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Fit to a T baby romper tutorial part 5: Finishes, as in, important things to do before you’re done

August 26, 2010

Remember, here’s your chance to go crazy or go easy! We’re going to work on some necklines and hems.

Neckline: You may wish to cut the front neckline a little lower than the back neckline. I usually freehand it by folding the front in half and taking about 1/2″-3/4″ off at the center, tapering back to meet the old neckline right before the shoulder.

Neckline and hem finishes

Easiest: Use the hem of the T shirt for sleeves and legs.

Almost as easy: A simple turn

Simply turn the edges under about 1/2″, press, and, working from the wrong side, use a mid-sized zig zag to secure the raw edges to the front. Simple, looks good, and depending on your thread choice can be a design element. It stays stretchy thanks to the zig zag.

Just about as easy, but a little bit girlier: simple turn with shell zig zag

Make the simple turn edge as described above, you can then use the widest zig zag stitch, up the tension on your machine, and stitch directly over the folded edge.

The increased tension will pull the fabric in and give it a little shell effect, while retaining the stretch. It’s a great finish, although it works better on knits that are a little thicker. Again, using different colors of thread could play this feature up or down. (I love this finish. I figured it out after my MIL gave my daughter an infant gown raving about the magic neckline. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it was a plain ol’ zig zag, but it is pretty and functional. You know I’m smitten.)

neckline: simple turn with shell zig zag.

My T was rather thin, so it didn’t show up as much as I’d hoped.

Still pretty durn easy: Added band hem

Use a strip either from the T itself (or the retained T-shirt neckband) about 1″ wide. Fold in half and press.  Line up the raw edges of the strip with the raw edge of your neckline, with right sides together. Stitch, using the double stitch method and stretching the band slightly. Press the band out, with seam allowances toward the romper, and topstitch in place.

added strips for neckline, original T-shirt hem used for sleeves, simple turn used for leg openings.

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added strips for neckline, arms, and legs

Added ruffly hem: You can do the same finishes described above (simple turn, simple turn with shell zig zag, and added strips) for a hem and then further girly it up by adding a ruffle, like these:

DSC04582.JPG copy

simple turn with shell zig zag for neck; simple turn with shell zig zag AND ruffly hem for sleeves and legs

added band  for neck; added band and ruffly hem for sleeve

After you’ve completed your initial hem treatment, cut a piece of 1/4″ or 1/8″ elastic that is as long as the desired circumference of your finished arm or leg (child’s measurement plus some wearing ease).  You may wish to mark a line about 1″ up from the hem, or just wing it. Pin one end of the elastic about an inch up from the hem. Using a wide zig zag stitch, tack that end of the elastic in place. Then proceed to stitch the elastic to the garment, using a wide zig zag stitch and stretching the elastic pretty significantly as you go. Tack the other end of the elastic in place when you get there. Another ta-da! So much cuteness for so little effort.

Add snaps.

Using a snap setter or the good ol’ hammer and spool of thread, set snaps on placket (as needed) and carriers. I like to pin the leg openings as I want them to sit, then mark my snap placement to avoid any confusion. In this tutorial, the back leg snap carrier goes underneath the romper front for a clean finish.

Congratulations! The hardest part of this whole project is resisting the urge to immediately wake up the intended recipient to model your delightful romper for you!

Thanks for playing along, and do let me know if I can help your romper production in any way!

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