Adding an Outer Casing to the Emerie Romper

Each time it gets warm I go through an Emerie Romper (from Striped Swallow) obsession, and this warm weather is no exception. I’ve also been trying to help out Emma’s warmer weather wardrobe. I’m really trying to not go shopping for clothes because my fabric stash needs to be used. I got this adorable Cactus Fabric and Scribble Dots coordinate from The Styled Magnolia and I have to say I think it’s one of my faves.

I really wanted to break up the bodice and the shorts so I came up with the idea of adding an outer elastic casing and faux drawstring. I love the result! I have made my last few like this and I think it really gives the romper something extra. Wanna know how I did it? Good! Here’s how!

To start with, you’ll want to remove the seam allowance at the bottom of the bodice and at the top of the shorts. I cut mine off after I assembled the shorts and the top but it would be easier to cut it off before starting. For the girls version, the elastic casing seam allowance is 1-inch. So you will want to cut off 3/4″ from both the top of the shorts and the bottom of the shirt. The other 1/4″ will be used as the seam allowance when we attach the shorts to the top. For the baby version the seam allowance is 3/4″ so you will want to remove 1/2″.

Next, measure the opening of the top of your shorts. And make note of that measurement. For this one my shorts opening was 24-inches.

We are going to add 1/2″ seam allowance to that to give us 24.5-inches. For the girls version the elastic is 1/2-inch wide and for the babies it is 1/4″ wide. So you will want to cut a strip of fabric that is 24.5-inches wide (use your measurement here) by 1.25-inches long (for girls) or 1-inch long (for babies).

You’ll notice that one edge of my fabric is serged. I highly recommend serging, basting, or pressing one raw edge at 1/4″. This will be super beneficial in a second. Sew the two short ends together, right sides facing, with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Now you will assemble the romper. Quarter all your pieces and mark quarter points with pins or clips.

Turn your shorts wrong side out. Nest the elastic casing inside of your shorts with the wrong side of the casing against the right side of the shorts. Then nest your bodice inside of that, right side of bodice facing right side of casing and short. Ensure that your serged, basted, or pressed edge is towards the bottom of the shorts. You don’t want to sew that edge in this step.

Sew/serge all three layers together with a precise 1/4″ seam allowance. Turn right side out and press the casing down and the seam allowance up.

Now you will turn under your serged/basted/or pressed edge and pin all the way around. DO NOT SKIP pinning. As much as you want to, don’t do it. It will make it sooooo much easier.

Once pinned, topstitch 1/8″ from the edge to create your casing. Make sure to leave a big enough opening so you can thread through your elastic. And that’s it! Now you have a cute little faux belt to help break up the romper!

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