What could be more appropriate for your summertime wardrobe than a lace romper? I’ve had my eye on this style since last summer, but instead of buying I decided to try my hand at making my own. In many ways this project evolved as I worked on it, I wasn’t exactly sure what it would look like before I started (I was thinking it might be halter but went with strapless in the end) but it turned out to be exactly what I needed for hanging by the beach or a bit of high summer boat hopping.
Although this project may look complicated, in reality it wasn’t. It was an update to the project I did here where I made a pair of shorts – I simply extended the pattern out to create a pair of shorts very long in the waist to cover the bust. Presto!
- 2 meters (2.2 yards) of lace fabric
- 2 meters (2.2 yards) of lining fabric (I used light cotton)
- ribbon or twine for the waist
- a pair of shorts as a template
When choosing shorts for the template this project, go for something a bit oversized in the waistband. If you don’t have that add a few more inches all the way around to the pattern because what we are aiming for here is an oversized shape that will gather at the waist when tied with ribbon.
1. Fold your fabric in half and line up your shorts (also folded in half) along the fold with the bottom hem in line with the edge of the fabric.
2. Cut around the shorts, using them as a guide. In a previous here I used a template, but this time I just used the shorts instead and eyeballed adding a few inches around to allow for the hems etc.
4. Instead of cutting the fabric to be in line with the waistband of the shorts, I added another 30 cm or so (the space from your waist to your armpit). Cut a second piece exactly the same.
5. Open the two pieces out and lay them flat against each other like this.
6. Lay two pieces of lining fabric over the top to fully cover the lace and use the lace as a guide for cutting out the same shape for the lining.
7. You will then have 4 pieces – 2 lace (the outer shell) and two lining (the inner shell).
8. Now, lay the pieces on top of each other in this order: lining, lace, lace, lining. Basically you will have the lace encased by lining. Then pin the pieces together all the way along the curved edges. Sew the edges using a zig zag stitch. Choose one side which will become the front of the garment and leave the seam open a few inches (refer to image in step 11 to see why).
9. Now, this is the tricky bit. Flip the fabric around so instead of the seams being on the sides, they are in the middle. Pin and sew the crotch together. There is another example of me doing this here for those of you that need more visuals.
10. Your finished product should look like this.
11. Your romper is starting to look better! Take the time to put it on and play around. If you put it on and it is too big across the back or droops down at the armpits, take it in by sewing a deeper seam for the back – I took mine in a little bit but it will all depend on your body shape.
12. Once you are happy with the way it sits, turn it inside out and tie the front ties together. When you put it on make sure to tie it tightly so it doesn’t fall down. If you are worried about it riding down, add some simple straps using ribbon or twine (in either normal or halter style), however I found that when I wore a strapless bra and tied the front knot tightly it didn’t fall down. I think again that it will be down to your body shape.
13. Add the ribbon or twine to give it more shape on your body, trying at the back or in a bow at the front.
When you wear the romper make sure to gather it at the waist particularly at the front so that the seam which goes all the way up isn’t so obvious.
Wearing: DIY Lace Romper, DIY Transparent Satchel, Karen Walker Sunglasses
Photos of outfit by Lauren Engel