Monday, June 25, 2012

Girls Rainbow Petti Romper Sewing Tutorial

Hasn’t this month been great seeing all of the tutorials Project Run & Play inspired!?! I’m so glad I am able to share one with you as well. Thank you LiZ and Elizabeth! For introduction, I am Courtney from Sweeter Than Cupcakes. I started sewing when my oldest daughter was 6 months old and she just turned 4 earlier this month. I also have an 8 month old daughter. I’m sure that is enough about me, so let’s move on to the tutorial!!

For the signature style challenge of Project Run & Play, I made this rainbow petti-romper. I used a pattern from Snazziedrawers for that piece, but I’ve used the same concept to make up shorts to share with you here. Check out the Snazziedrawers pattern for a great petti-romper! These instructions fit a size 4T, but once you read through the method, you should be able to adjust it to fit another size easily.

Materials needed in addition to typical sewing supplies:
1/2 yard of knit fabric
3” x width of fabric (~42”) strips (5 total)
3/4” elastic
straight edge & ruler
fabric marking pen
elastic thread
First, cut 2 panels of knit 12” high x 17” wide.
Lay the two panels on top of each other and find the center of the panels. Using a fabric marker measure and mark 5/8” over each way from the center. Also, mark 3 1/2” up from the center of the panel.
Draw a narrow curve using the marks you made as a guide for the crotch.
Cut the crotch out of both layers of fabric.
I like to press all of my casings and hems while the pieces are still flat, so here I pressed the top of the panel 1/4” down to the wrong side of the fabric. Then fold and press again 1” down. Repeat for each panel. This will form your elastic casing later. Do NOT stitch at this point.
Next, fold and press a 1/4” hem at each of the shorts legs.
Stitch the hem in place using a ball point needle and a stretch stitch. (For more details on hemming with knits see Patty Young’s tutorials here.)
Unfold the pressed casing at the top of the panels. Measure down 2 1/2” from the top of the panel and draw a straight line on the right side of the fabric. Continue measuring and marking lines every 1 1/2” down the panel. Repeat for each fabric panel.
Cut 5 – 3” strips of fabric the width of the fabric (~42”).
Finish the top and bottom edge of the strips. I used a rolled hem on my serger.
Cut the finished strips in half lengthwise. For the bottom strip, cut it in quarters. You should end up with 8 long strips (~21”) and 4 of the bottom strips (~10.5”).
Hand wind your bobbin with elastic thread. If you need help with shirring (sewing with elastic thread) check out this tutorial over at Make It and Love It.
Starting at the bottom, line up the top of the short strip with the lowest marked line on the panel.
Sew two rows of shirred stitching 1/4” down from top of strip. Making the rows of stitching 1/4” apart. My machine has a special shirring stitch that looks like a funny zig-zag, but straight stitch works fine here too. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of your shirred rows to secure the thread. Your strips will overhang the edges, and we will trim them later.
Continue attaching the strips on the other leg of the panel and up the length of the shorts. Repeat for the other panel. Attach each strip with two rows of stitching.
Now is a good time to trim up those overhanging strips. Just line them up with the edge of the knit panel.
Pin up the ruffle above the crotch to keep it out of the way. Trim up the crotch strips.
Pin the front and back panels right sides together at the crotch and sew a 1/4” seam.
Be sure the casing at the top of the panels is still unfolded. Pin the front and back panels at the side seams with right sides together and sew a 3/8” seam. Use caution to catch and align each ruffle strip as you sew up the side seams. Finish the edges.
Re-fold and press the casing. Sew up the casing close to the inner folded edge leaving a 2” opening. Cut a length of 3/4” elastic 1” smaller than your waist measurement (18 1/2” for mine.) Using a safety pin thread the elastic through the casing.
Overlap the ends of the elastic, and sew them together with a zig-zag stitch. Then, close the casing.
Steam press the shorts to get the elastic thread to shrink up a bit leaving pretty ruffles behind. All finished!!
Please stop by Sweeter Than Cupcakes to see what else we’ve been up to. I’d love to see photos of your ruffles shorts as well!

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  1. Cute!! Perfect for the little girl in my life. She likes frills but she is constantly tumbling and jumping so the shorts would be perfect. :D

  2. such an interesting construction ~ I've never seen it before ~ thanks for sharing :)

  3. So stinkin' cute! I have the perfect little one in mind for these. Thank you!

  4. These are darling! Love your color choices and the serged edges. :)

  5. Wow, are those adorable! Thank you so much for teaching the technique so clearly too! I need to go check out and subscribe to your blog!


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