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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ruffle Neck Romper Tutorial

Well, several of you asked for it, so here it is!  (Now, just imagine party horns blowing and balloons falling from the sky)!

I finally put together a tutorial on how to make a Ruffle Neck Romper like the one I made here a few months ago.  I apologize for it taking me so long to finish, but better late than never.  Right?!

First of all, let me just say that I am excited to have readers and followers of the blog so interested in something I've made that you want to know how I did it.  That's just so cool!

I first got the idea to make a Ruffle Neck Romper when I saw this one in a Kelly's Kids Catalog a friend gave me.

Kelly's Kids Play Date Romper 

I then looked through all the store bought and e-patterns I own to see if any had a ruffle neck feature so I could read the directions on how to do this, but to my disappointment, I didn't have one.  Then I searched online and only found a couple (at the time) of e-patterns offered for sale, but I kept thinking to myself that it couldn't be that difficult to make.  I mean, it's just a pretty basic peasant/pillowcase top pattern with a ruffle added on.  So I went to bed that night and fell asleep trying to figure this out, and when I woke up the next morning, I had it!

I then remembered seeing a pattern in my stash for a cute little pillowcase style romper that I had purchased at Joann's when they had Simplicity patterns on sale for 99 cents.  I hadn't tried it out yet, but all that was about to change!  The pattern was Simplicity 1903 View C.

I'm sure other romper patterns would work for this as well, but this is the one I happened to have on hand.

Ok, are you ready to get started with how I took this Simplicity pattern and made it into this adorable Ruffle Neck Romper?

Here we go!  

The first time I made this romper, I cut out the pattern using size 4T for Ella. At the time, that is what she had been wearing so I thought it would be a perfect fit.  Some things I didn't take into consideration though were how the shirred waist and the elastic in the ruffle neckline would make the romper rise up.  Although the first romper fit, I always felt like it was a little short in the rise, so to remedy this, I decided to cut out the pattern this time using the size 6 pattern (keeping in mind that the finished romper will be a size 4T)! And I must say that the newest romper fits like a dream.  I'm much more pleased with the fit than I was with the first one.

So, I would definitely recommend cutting out at least one size larger than you would normally if you are using this pattern for this Ruffle Neck Romper version.

Also, I didn't want the top to have a seam down the middle, so I cut out the top front and back on the fold of the fabric.  Just remember to exclude the seam allowance for this center seam (5/8" + 5/8" = 1 1/4") at the fold (not at the side seams).  

Now, sew the romper according to the pattern directions except leave off the ruffle around the waist, don't hem the neckline, and don't put in elastic on the leg openings (unless you want to).  

I added two rows of shirring (spaced 1/2" apart) at the waist seam to cinch the romper.  I strongly recommend using Stretch Rite elastic thread for your shirring.

This is now what your romper should look like.

Wasn't that so much easier than you thought it would be?  Now you know how to add a ruffle neck to any basic peasant top or dress pattern or even just a basic pillowcase dress pattern.  

And the width of the ruffle can be easily adjusted to fit your taste or style.  I just like the look of a 3 to 3 1/2" ruffle on this romper.  Any wider and it reminds me of a clown for some reason!

Oh, and if you are wondering about the fabric, it is a Little Lisette fabric called Watercolor.  I purchased it from Joann's off the clearance isle.  It's so soft and smooth feeling and the perfect weight for this outfit.  My daughter loves the pink and the flowers.

If you decide to make one of these lovely rompers for your lovely little girl, please send me a photo when your finished.   My email is sewvery(at)gmail(dot)com.

Thanks for stopping by!  

This tutorial if for personal use only and it may not be reproduced or copied in part or whole without my expressed written consent.  


  1. What a perfect outfit for summer. You make such cute clothes. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Easy to follow tutorial and a great looking romper, Veronica.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Pam. It really is very easy to make.

  3. Too cute! I totally had a romper like this when I was little! You've inspired me to make one for my own daughter. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  4. Such a cute outfit, if I am making a newborn size, how would I adjust the bias tape length? Thank you

    1. Thanks for your question, Sandy. I tried to email you back at first, but you are a no-reply blogger, so I hope you see this reply! As I reread the tutorial, I see that I failed to point out how I came up with the ruffle strip dimension. Normally, for peasant tops with elastic at the neck, I basically use a piece of elastic 2 to 3 inches longer than my daughter's waist measurement. I used a 22-23" long piece for this romper, so I wanted the ruffle strip to be approx. twice as long as the elastic, hence the 44". Since the front and back of the bodice were 12" each (total of 24"), that is how I determined the bias strips needed to be 10" each plus seam allowances. Remember, you have to fold in each short end 1/4" and when you attach it to the bodice, overlap it at least 1/4" on each end, too. That's how I came up with an 11" long bias tape strip. Please let me know if this helps. I know I threw a lot of numbers at you and it can be confusing!

  5. Thank you very much for this tutorial! I love it and can't wait to make one for each of my girls. I think even my 17 year old wants one this summer :)

  6. I had to make a top for one of my daughter's ballet folklorico costumes. It is a white peasant style top with a ruffled top (like this) and lace on the edge of the ruffle. I was looking for pictures all over the place to try to recreate it. I am so glad I came across this tutorial. I was able to adapt this to make the top I needed to make! Thank you for posting this!


  8. Yay! I have been looking for a good ruffle neckline tutorial! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Thanks for the tutorial! FYI...last summer I wanted to make my 4 year old granddaughter one of the vintage rompers like Kelly's K. and I looked high and low for a pattern, to no avail. Finally, I used an infant pattern that I had on hand and enlarged it to create my own version. I used turquoise and white checkered seersucker for the shorts part and white for the bib and straps. I just added red with white polka dot ribbon around where I attached the bodice with the shorts; not allowing for the ties on the sides. I had someone monogram a pretty cursive E in the center of the bib. It was adorable with her white eyelet lace socks and red with white polka dot squeaker Mary Jane shoes. With all that being said...recently, I ran across a vintage pattern on line that is really close to the KK pattern. Although it's difficult to find, Google: 1980's Butterick 4769 by Ruth Scharf Toddler's Shirt, Jumpsuit, and Jumper. The picture on the pattern is red, white, and blue outfits with a whale on the bib part.

  10. I think, once Christmas sewing is finished, I'll be making a few of these for my girls for next summer!


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