Akram's Ideas

Play Romper {Summer Sewing: Vintage Simplicity 8098}

On a whim this past Saturday I woke up and decided I was going to make myself a vintage romper. A romper is a one piece garment, commonly used in children play cloths. The romper has been around since the early 1900’s but their popularity peaked in the 1950s when they were used not only by children, but by women as leisure and beachwear. Personally I always felt the romper had a 1960’s type feel to it, and I remember a purple romper I had as a very small kid, that I wore all the time and loved. 

Anyways, going through my stash of vintage patterns I’ve been collecting (which is quite large now and I should do a post about) I came across a 1969 romper that had a pleated skort. 

Simplicity 8098, copyright 1969
Simplicity 8098, copyright 1969

The pattern looked easy enough and I figured I’d be done in no time, after all I’ve already made 4 dresses and several purses, how hard could it be?

Since I was so sure I would have the garment complete within two hours or so, dove right into the process and forgot all about taking pictures. I started the project at about 9:00 am and at noon my hubby tried to pry me away from the sewing machine to get lunch. I declined insisting that I only had a little more to do. It was about 5:00 pm when I got done with the dress and was finally ready for to get some food in me. 

The reason it took so long was the strips. The fabric I used was a stripped pattern. I decided to be clever and have the bodice fabric laid in a vertical pattern and the skirt in a horizontal pattern. This is where my trouble began. The bodice was easy to line up, but because of skort (skirt with built-in shorts) the horizontal stripes kept going at an angle and lining the horizontal stripes to the bodice was a nightmare.

Playful striped fabric
Playful striped fabric

Not only was lining up everything awful, I read later that it is more flattering to wear horizontal stripes around chunky areas of the body, than vertical. This means the bodice that covered my belly should have been the horizontal part, and the skort the vertical. If I had done that, I probably would have had an easier time lining things up. Oh well, live and learn.

This was also the first pant type garment I made. The shorts that are sewing into the skort, seemed easy enough, but I somehow got the inside pinned wrong and one of my leg holes was sewn to the other. In any case, I had to rip out the seams and try again. 

One reason I think I had so many issues with this dress was that I felt like it shouldn’t have taken that long, and lack of food, had started to impair my sewing. Despite all these issues I did manage to finish the romper, even though I know there are some issue with the garment, I only made it as a stay at home play outfit, for doing chores and the like, so I guess it’s okay. I’ve also learned that any sewing project, if never attempted will take me at least a day if not two, and to not expect any less than that. 

As I mentioned earlier I didn’t get any pictures of the making of the romper, but I did get some of me wearing it.

Out in the garden in my Romper
Out in the garden in my Romper

Since the romper had a 60’s feel to it I decided use the 60’s style make up tutorial from the book “Style me Vintage: Make Up” by Katie Reynolds. I don’t know how well I actually did buy I like the pink lipstick. 

60's style makeup
60’s style makeup

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Akram Taghavi-Burris

designer, writer, educator, tech nerd, crafter, baker, sewer and vintage collector, who Brings Creative & Crazy Ides to Life.

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