March 15, 2023
By Esi Hutchinson
After I made the adjustments made to the teddy (Part 1 here) from the 219 Intimacies pattern, I was able to confidently begin my final garment. I washed and pressed my fabric (a sanded cotton twill) and began following the instructions. Make sure you've added at least half yard of fabric extra to the required yardage in your size before your start cutting.
I followed the pattern instructions without any other changes until the side seams. I sewed the right side (as you are wearing it) together and kept the left side open in order to install the zipper. A side zipper is the easiest way to get in and out of this garment as a romper, and is pretty easy to add to the side seam. I didn't want to have a crotch opening (as the pattern indicates for the teddy).
To add the zipper
You could use an invisible zipper here, but I used a regular garment zipper. I measured 1/4" (6mm) above the top of the zipper, drew a line, and cut at the line to trim down the top of the zipper so it would fit easily with the facing.
To find the best zipper length, I measured from about 2" (5cm) below the bottom of my armpit (that's is where the zipper will start, at the top of the romper) to the widest part of my hips.
The length I need for my zipper was 17" (43cm). I probably could have made it 2-3" (5-7.8cm) shorter. I marked the side seam on the front/back at 1/4"/6mm below the top left side of the garment, and also 17" below that mark. I basted the side seam together from the top to the lower zipper mark, and then stitched (with a regular stitch length down to the bottom hem of the romper.
I stitched a tight zig-zag over the zipper at 17" below the top to make a new zipper stop, which you might need to do if you don't have the exact zipper length you want. It is easy to make a zipper shorter (you can't make it longer though!). To do this, set the width of your zig-zag as wide as you can and stitch length to zero.
Next, I pinned one wrong side of the zipper to the wrong side of the basted seam, like so. I place the zipper teeth so they are aligned with the seamline, and the top of the zipper is 1/4" (6mm) below the top of the romper.
To sew the zipper down, I move the needle to the side farthest away from the zipper teeth and stitch using a zipper foot. I move the slider down when starting stitching and move it back up when continuing down. You could also hand baste the zipper down before stitching with a machine.
I pivoted my stitching and stitched over the zipper teeth at the 17" mark, just above my new zipper stop.
Then I continued to stitch up the other side of the zipper, the same way. Continue stitching the zipper in the same way as the other side.
When finished, I removed basting stitches that held the seam in place.
Continuing with construction: Facings
I stitched the facings with the right sides together only (on the right side as you wear it).
Trim seam and press open.
The instructions indicate to press the bottom edge of the facings to the wrong side. You could also serge, zig-zag or overcast the raw edges. I serged the bottom edge, instead of pressing.
I stitched the facing to the top of the romper, starting and finishing on either sides of the zipper.
I turned the facing to the inside of the romper and pressed. You can topstitch close to pressed edges, though I did not do that as I prefer the look without topstitching here.
I folded under, and pressed, the remaining raw edges of the facing at the sides by the zipper. Then I slip stitched them to the zipper tape, taking care not to stitch too close to the zipper teeth (the stitches might interfere with the slider movement.
To keep the facing from flipping out, I hand tacked the facing to center front and center back and right side seam, as you can see in images below.
I attached the gussets as the instructions indicate, but did not add any buttonholes/buttons, of course. So, I did not need to fold the shorter long edges.
I stitched the curved edges of the front and back gusset to the box, and finished the seams by pressing open and serging.
I stay-stitched along the stitchline on the front and back, on either side of the slash line (tapering to and pivoting at the box). Then, slashed to the box.
I stitched the gussets to the front and back matching seam lines (raw edges won't be even at the top of the slash), and using a Using a 1/4" (6mm) seam allowance. I made sure to backstitch at the box to secure stitching.
I used a zig-zag stitch to encase the raw edges.
On the short straight edges of both gussets, I basted the raw edges together using a 1/2" (13mm) seam allowance.
Since, based on the original instructions, I would have pressed under 1/2" (13mm) twice to create the button and buttonhole seam, I trimmed away 1/2" (13mm) from raw edge (at the basting line). Then I stitched using a 1/2" (13mm) seam allowance.
I pressed this seam open and finished the edges.
Finally, I tried on the romper to determine the exact length to hem. For thicker or heavier fabric, like this twill, I used a wider hem of about 1-1/4" (3cm) because if you used a narrow hem on thick fabric it will roll up. So make sure you give yourself enough length for a wider hem.
I trimmed down the hem on my legs and made a new cutting line, allowing for a 1-1/4" (3cm) for the hem.
I folded under 1/4"/6mm then 1"/2.5cm and stitched near the fold.
I'm so glad I made a muslin, sometimes it can be tiring to have to make one but it's better to be safe than sorry. I really like the sanded twill fabric because it's very utilitarian, which I'm attracted to. I really like to work with my hands and be constantly creative with different mediums and this fabric is tough and easy to wash, and the dark color won't stain easily. I'll be wearing this romper out and about when it gets warmer for sure!
I hope you liked this blog post, and please show us what you made from #219 Intimacies (tag us on social media with #folkwearpatterns and #Folkwear219)
Below, I paired the romper with 145 Chinese Pajamas Jacket I made last month. You can check out the blog post here for that sew along. I can layer this romper while the temperatures are still a bit cool, and wear it on its own when summer comes!
February 17, 2023