Hacking the perfect Knit Romper for Boys

We continue our week of pattern hacks with another hack for BOYS!!!!!  If you have been on the hunt for a fun and unique knit romper, this is just the hack for you - check out Rachel's adorable pictures and great tutorial to help you create your own.


I feel like this post should come with a disclaimer: I am not a pattern drafter or a designer. But I am a serial pattern hacker, mixing and matching components of different patterns to get the look I’m wanting. It isn’t always perfect but it often gets the job done! 

My kiddos are a little bigger now but I’ve been looking for cute knit romper patterns for the past several summers and haven’t found too many (hello, pdf pattern designers?? We’d love some more knit rompers for babies and toddlers!). I decided this year I’d just mash up a few and make it work. For this one I used the top half of the Teddy Romper(which is drafted for wovens) by Puperita and the lower half (with some modifications to the legs) of the Lazy Days Romper from Peek­a­Boo Patterns. My adorable nephew graciously agreed to model for me (ha! I forgot how much fun newly mobile toddlers are to photograph ­ I’m exhausted just remembering it!) and I set to work. It’s often helpful to have some finished measurements on hand to compare to, to make sure you’re getting the right proportions when you mash two patterns together. In this case, I asked my sister to measure a couple of ready­to­wear (RTW) rompers for me ­ the measurements I found most useful were the length from the back of the neck to the crotch, and the inseam from the crotch to the hem. The width of the romper across the chest (measured while laying flat) is helpful to have, too. 

When doing a little romper “research” and checking out some RTW options, I found that most boys’ rompers looked the same -­ think elongated t­shirts with a snap crotch and straight legs. I loved that the Teddy Romper featured the crossover detail in the front, and wanted that element here for sure. Since I was using knit for this romper and the Teddy pattern is drafted for wovens, I needed to adapt the binding. I used strips of rib knit that were 1.75” wide, folded in half lengthwise and sewn by matching the raw edges to the raw edge of the neckline. For the armbands, I did the same thing, and used the measurements from the Lazy Days romper pattern to get the right size. You can also measure the arm opening and cut your bands to 75­85% of that measurement. 

The body of the romper proved a little more challenging, as the Teddy Romper bubbles out quite a bit since it is gathered in the legs in the original pattern. I wanted this to be more fitted/tapered through the hips so I placed the back pattern piece for the Lazy Days romper right on top of the back pattern piece for the Teddy, making sure to align the center along the back and crotch. This enabled me to draw in new pattern lines blending the two patterns ­ I find it easiest to place my two patterns right on top of a large piece of drawing paper so I can sketch the new pattern piece as I go. I adjusted the leg shape and length at this point too. Once I start sewing I can make some minor adjustments but it helps to have a clear base to work from.I repeated the same process for the front of the pattern, again making sure to align common points. Once I have my “new” pieces sketched out, I place those together to make sure that the measurements are consistent for both front and back. You can see in the pic below that I’ve got all of my pieces cut and ready to go, including the new facing strips for the crotch and the binding strips for the neck and arm bands. As I sewed the romper, I followed the relevant instructions from each primary pattern (the Teddy and the Lazy Days) and adapted as necessary. 

The finished romper was definitely the look I was going for (and my sister loved it on her little guy), and the fit was nearly spot­on. You can see in the pics that it fit my nephew perfectly from the back, but there was a little bit of pulling around the crotch in the front when he moved around. I dropped the crotch on my pattern pieces a little bit more and altered the facings to match, and then sewed up the blue stars version. He hasn’t gotten to wear this one yet but I’m pretty confident that version 2 will be the winner. :)

You can apply a similar method of pattern “blending” to mix and match other patterns in your stash to fit your needs ­ have a dress pattern but want a romper? Take off the skirt from pattern A and replace with shorts from pattern B. Have a pair of shorts but want pants? Use the legs from another well­fitting pattern to help you lengthen the lines of the shorts.  Have a t­shirt pattern but want a tank? Check out Carrie’s post from earlier this week about how to do that. ;) Oh, and make sure to stop by the Pattern Revolution group on Facebook and show us what you’ve been working on!