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Rompin' and Rollin'

Debbie Christensen Fabric finished project ikat mccalls 7330 Patterns romper sewing pattern

I know it looks a little bit like a clown costume, but this romper was so fun to make and is even more fun to wear.

 ikat romper mccalls 7330

This is McCall's 7330, a romper / jumpsuit pattern with a real shirt top and real pants bottom. It has a two-piece sleeve, a collar and collar stand, and a zipper fly. It's legit. A student brought this in as a pattern she wanted to learn, and I ordered it as soon as she left.

ikat romper mccalls 7330

Months ago, I insisted that we carry this cotton ikat in the shop specifically so I could make a romper with it. I decided to forgo a muslin because I couldn't decide what to make it out of. Based on my measurements, I am a size Medium, and I know these patterns are notorious for too much ease, but I figured the only place really cared about good fit were the waistband and the butt / crotch. So I borrowed the crotch length and curve from the Closet Case Morgan Jeans pattern, which fits me extremely well. Maybe a little too well for a romper.

ikat romper mccalls 7330

I wish I had gone a smaller size on the top. Even with all the taking-in I did, it's still pretty oversized on top. Which I know I necessary for ease, since I took that all out of the shorts, but I'd prefer it to fit better in the shoulders and neckline. Had I put more thought into this romper, I would have just combined the Grainline Alder Dress with the Closet Case Morgan Jeans. Especially because I used both of those patterns to help figure out alterations. Next time.

ikat romper mccalls 7330

I ended up bringing in the waistband an inch to get a close fit, and took 4" total out of the side seams. The pattern was designed for sleeves, so I brought the shoulders in maybe a half inch. The instructions were jam-packed, and I skimmed the illustrations but didn't follow the directions much because I can make a button-up shirt in my sleep (sewing permeates my dreams) and I've been making a lot of shorts lately. I recall that there is no zipper fly shield in this pattern.

ikat romper mccalls 7330

If I stand with my legs together, the fabric bunches up around my crotch and looks like a diaper.

As ugly and tacky as I think these buttons are, I sure use them a lot. Even their name is stupid! They're plastic, but patterned to look like wood grain with garishly bold-colored rims that are perfect for dated-looking rompers and Hawaiian shirts.

ikat romper

I once read an interesting article linked out from the Colette blog about the benefits of making all your design decisions before you start doing something (such as sewing) so that you can just focus on just doing it. At the time I thought it was a great philosophy and was gung-ho about the concept. But I actually don't recall ever trying to work that way, and now I intentionally do the opposite when have a chance to play with pattern placement. Matching or intentionally mismatching stripes is much easier and more fun this way. That being said, I ran out of fabric and had to use a Liberty scrap for the collar stand. I figured I'd continue the clown theme.

ikat romper

This is the unfinished top half on my dressform, next to a plant. Isn't that how all the sewing bloggers are photographing things these days?

ikat romper

Somebody was helping a relative downsize and brought us this wire-frame dress form. The form unsnaps down the front and is put on the body like a vest, and an assistant contours the wire mesh to the wearer's body. We really had no use (or space) for it at the shop so now it's mine. 

Want to see my sewing space? Of course you do.

sewing room

My sewing machine is a 1950's Kenmore Domestic ZZ Double Needle, made in Germany, but the motor was made right here in Cleveland(!). It weighs like 50 lbs and threading it is complicated and the light doesn't work and I often bump the zig-zag stitch lever, but it's amazing. Like the dressform, someone's relative was downsizing. When my friend said this was in a case, I thought she meant carrying case. This is my second sewing machine in a cabinet, but thankfully this machine actually works. The other one is just a really, really heavy table.

kenmore domestic zz sewing machine

This machine is amazing, but I love the cabinet just as much. It keeps my notions organized in a way that a cardboard box never could. If I have to put the machine away, it folds into the table. It has a foldout extension that I use as an ironing board, but mostly that my cat Fran naps on.

I can understand why cabinets for machines lost popularity -- it's a large, heavy piece of furniture. But I'm so happy to have a designated space for sewing, rather than clearing off space on the kitchen table. I doubt I'd ever travel with a sewing machine unless I'm moving, so portability is not a concern of mine.

Here's another picture of my ironing board because it's just so dang cute!

Romp on!


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  • Gail on

    Debbie, I love this fabric and it looks amazing in your finished piece!

  • frances on

    Debbie, this romper looks absolutely adorable on you! And as usual it’s beautifully constructed. I love the collar stand too! Thanks for the great pics. Your machines and cabinet ARE amazing! Yeah for mechanicals! My next big sew purchase will be an ironing board (yes, sadly, that a major expenditure for me), and I can tell you, there is such a thing as too many reviews. Bon romp!

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