You can tell it’s getting warmer here – I have summer sewing on my mind! I’ve been hankering after some more shorts and culottes because I find them much easier to wear than skirts. After yet another failed attempt at the Tania culottes (this pattern just looks horrible on me, I have accepted it now) I cast my net a bit further and found this cute thing.
It’s McCalls 6923, a sweet romper and babydoll dress with skirt and culotte variations. Like usual, looking past the horrible envelope fabric options was required (though I like the idea of a lace-overlay bodice version) but from the line drawings I could see that this would be a handy little pattern to have. My main issue with the Tanias is that there is just too much fabric in there, but these have just enough fullness to create a skirt effect without being a ridiculous full circle on each leg.
I made the culotte version up in a fabric from my stash, a light drapey viscose print bought from Fabricland in Brighton. I knew I wanted to play with the direction of the floral stripes, and even though I barely had enough fabric I managed to make a nice placement across the bodice, sleeves and shorts. This fabric was really nice to work with and feels lovely and cool to wear. I spritzed it with spray starch before cutting and sewing the hems for a bit of extra stability: this stuff is my new sewing BFF, it really helps to give floaty fabrics a bit more body and crispness where needed as well as preventing any shifting around.
It’s a quick and easy sew, though I didn’t really follow the instructions as I have my own weird methods for doing linings and zips by now. The fit is alright, but I’m going to make some improvements for next time. It’s too wide across the shoulders and upper back, and my sway lower back is doing its usual weird things to the waistline. For a casual summer romper I can deal with it though. There is a (pink!) CB zip in there, no close up as I did a really bad job with it. I’m going to take it out and re-do it. My only beef with rompers is that you really need a zip as you can’t pull the crotch over your head, ha ha.
Did you notice this boo-boo yet? – due to a silly cutting mistake, I had to piece the bodice to make it longer. Luckily I had an off-cut of just the right size and pattern position to fit in quite seamlessly. How often does that happen?!
The (original-length) bodice is lined in a very lightweight stretch mesh, because I wanted to add barely any warmth/bulk but to get the nice clean neckline edge that a lining creates. Again, I spray-starched the mesh to make it easier to work with. I bought a bunch of this mesh from Rolls n Rems in white and navy as it’s a handy lining to have around for summer frocks.
I can tell this playsuit is a winner because it got thrown into rotation as soon as it was off the sewing machine. In a stroke of good timing, I went to pick up my rather matchy-matchy shiny new bike from Nissa today, and gave the playsuit a road-test in the process. It performed admirably, staying happily in place for my little test spin to Clerkenwell and back home. Now to sew an army more rompers to take me through summer!