Is it a romper, a playsuit, a jumpsuit or a onesie?
Actually it’s none of those as now that S is out of nappies we’ve entered a window of time (before she gets really good a taking complicated clothes on and off) where they are no longer practical. This two piece was an attempt to get the same look while giving S something comfy and functional. H says they look like pyjamas, and she has a point. Luckily one of the joys of being 2 is that you don’t care about wearing pyjamas in public, well not when they are covered in watermelon anyway. The fabric is a little louder than my usual choice, but like the dress I made using the same pattern (next post) it was made in a direct response to the things S is now expressing interest in: bright colours (including pink) and pictures of things. She probably would have been happiest if I’d printed a huge picture of a disney character covered in glitter on the front (shudder), but when I suggested bananas she was very excited and insisted I combined them with pineapples and watermelon too. I made the fabric by stencilling the colours/shapes of the fruit on my pre-cut cotton interlock fabric using shapes cut out from acetate, sponge and fabric paint. Then, when all the colours were dried I added details and outlines using a black Sharpie stained fabric pen, setting the design with a hot iron at the end.The pattern for the top was a slightly modified version of May’s Project Run & Play pattern Summer Chevrons Shirt by The Crafty Cupboard. I raised the neckline into a curve, increased the size of the sleeve ruffles and added a slight gather on the centre of the bodice. Initially I left out the button closure at the back assuming that because I was using knit fabric it wouldn’t be necessary, but this was something I had to readdress when S tried it on. The trousers were cut freehand using a pair of leggings for reference. I’m aware the design is very similar to the Mini Hudson pattern, which looks great, but I didn’t feel I needed a pattern to create the style I wanted in this case, and I knew I wanted a narrower waistband. (I am however much less confident at drafting patterns for myself so have bought and made a few versions of the adult Hudson pants pattern). I added contrast ribbing to the ankles and pocket edges and a faux tie at the waist. The other benefit to making the outfit in two pieces is that, of course, she will be able to wear them separately for a less pyjama-y effect. (I think those trousers will look great with a white t-shirt or bright tank). The problem came when she tried it on. Whilst she clearly loved it, even after I’d nearly taken her ears off getting it over her head, I nearly took her ears off trying to get it over her head. Then, once it was on, it sat far too wide on her shoulders. I was aiming for a little bit of growing room, and a bit of extra width at the shoulders to give more sun protection but it definitely needed some modification. The first step was to add a slightly clumsy placket to the back of the neckline. Clumsy, a) because it’s always harder making unplanned design changes, and b) because in my irritation at having to make unplanned design changes I rushed, making mistakes which meant it ended up taking longer. The second change was to re-attach the sleeves making the bodice piece slightly narrower.The placket may be clumsy but it was effective and not that noticeable at the back and the shoulders now sit a little better.
Bring on the summer!