Winter Wear Designs: Hacking to make a 70s vintage style romper

If you follow the blog, you know that I sewed the Petite Pan and Racing Shorts in knit fabric earlier this week (you can findthat post here.) After talking to Sweet Pea she decided that she wanted the shorts tighter and the top attached to shirts for a fun swimsuit cover up or outfit for riding her bike.

Since this is an add on post hacking previous patterns (linked above) I’m just going to cover the change in construction.

I started with taking 3 inches off the length of the Petite Pan, though once made I realized I could have probably left the original length to provide lots of room for Sweet Pea’s longer torso.

Part of a pattern piece being measured off 3 inches to shorten it.

After shortening it appropriately, I constructed the Petite Pan the same as the instructions then added a gathering stitch to the bottom of the hemline. Next I constructed the shorts the same as the instructions. I did an 18 month sizing as Sweet Pea specifically indicated she wanted the shorts much more fitted.

Image of the top clipped to the shorts.

Once I sewed the top to the shorts, I added elastic to the hem allowance to create the waistline.

I think it turned out pretty cute. And it turned out just like Sweet Pea imagined it would! I would, in future makes, make a size 3 shorts just to give plenty of room for playing and growing, when using double brushed polyester. But she really loves the fit and really that’s all that is important!

Hello Summer- a Winter Wear Designs Blog Tour

I am so excited to be back on a blog tour, it feels like it has been a really long time since I participated in one! I like blog tours because they keep me on my toes and trying new things. If you follow the blog, you might have seen mention of our recent cross country move from New Hampshire to the Twin Cities region of Minnesota. One of the things we did not expect was to already experience high temperatures in the 90s by the first week in June. So for this post specifically I wanted to work on a few summer staples for my Sweet Pea. She has grown almost 3 inches in the last 2 years, so at this point many of the garments I have made her are starting to get small. Plus we have the added need for creating 2 completely different wardrobes, one specifically designed with summer weight fabrics and one for fall/winter. I New England, I would usually purchase a couple of rtw t-shirts that we would tie dye and kids live in those over sized shirts for the summer with underpants because our high summer heat only lasted about 2 weeks. Here the heat has started before our school year has ended!

For this tour I am using Winter Wear Designs patterns. I will be participating twice this week as I have a very specific vision for a final creation for some really fun striped fabric for Sweet Pea. To make this vision a reality, I wanted to first sew the Petit Pan which is a free pattern. For this top I went with bamboo lycra which has incredible stretch and breathability, just perfect for high temperature days!

Petit Pan Information:

  • A-line hemline
  • 2 different collars, that can be made with woven materials (or you can choose collarless)
  • Elastic back
  • Sizing runs 2-7

For the second pattern, I used the Racing Shorts. Since the final look I am hoping to achieve is a vintage style “roller” romper, I will be trying to create a knit version of these shorts. I could have used the Endless summer shorts which is already designed for knit fabrics however, Sweet Pea really liked the piping detail of the racing shorts.

A back view of the Petit Pan

Racing Shorts for Girls:

  • Designed for woven fabrics
  • Elastic waistband
  • Loose athletic fit
  • Bias binding
  • Sixing 18mos-14

For the racing shorts, Sweet Pea actually fits in between a size 6 and 7. Because of this, normally I would make her the 7 to give her plenty of play and growing room and because there is elastic in the waistband. Since I decided to make these in knit, I did go ahead and size down to the size 5. I feel like we could have sized the width smaller (and probably will for the romper since her preference is slightly more slim fit.) But I feel like the shorts came out just adorable and with the right kind of movement that knit fabric gives her.

An additional change was opting for a double elastic waistband because Sweet Pea has some sensory issues with single 1/2 inch elastics. If you would like to hack your waistband to be like ours, here are the steps to take.

  • For the size 5, cut the waistband at 34 x 4.25 inches
  • Sew the short sides of the waistband right sides together
  • Open the waistband and fold in half lengthwise
  • Cut 2 pieces of 1/2 inch elastic
  • Sew 3/4 inch down from the fold of the waistband, leaving a hole open for threading the elastic through, creating a casing
  • Perform the same step again, using your previous stitching line as a guide, sewing 3/4inch down, creating a second casing
  • Thread your elastic in the top casing, sew your elastic ends together, then close your casing hole
  • Perform the same step on casing number 2 and now you have your new waistband to attach, continue in the same method as the instructions

I love the whole look of this outfit and know that Sweet Pea will LOVE being able to run and play not just freely but also while staying cool!

Check back with me on Friday to see of my vision matches reality!

Make sure to stick with us all week long for sewing inspiration, pattern hacks, and tutorials about how to get the most out of your summer sewing!!!


Suzanne of Winter Wear Designs


Hwee Ke Lim of KeKe Sews

Suzanne of Winter Wear Designs


Laurie of The Bear And The Pea Atelier


Kristen Guest Posting at WWD

Rachel of Violets & Jewles


Laurie of The Bear and the Pea Atelier

Donnisha guest posting at WWD

Week 23: Sew Something with a Collar

This week is sew something with a collar, today I come to you with a tutorial on how to add a Peter Pan style collar to a knit shirt—so challenge accepted! For this shirt, I used the Sweet Pickles Tee from Pickle Toes Patterns. ******This pattern will be retiring at the end of the month and is currently $2.00.

I went with fabric from Central Tx Fabrics that I had beautiful scraps of for the collar and a lovely cushy red cotton lycra.


For this tutorial you will need a few supplies: marker, tracing paper, color pencil. So lets get started….

I began with tracing the collar line of the shirt front. I already decided based on how petite Sweet Pea was I wanted the collar to be no bigger than 2 inches. I measured the 2 inches and marked the placement around the neckline so that I could work on the shape of my collar.

Next, I decided I wanted the collar to attach at the shoulder so I sloped the collar a bit so that it would get smaller as you get to the shoulder. (I believe my next one may include a full collar). I also wanted a it of an angle for the collar shape, but you can play with the shape of the collar drawing it in with a color pencil until its the shape you want.

At this time, we need to add the seam allowance. I drew lines out from the edge of the top part of the collar piece. I decided I wanted 1/4 inch seam allowance so I measured around the pattern piece so that the seam allowance would be even. Cut your brand new pattern piece out and figure out what fabric you want for the collar piece. You will cut 2 pairs mirror image (4 pieces total). From here you will sew your collar pieces right side together and clip along the curve in the seam allowance.

Turn right side out and iron. I opted to topstitch because my material was a bit floppy (you could also interface your collar pieces however I wanted it to be soft and cuddly for this top because its what the little one wanted).

Next I basted the collar on and sewed one side of the shoulder together then opted for a binding finish and sewing the other shoulder after attaching my binding.

You could attach both shoulders and proceed with the pattern instruction from attaching the shoulders.

I feel like this turned out pretty cute, the problem is Sweet Pea wouldn’t let me get pretty modeled photos.


***this post may contain affiliate links

Week 20: Sew Something Yellow

Sooo I am not a huge fan of yellow. In this round I definitely will stretch myself to accommodate and change the challenge to say Sew Something WITH Yellow IN IT- see what I did there. I tend to use simple color palate with color choices my children like which tend to revolve around purple, green, pink and blue so throwing yellow in there really makes me work hard to figure out what to do.

I turned to a lovely pattern designer/blogger to give me some inspiration, Sew Chibi. If you have never seen her bright and beautiful designs then you should definitely check out her blog, Kataryna has an amazing eye for super bright and fun colors plus she is also a pattern designer. Her patterns reflect the fun style of kawaii that can be bright and bold or can be simplified with more subdued color palates and blocking.

For this challenge, I went with the Natsu shorties. As we go through spring, finding a good gender neutral shorts pattern can be quite complicated for both my tiny toot but also for the tween who straddles the high end of most children’s sizing, making him wide enough, yet isn’t tall enough for men’s patterns to work yet (at least not without a ton of modifications to make it work). I am happy to report that the Sew Chibi patterns have a larger size range, accommodating 2y-16 sizing.


Much like Kataryna’s personal eye for color and style, her instructions are bright and fun yet easy to follow. I love trying new techniques and while I have done cuffed shorts in wovens, this was a first for me with knit. She also inspired me to really push the envelope for me and use brighter colors and patterns.

I love the relaxed fit of these20180406_065708.jpg

Pay no mind to the cranky tween face and he wont be happy I posted him here on the blog in fit pics (but he was having a bad tween month and super cranky with me about taking photos).

But these photos display the fit perfectly. Perhaps some day he will let me take some nice photos of these shorts when he wears them, however I’ll take the fact that these are his favorite lounge shorts and he has asked for more pairs!

On to the fact that these shorts are gender neutral. The fit is just as great for my girly as it is for my big boy. And these shorts are perfect for the summer to pull on over a bathing suit or as you can see with the tiny one dressing up with heels-lol.

Week 22: Sew a Bathing Suit

Here we are one week past the halfway point and it’s time to start thinking about bathing suits since we will spend half the day several days a week enjoying our local public pool!

This post is part 1 of  2 parts that ends during the Poolside Blog Tour hosted by   Winter Wear Designs20180618_050949[1]

So Sweet Pea asked for a Doc McStuffins inspired suit and I knew the Princess Power Suit would make the cutest suit for her and would meet the additional requirement of a tutu on it. This post will focus on how I made the striped bodice insert for the Princess Power Suit to create the striped shirt effect of a Doc McStuffins suit.

Gather your supplies (for this part I am using the white and purple):


There are a couple of different ways to do this next part. I am going to walk you through how I did it (there may be a better method) and I wish I took more photos so you can really see exactly what I did step by step, but I don’t think its all that confusing. If you have a question feel free to ask. I cut 2 pieces of fabric then cut each into 2 inch strips. Then sewed the 2  inch pieces together alternating the colors when sewing so you have a striped panel. From there you can continue the pattern construction from there.


If you really want to see Sweet Pea’s suit, come back next week for the second half of this swimsuit!


*this post may contain affiliate links

Week 19: Sew a Shirt

This week’s challenge fit handily into sewing another strike off from Kimmy Snabric also part of the Supernatural round. This time I am working with a panel also titled Family business but is on an amazing cushy bamboo lycra. 20180607_0852171.jpg

I was off to figure out what I wanted to make with it. I went with a designer I am very familiar and have had great success with her patterns, Winter Wear Designs Trendy Tank It’s a lovely body skimming top that is flowy and perfect for the Vermont summer (even though its black) because we don’t have an AC up here y’all.

I struggle with finding things for me to sew and love but I absolutely love this tank! I love the coverage on the shoulders and the v-neck as well as the high low hemline option. I did realize I need to work on getting my V better, I am sure its a practice thing but that little pucker isn’t going to bother me enough to make it worth picking the neckband apart-lol.20180607_085223[1]

Since I made this top it ends up making it into my weekly rotation, so I am assuming I probably need to make waaaaayyyyy more.

Week 18: Sew a Purse or Wallet

I love big bags! And this week’s challenge was perfect for using this amazing Supernatural Strike off I got from Kimmy Snabric. Isn’t it beautiful? It’s title is called Family business and ran on bamboo and cotton lycra as well as a luscious stretch woven, which is what I made this bag with.

I went into the challenge knowing that I wanted to sew a Blue Calla Patterns Hosta bag and even had a different fabric all cut out and partially sewn when this fabric came to me.

Why this bag? Because I had been looking for a big enough bag to carry my camera and a variety of small child gear for when we go on some of our adventures. We often had to carry a bag for the camera and a bag for the tiniest human in our house stuffed with a baby carrier, a few toys, diapers, you get the picture. I felt like this bag could be big enough to house the camera insert and fit the other needs perfectly. (I will be blogging about the camera insert later).

So off I went to cut out a whole new bag. I find the instructions for the pattern clearly written and it was quite fun constructing the bag itself. I will say that my Viking handled the layers like a champ, but since I was using faux leather, I would recommend using your Teflon foot if you have one (or placing tape on the underside of the foot you are using if you don’t) to help with preventing sticking that can happen with it.


I hated making the strap and I think for my next one I will modify the bag to have a ring toward the bottom center and do a tie strap so I can use it as a backpack too because the size is absolutely perfect!


Week 16: Sew Something for an Animal

I took a bit of a break from sewing since my big kids came to town. I have been really focused on enjoying this summer with my kiddos and now I am back to catch up on the weekly posts! My next posts may be shorter than they normally are just because I am trying to catch up on the weeks that I have been away.

So this week is sew something for an animal week, and I maaaayyyy be stretching it a bit to say the animal/s I am sewing for are stuffed animals. I have had the Stuffed Animal Ball  from Max & Meena ( Free with code if you join their Facebook Group) And had intended on making these for my daughter’s 4th birthday but sooo many projects so little time!!!

I debated back and forth about making the Jumbo size or the Large for my petite girl. The struggle was real because even though its pretty epic to have a way to stuff up a bean bag chair with all the kids lovies, the ball couldn’t be so big that she cannot move it around by herself and standing at 37.5 inches, she’s an itty bitty thing. So I set off making the Large just to be sure. Boy was I glad that I went with it.

in the ball

Sweet Pea could literally stand up inside of it and us zip it up:

as tall as she is

Pay no attention to that messy floor, but maybe I should have gone with the small size-lol.

It was a very easy project to make, making it perfect for the beginner looking to give a fun gift or just to have a way to get all those stuffies out of the bed and off the floor. I would say start to finish it took me longer to cut it out than it did to actually sew it up. And as you can see from the great fill up, there are tons of animals that fit into the ball.

all the animals

I was worried looking at them spread all over the floor like that, there would be no way to get everything into that ball, let alone have room to spare. But I was wrong….

all in

Everything fit plus had plenty of room. I love that I can make multiples of these as blanket or stuffie collections grow, I can quickly sew up another one and stack it on top.


She definitely loved it and after my tween saw it he had to have the Jumbo one because he wanted to put his winter blanket in it so that it wasn’t on his bed during the summer and rumor has it my older son has been seen lounging on it more frequently than his own bed!

Definitely head over to Max&Meena’s FB page to get your code for your free copy, if you have kiddos or sew for kiddos its such a great sew!.


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