Thursday, August 13, 2009


I love this crazy bubble print!

My intention was to make a sundress and matching bolero in this fabric using this 1940s pattern.

I ended up doing something completely different.

Neatly folded inside the envelope were the skirt and bodice pieces and all of the facings, but no bolero. Instead there was a shorts pattern (Simplicity 2425) from the same era. I imagine that whoever owned this pattern before me used it to Frankenstein a sun suit. When she put the pieces away, she must have gotten them mixed up.

I guess I could have just made the dress and skipped the bolero. Instead I thought it would be more fun to make a sun suit, since I’d never made one before. The skirt portion of the pattern would still be used, but as a cover-up for the sun suit.

The skirt was made first. For the waistband I used the band piece from this pattern. It went together fast and easy. Instead of using a hook and eye to close the top I thought a button would be cuter. I am afraid of buttonholes so I made a loop instead. I used a carmel colored button since none of the yellow, blue or green buttons at the fabric store were an exact match. It's kind of perfect, I think.

The bodice worried me. There were no darts, just curved edges that would be sewn together to create a pocket-like area for the bust. Additionally, instead of making cartridges for the boning to slip into, I had to stitch the bones directly to the inside facing. I read and re-read the instructions and didn’t quite “get it” and then just decided to plunge ahead. I switched to a heavy duty needle for the boning and stitched it on. To my surprise it went on just fine after a few tension adjustments. The curved bust worked out just like it was supposed to.

When finished, the bodice ended up a little larger than expected created a fairly large gap under my arms. I fixed it by trimming the back seam allowance and making the straps a little shorter. It's still a little big, but I think I can live with it.

I had a button left over from the skirt so I used it as detail on the bodice

The shorts were incredibly easy. The only change I made was to the front detailing. There was a line for gathers along the top of the front piece but I have learned that gathers in the front make me look pregnant. Instead I made one pleat on either side about 2 inches away from the center seam. I stitched the open edge of the pleat down so that it wouldn’t open up until it had safely passed my belly. Very slimming! (You may have to “biggify” the picture at the end to get a better look at the pleats.)

Putting the pieces together was simple and the zipper (while my technique is still totally funky) went in with relative ease. Even though I didn’t line everything up perfectly, it still looks fine thanks to the busy bubbly print. Here is the finished sun suit with the skirt and without. I need to move the straps so that my bra strap doesn't show, but other than that, I'm very happy with it.


  1. I love it! Great print, great buttons, great idea, and it's so flattering!

  2. So cute! I love the idea that you could be lounging in the sun and whip off the skirt to show the little romper. Very cosmopolitan....

  3. Very nice. I've always liked the idea of a romper with a skirt over it. Nice colour and style on you.

  4. Thanks everyone! This will be a fun one to wear around town. I can be perfectly presentable on the train to the beach and then simply doff the skirt for sunbathing.

  5. You look great and so does the romper1

  6. Oh! You are good at sewing!I like it!