Tutorial: Unisex Kensington Baby Romper
Blogger: Deanna Mackin
Unisex Kensington Romper Tutorial
The Kensington baby romper pattern is a classic, vintage look that is an LLK springtime favorite with tons of options. Today the Kensington Baby pattern will become even more versatile with this simple hack to create a unisex look with a pleated front romper and straight cuff sleeves. Try the Kensington blog and pair it with your favorite version of the original Kensington pattern to create the sweetest sibling set for the sunny days ahead.
Start by modifying the sleeve pattern piece by drawing a line straight down along the fold line, then straight across from the fold line to the outside point of the cap sleeve.
Cut out 2 sleeves on the fold, using the new pattern piece, from your main fabric. To make the cuffs cut a 2" (5 cm) strip of fabric for sizes newborn-12 months, 2.5" (6.3 cm) strip of fabric for sizes 18 months through 2 years, and a 3" (7.6 cm) strip of fabric for sizes 3 and 4 years. Line up the cuff strip to the bottom of the sleeve and cut it the width of the sleeve.
Press the cuff strip in half, wrong sides together. Align the raw edge of the folded cuff strip to the bottom edge of the sleeve. Pin/clip in place.
If piping or faux piping is desired, sandwich it in between the sleeve and cuff strip before sewing. Sew to attach using a 1/2" (1.3 cm) seam allowance and press the seam allowance up toward the top of the sleeve.
Sew the sleeve side seam.
Follow pages 44 and 45 in the pattern tutorial to attach the sleeves to the bodice. The gather at the top of the sleeve can be omitted. To do so, sew a gathering stitch around the entire circumference of the armscye instead of just the top curve. Gather the whole sleeve ever so slightly to ease the sleeve into the arm opening of the bodice when attaching the sleeve. This will result in a finished sleeve with no visible gathers from the right side of the garment.
Locate the paper pattern piece for the front romper. Straighten the top edge to prepare it for the pleats. On the pattern piece, draw a straight line up from the fold line and a horizontal line from the side in toward the fold line. Cut the pattern piece out using the new cut line.
The unisex Kensington romper uses four large pleats instead of a gathering stitch for the front romper. Find the center of the romper front (line shown in yellow). Mark the pleat placement lines on both the left and right side of the romper center using the chart provided (lines shown in red). All marks should be made on the wrong side of the fabric. Next, draw 2" (5 cm) lines down on both the left and right side of each pleat placement line using the chart measurements (lines in blue). These will be the stitch lines.
Create the pleats by folding along the pleat placement line, lining up the stitch lines with the fabric right sides together. Sew a 2" (5 cm) line of stitching directly on top of the drawn stitch line.
Backstitch at the end of the stitching to secure the ends. Repeat with all four pleats.
On the wrong side of the romper front, press the pleated fabric toward the romper's outside edges. Sew a basting stitch along the entire front of the romper to secure the pleats. The romper front will now be the exact same width as the bodice front piece.
Sew the romper front and back together along the side seams using a 1/2" (1.3 cm) seam allowance. Create the placket on the romper back piece and sew a gathering stitch only along romper back. Follow the remaining tutorial instructions to attach the romper to the bodice.