Circle Romper Tutorial

This piece underwent a few different variations before I came up with the final product.  With summer right around the corner and the heat already beginning, I wanted The Robug to have a very loose-fitting and flowy outfit.  It’s hard to keep clothes on her right now, anyways, so I went for something that would keep her covered but be comfortable so she won’t take it off.  But, Little Miss Terrible Twos has a few little quirks that make it difficult to dress her: she acts like a little boy–she literally throws herself down in the grass and rolls around (grass stains are on all her clothes now…), she LOVES to play in mud, she is quite the climber, runs everywhere but is a complete klutz, does not like anything that is too tight anywhere on her body, and HATES skirts for whatever reason–I know it not.  So, I look at all these adorable pillow case dresses, circle skirts, etc…and think, “No way.  IF I can even get it on her, she’s going to pull it off plus it’ll be ruined in under five seconds.”  Thus, the Circle Romper was born
I LOVE the look of a circle skirt and, come on, though there is a bit of fabric, they are cool and comfortable.  Cool being the operative word there–if you’ve ever been in the Chicagoland area during a summer heat wave, you know why this is so important.  When it’s 95 degrees with 100% humidity, no amount of air conditioning can keep you cool.  Yes, I know it’s hot other places, too–I’ve been in Boston under the same conditions.  IT’S NOT THE SAME!  Trust me, until you’ve lived it, you cannot fully grasp the fact that it would be better to vacation in Hell Disney during August than live in Chicago…Back to the romper!
I decided I would use the circle skirt idea to make a romper–joining the dress in the middle keeps my little exhibitionist from entertaining the playground with her nakedness :).  This is a very easy little outfit to make:
I started by making a half-circle skirt using The Robug’s chest measurement instead of the waist and used this tutorial from Fickle Sense to create the longest “skirt” I could with the yard of fabric I had.  (I have to remember that I need to start buying two yards of fabric because The Robug is getting bigger.)  I cut the skirt along the fold so that I had two pieces –one for each side with a seam in the middle. 
And then, because my fabric wasn’t long enough to be the romper I envisioned,  I decided to add a panel to the bottom.  I took the fabric I had left and divided it into two large rectangles.  Finished one long edge by folding over and pressing 1/8″ and then folding over and pressing another 1/8″.  Sew the edge in place.
I know, you’re wondering what that strip of fabric is along the top and why it’s there.  Maybe not, but there’s a reason!  We are going to attach this rectangle to a curved edge–to keep it from bunching and hanging funny, I made a piece of 1.5″ bias tape and didn’t press it.  Place it right-sides together with the unfinished long edge of the rectangular panel.  Sew along this long edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Then, press the seam open.  On the right side of the fabric, as close to the seam as you can get, topstitch. Repeat this for the other piece.  Finally, because this strip is a piece of bias tape, you will be able to easily attach each of these pieces to the bottom of a circular body piece, lining up the raw edges, following the curve.  Sew along the curve using a 1/4″ seam allowance, press the seam open, and then topstitch as yo did before.
This photo shows the right side and wrong side of the panel and body put together.
Take one of the pieces and fold it in half, lining up the raw edges.  On the top edge of the folded side, I measured down about 4″, and then using a french curve, cut out a section for the armscye.  Repeat this on the other piece.
Then, on the bottom of the raw edges, measure about 2″ up from the finished bottom edge and draw a  backwards letter J, the curve of the J going in about 1.25″ and then the rest of the J going up to the top.   With right sides together, sew the J seam with a 1/2″ seam allowance.  Then, with right sides still together, open up the garment at the bottom and sew the very small inseam that is created from the fabric below the J seam.
I, of course, didn’t read closely enough when I followed the directions for the skirt and did not subtract anything from the measurement, so when I tried this on Robug, it was too wide.  I also showed this as a hint for your J cutout: The circle top and bottom rectangle, when attached, will not have edges that meet up exactly because we are mixing shapes.  This J goes down the front and back at the center of the body, and we want the romper to hang like a circle skirt would, so the J should follow a line that will even out the edges of the two pieces–in essence, we are squaring off the edge.  You will need to do this for both body pieces.
Using some of the 1.5″ bias tape, finish the armscye by first putting the bias tape and the armhole raw edges together, right sides together, stretching the tape as you follow the curve of the arm hole.  Sew using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Next. press the seam open.  Press the leftover raw edge of the bias tape to touch the raw edges of the seam you just made.  Then, press the bias tape all the way over the top of the seam to the inside of the garment.  Sew along the edge of the bias tape, next to the folded finished edge,  You should have closed up the bias tape edge on the inside of the garment and caught the edge of the tape on the outside of the garment.
All that is left to do is finish the neck!  I made to long strips of 1.5″  single-fold bias tape (this is different from the strips I created for the bottom body panel).  Then I simply folded the bias tape in half so that I could put the neck edge into the fold and have 3/4″ of fabric on both the inside and outside of the garment AND have shoulder ties that are long enough and thick enough to stay tied.  Sew along the edge of the bias tape about 1/8″ from the edge to close the straps and attach the tape to the neck.  TIP!  When you get the edge of the neck that meets the armscye, curve the bias tape up as much as you can.  If you don’t do this, the shoulder ties will fall too much off the shoulders.

And here is what we ended up with:

 Robug LOVES bugs of all kinds because, hey, what girl doesn’t?  So, when I saw this fabric, I knew she’d love being Dragonfly Girl!

 Thanks for reading!  The Butterfly Girl outfit will be coming soon πŸ˜‰

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34 thoughts on “Circle Romper Tutorial

    1. Thank you for providing the opportunity to “strut [my] stuff” and for stopping by to check it out! I love your party and I will definitely be seeing you next week πŸ™‚

    1. I’m kind of thrown by the bugs, especially because she’s not outgrowing it yet, but as long as she doesn’t bring them in the house, I’ll be fine with it. Thanks for stopping by to check it out!

  1. Hi! Thank you so much for following my blog; I always love making new blogland friends. Your little girl is too cute. I am dreading the day my daughter forms her own opinions about what she is wearing, and I’m thinking that day may come sooner rather than later! To answer your question, I bought that beautiful green fabric for my maxi skirt at Joanns. Happy sewing!

    1. I can’t wait to see more from you! Thanks for coming by, and thank you for letting me know where you got the fabric–can’t wait to go snag some πŸ˜‰

    1. Aw, thank you! It’s so exciting to know that someone actually wants to make one–thanks for coming by to check it out and for pinning πŸ™‚

    1. The Robug does love it, surprisingly! She actually asks to wear it which makes me feel good πŸ™‚ Thank you for coming by and following–I’m on my way over to your blog now!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing it–we are going to be making one very soon! And, thank you for stopping by to check out my blog and following back πŸ™‚

  2. Oh wow, she looks so adorable. I love dragonflies and this fabric is very sweet. Thanks for sharing at our party this week.

    1. Thank you! Looks are deceiving, though, she is quite monster lately πŸ™‚ Thanks for hosting and taking the time to stop by!

    1. The colors were the first thing I noticed about the fabric πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for coming by to check it out and for inviting me to your party! I linked up and am a new follower. Please come by again soon!

    1. Go for it! This is a really easy outfit–have fun!!! Thank you so much for coming by–I’ve linked up and am a new follower of your blog. Our daughters have the same birthday, so it’s fate πŸ™‚ Please come by again!

  3. Jackie, so sweet of you to come by Quirky Vistas and leave me a comment about my hot fudge sauce. Hope you do try it and enjoy it. The romper is adorable. Don’t you love seeing them wear things you made yourself? Looks like it is a hit!

    1. Thank you so much! I love being able to make special things for her to wear, and I’m going to do it as long as she lets me! She absolutely loved her romper πŸ™‚ Thanks for coming by!

  4. Cute little dress. For the stains… try 2 parts hydrogen peroxide & 1 part Dawn dish soap. Mix it up, brush it on with a scrub brush, let it sit a little bit and then launder as usual.

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