Pattern review: Simplicity 1355 Romper

I follow waaaayyy too many sewing bloggers, who really know what they are doing. They make sewing look so darn easy. Trouble is, when you’re a beginner, things that are intuitive to others, are downright confusing. Still, I like a challenge.

When I first saw MimiGstyle modeling this gorgeous jumpsuit, I put it on my to do list. Then SewCaroline showed up wearing the shorts romper that I really had my eye on. That did it. The pattern, Simplicity 1355, says it’s easy to sew, so therefore it must be!

simplicity 1355

I figured I’d start with the shorts. While I can imagine how good it would look in a rayon challis, something in me said, buy chambray! I imagined a romper in a really soft, lightweight denim that would be fun to, well, romp around in all summer. I did not realize, until I read ImagineGnats post on chambray, that it comes in different weight. I could barely read the fabric requirements on the back of the package, so thought I’d be safe buying 2.5 yards of this chambray from Hawthorne Threads. It’s the color I had in mind, but it’s heavier than I wanted. Hopefully it’ll work. And hopefully I have enough.

Chambray in blue by Andover House

First, I had to make a muslin. I have cut into, sewed, and ruined good (expensive) fabric enough times to know that a new pattern demands a muslin. I had some white cheap muslin, so I traced my patterns, and went to work.

I am terrible about sizing. All the reviews I read on pattern review for this romper showed people wearing mediums. They didn’t look much smaller than me, but whenever I make a medium, I end up sorry. So I figured I’d trace the pieces as larges, do my muslin, and go down a size if that was necessary. I wouldn’t waste my swedish sewing paper, and I’d be erring on the safe side.

Here’s my muslin. It was absolutely huge. Note how I just used some wrapping ribbon for the ties!

muslin jumper - first attempt
muslin jumper – first attempt

All right, down a size to medium. Now to use my soft chambray. I had some challis left over from another failed attempt, so I figured I’d make the ties out of it. I wanted the sleeves to be in that trim too, but you can’t really see it. It was better, but my family thought it was still way too big. And the material just didn’t have the drape I was looking for. I look frumpy.



I had to try again. Down another size to small. This time I went to Joann’s and got some cheap rayon. I wanted something relatively cheap that had good drape. I figured, how bad could this fabric be. When my husband first saw it, he thought it was that bad. However, the end result is actually okay! I had some trouble with the neckline because it has this funky key hole look that you can’t see at all. And, the ties were too long. You really have to keep it tied tight or else everything is let loose and the whole thing falls down. I also screwed up the elastic waist on this version but you can’t really tell.


I wore this more than once. I might just make it again. Third time is the charm!

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