Sew Over it Poppy Playsuit at the beach

poppy-playsuit-patternIt is a rare treat for me to buy myself a sewing magazine. I adore Burda magazines and consider them a great investment since they include so many patterns, and when the styles come from Europe I feel like they are a little ahead of the fashion trends and my slow sewing ends up right on time. I don’t usually buy any other magazines, though. But one day, in a moment of frivolity, I bought the magazine Simply Sewing while at Barnes and Noble. I liked how it had a envelope pattern included (not the difficult tracing of Burda) and I had heard a few bloggers mention it and even that they were included. That warmed my heart to hear that so many talented seamstresses that don’t necessarily put themselves out there to publish traditionally got some attention in a current magazine. Good for them!

poppy-romper-pattern-backIt was a fun read, I quite enjoyed it. I don’t think it offers the wealth of evergreen content that some other magazines offer, but I loved hearing about The Great British Sewing Bee, seeing new patterns and fabrics featured, and the little projects are cute. This issue, issue 16, has a tutorial for little pyramid bookends that looks like a fun craft project. And I liked the article on stitching leather. It ended up being about $13 though, so it will be only an occasional treat.

sew-over-it-romper-front-topAnd on to the Sew Over It Poppy Playsuit. Yes, it is a quick, easy sew. The instructions are very nicely done, very beginner friendly. I think anyone could put this pattern together. The fit is loose and forgiving, too. But in general, jumpsuits and rompers have a lot of different areas to give attention to, so addressing all those fit areas in one garment can be daunting. This is a great place to start, though, so I’m not trying to warn anyone away!

poppy-playsuit-romper-pattern-shortsMy poly rayon mystery fabric was a nice lightweight but opaque choice. Another important decision, as with all sewing projects, really, is fabric choice. All in one garments are tricky because I usually would pick one weight for a blouse and a totally different weight for pants or shorts. But a jumpsuit requires the same fabric, and it can be tricky. In my last romper I decided my fabric was too lightweight for the bottom half and ended up lining those shorts. In this case, the fabric was dark enough and opaque enough to cover my lower half. You know what I mean?

poppy-playsuit-romper-in-arrows-print

My belt is slipping down!

My biggest struggle with this romper was simply the proportions of top vs. bottom. I’m tall, so I cut both my top and my bottom long. I knew I wouldn’t need all that length when I joined them, but I wanted to be able to play with where that waist seam sits on me. I noticed that the sample looked a little long in the crotch (sorry about that word) length. I don’t want to emphasize the length from my crotch to my waist, and with the shorts at a modest length it would not help my legs look longer like it does in full length pants. So I took a long time trying them on and pinning. I ended up moving the waist seam down a couple inches and then shortening the shorts a bit also. It is a playsuit after all! I think I also shortened the sleeves, and ditched the cuffs. I don’t have hard numbers because I just tried it on and pinned it. I wish I had made the alterations to my pattern pieces for the future. Oops.

poppy-playsuit-button-backI like wearing it, but only got a chance to do so a couple times before the end of summer. It will be interesting to see if I pull it out with eagerness next year or not. What do you guys think?

Main points:

  • Very simple pattern with thorough directions. Only took a few hours to make.
  • Getting the top to bottom proportions right for your body could be the biggest fit issue, since there is generous ease.
  • Simple Sewing Magazine is a fun read – I do wish it wasn’t so expensive here in the U.S.

Simplicity 1158 Border Print Romper

Simplicity Sure, maybe it took me a year to finish this guy, but it was worth the wait. My first romper! I feel very sassy wearing it, and I love saying the word romper and the whole concept of rompers. I am really into wearing shorts right now, so this is a solid move into the zone of wearable but trendy for me. Simplicity 1158 got lost in the move, but it has been found and finished!

Simplicity 1158 crossover backWho is excited about border prints right now? This was one of the first I bought (maybe close to 2 years ago now?) but since then I have been acquiring them like mad. There are so many cute ones out there, and they can give such a custom look to garments. In this case, I used the dark border on the bottom of the shorts, then flipped it over and used the dark up at the neckline to emphasize the halter style. It turned out really cute!Simplicity 1158 jumpsuit

The crossover back is such a clever design detail to make the romper easy to get in and out of. The ties that extend from the neckband thread into casings at the top of the back and you can tie them in a bow. In retrospect, it would have been cuter to have shorter ties so that the crossover detail isn’t hidden, but for you guys I did get a picture while the wind swept the bow to the side.

Simplicity 1158 romperSince completing this romper, I’ve also made another pattern up and I see that a big question with the romper is how to get in and out. The whole thing has to come down over the widest part of your body, so that neckline opening must accommodate it. The crossover plus the threaded casings really allow you open that top part up, so this is definitely a pattern I’d recommend for someone with a wider hip measurement. And the sexy emphasis on the shoulders is great, too!

The neckline has lovely pleats and a beautiful finish that lies really nicely. This fabric is the lightest, floatiest, slipperiest poly something and it was very difficult to work with, but the neckline turned out fantastic. The back diagonal seam facings are supposed to be reinforced with interfacing, but in my floaty fabric that was too much weight. I put it in, saw how it hung, then cut almost all of it out.

Simplicity 1158 necklineI also realized, rather late in the game, that it would be wise to line the shorts. Since I started these while I lived in Washington, a much cooler climate, the floaty fabric might have worked, since I never perspired. But, now that I live in California, my bum and back thighs stick to any and all chairs as soon as I sit in them. I have found myself in the uncomfortable position of peeling my unlined dresses off my backside after sitting down for any length of time. Super classy. So, after the shorts were assembled it occured to me how urgerntly I needed to line the bottom half. I cut another pair of the shorts out of nude rayon lining fabric, sewed them up, and dropped them into the outer ones, wrong sides together, and joined them at the waist seam. All fixed at the last minute and no more sticky buns.

S1158 liningMy biggest piece of advice with rompers is to try them on again and again to make sure the proportion is correct. Specifically the length of the bodice + the length of the shorts rise = perfect. Depending on a longer or shorter bodice, you must consider how it will all hang together, in addition to shorts length. I am tall, so I always add length. To a romper I add to both the bodice and the rise so I have plenty to work with. Then I have to experiment, and this can take some time. It just does, I’m afraid, but I know that was time well spent. Everything here hangs well, with the top blousing gracefully and the shorts smooth, not bunchy.

Simplicity 1158 border print romperGear up to gaze upon my rompers and jumpsuits, my friends, because I’m on a roll now! There is more to come. In the meantime, go ahead and listen to our 4th episode of Clothes Making Mavens where I get to interview one of the most talented (and nicest) people in our sewing community – Lori from Girls in the Garden! And answer our burning question “What was your proudest sewing moment?” by either calling, writing us a message, or leaving me a comment here!

Ep4 Lori V