If you lived in the first half of 20th century America, you would have been aware of (and maybe even used) the idiom "The Cat's Meow." Although there is debate about the phrase's origins, its meaning was unquestionably one meant to describe something excellent and appealing. This pattern for Rompers, by Forever 18 Inches, has been written for nostalgia lovers of this era. A romper (also known as a "Playsuit") was a popular casual item from the 1930s through the 1950s. Often featured with a button-front skirt, they were worn as casual wear at home or even as bathing suits by removing the skirt. This design was inspired by two real-life patterns from those decades, and incorporates my favorite features from each of them. The bodice has front and back princess seams, armhole ruffles, a square neckline, and a lining with finished seams. The attached pants have two pinch pleats on the front for extra fullness without bulk, and can be gathered with elastic on the bottom edges or left straight. The dress uses the same bodice as the Rompers, and is attached to a skirt suitable for border prints, stripes, and eyelet edges. All options can be finished at the waist with a bias-cut tie or Skinny Tie Belt. Those who want a simpler project can use the separate Lining pattern for both the Bodice and Lining to eliminate the princess seams, and also remove the sleeve ruffles. An an extra perk, a Bonus tutorial with directions for making a sleeveless bodice with a finished lining is also included.
This PDF pattern is designed to fit 18" dolls such as American Girl®.
This pattern is also available in a bundled pattern with the Vintage Playsuit Skirt.
Recommended Fabrics: Light to medium-weight cottons, lightweight chambray, seersucker, or other woven fabrics with a similar weight and drape. Not suitable for very lightweight fabrics or those with a tendency to fray.
- Option 1: ½ yd. of 45" wide fabric
- Option 2: ½ yd. of 45" wide fabric
- Option 3: 2/3 yd. of 45" wide fabric
All Options: 1/6 yd. of lightweight fabric (or equivalent scrap size) for the Lining, such as batiste or lawn
1. Matching thread and optional contrast thread
2. One pair of small, very sharp scissors to trim and clip seam allowances.
4. Three medium-sized snaps OR 3" of Hook-and-Loop
5. Optional: a Frixion pen for marking pleats and dots
6. Optional: a hemostat for turning the Bodice to the RIGHT side
For Option 1 Add:
1. Two 6" long pieces of ¼" elastic (1/3 yd. of ¼" elastic)
For Option 2 Add:
1. Optional: Six ¼" buttons, and a 6" x 6" fabric square for the tie
Skill Level: Intermediate
What You Get: One 56 page sewing pattern that you digitally download as a PDF file so you can start your project immediately! The PDF sewing pattern provides full color step-by-step illustrated instructions and full size pattern pieces. A PDF reader is required to view and print the files (example: Adobe Reader or Preview for MAC). The download link is received immediately after the transaction is complete. Print copies are NOT available.Download, Print, Sew!
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PixieFaire and the designers featured are not affiliated with American Girl®.
I made a Valentine themed, dress, adding lace trim to the hem, neckline and sleeve ruffles. The pattern was easy to follow. The dress is adorable. Next I will make the Rompers version in a patriotic fabric.
Adorable and not hard to make. Experienced sewer but was needlessly leery of those curves in bodice front. They sewed up perfectly. Only problem? I have no belt “buckle” on hand and am covid19 prohibited from store. Used a strip of the soft side of Velcro as a loop but either with belt or without it is adorable.