge of your trousers. To do this accurately, fold your vest top in half where it lies. This will allow you to find the centre of your bodice piece. Put a pin in here.
Remove the vest top. With your trousers turned inside out, lay them out below your fabric with the central seam directly below the central pin on your fabric. Put a pin in your fabric level with the sides of your trouser piece at both sides.
Mark a sloping chalk line upwards from your left side pin to the top side of your bodice piece.
Cut along this line, then cut halfway across the top of your bodice piece.
Take this cut half and fold it across to the opposite side. You are going to use your first half as a guide so that your bodice piece is perfectly symmetrical. The most important points to match up are the bottom ones. Make sure the corner of the folded side sits touching the bottom pin.
Cut around this second half.
You have made the front of your bodice.
Use your front bodice piece as a guide to mark and cut your back bodice piece.
Lay your front bodice piece out on your fabric and use it as a guide to mark the two sloping vertical sides.
Your back piece is going to curve downwards instead of upwards across the top. Fold your front piece in half to find the centre and mark this central axis on your fabric with chalk.
Measure the depth of your back piece from the armpit point down to the bottom edge.
Now move your tape measure to ?the central axis you have marked and measure that depth minus about 6cm (21?2in) up from the bottom of your fabric. Put a pin into your fabric to ?mark this shorter depth.
Now draw a line that slopes from the taller, outer edge to that pin. This should make a line that slopes gently downwards to the centre of your piece.
Cut one half of your back piece, then fold it over to the other side so that your piece has an identical slope on each side.
Cut out your piece.
You need to make a strip of facing for the top of each of your bodice pieces. This is going to form a tunnel through which you will thread elastic. It needs to be about 3cm (1¼in) deeper than the elastic you plan to use.
Pin the top edge of your front piece to your fabric and use the edge of it as a guide to cut your facing.
Trim the bottom edge so the line runs parallel with the top edge of your facing and so that the facing is as deep as you need it to be.
Repeat this process with your back piece.
Now you need to join the back and front bodice pieces together down both sides.
With right sides together, pin and sew your two pieces of facing together at one side, then iron the seam open.
Lay out your front piece with the right side facing upwards and lay your back piece on top of it, with the right side facing down.
Match up the top edges and pin together down each side.
Sew together with straight stitch and iron the seams open.
Zigzag-stitch down each of these ?raw edges.
Next you need to attach your facing to your bodice piece.
Turn your bodice piece the right way ?out so that you are looking at the right side of the fabric, and the back of your bodice. Lay your facing out so that it matches the top edge of your back piece. You should be looking at the wrong side of your facing.
Pin the facing to the top edge of the bodice all the way round.
Sew the two together with straight stitch, leaving a few centimetres unsewn at each unjoined end of your facing.
Nip these short edges together so that they fit your bodice piece perfectly. Sew the ends together with straight stitch.
Flip the facing over to the wrong side of your bodice and iron it so that it sits just a millimetre or so below the top edge of your bodice.
Turn inside out, pin the facing down well and sew it almost all the way round.
Leave 4 or 5cm (1½–2in) unsewn so that you can push your elastic in later on.
Next, you need to attach your bodice to your trousers.
With your bodice inside out and upside down, insert your trousers (the right way round and the right way up) into it. Remember to match back to back and front to front. Your bodice forms a tube. Push your trouser piece up into it so that
the waist edge of your trousers meets the ?waist edge of your top. They should be the same width. If one is a little bit bigger, sew a line further in from the edge to make it smaller. When the two are exactly the same size, pull the trousers up even further.
You want your bodice piece to be sitting a few centimetres below the waist edge of your trousers. The amount depends on the width of the elastic you are going to insert at the waist of your romper. If you are inserting a piece of elastic that is 3cm (1¼in) wide, you need to leave an extra
4.5cm (1¾in) of fabric. This allows ?1.5cm (5?8in) to make a seam. Pin the ?top and trousers together all the way ?around this edge, then sew them together ?all the way around this pinned line.
Turn your romper so you are looking ?at the wrong side of the fabric all over ?and flip the waist flap you have just ?made upwards.
Pin it into position and sew it down almost all the way around.
Make sure you leave a gap so that you will be able to push your elastic in.
Use a safety pin to work your elastic through the tunnel you have made.
When the end of your elastic emerges again, pin the two ends together and join them with straight stitch.
Sew a short row of straight stitch to seal the gap you left open for your elastic.
Repeat this process with your bust elastic. Tie the ends together with plenty of extra elastic and try your romper on. Tighten or loosen the bust elastic while you are wearing it until you have the tension that you want. If you are not adding straps you need the elastic to be tight enough to hold your romper up securely.
You have a Romper!