a very retro romper

this post originally appeared as a part of Sew Pony’s When We Were Young series last summer.  today i’m bringing it home.

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Hi, I’m Kristin and I’m happy to be here at the tail end of When We Were Young!  Such a fun series, I’ve really gotten a kick out of everyone’s posts!  I actually sewed my outfit months ago, I was so excited for this.  Didn’t get photos until recently though, and my daughter had a growth spurt in those couple months, but ah well.  I knew exactly which outfit I wanted to recreate and couldn’t wait to sew it.

This is me in 1986.

very retro romper

As you can see by my mom’s note at the bottom, I was 4 and a half.  My daughter is 5 now, so we were pretty darn close in age!  We lived on an acre of land out in the semi-country with a couple lambs that helped “mow our lawn,” as my parents put it.  I loved basically going outside in the summer mornings and not coming in except to eat.

very retro romper

Here I am in my little romper and saltwater sandals, living summertime outdoors.  My mom said my romper was a hand me down (I was the oldest so it was likely from a relative).  You can see my early love of climbing too!

very retro romper

With a series of photos like that, of course I had to make a romper for my little gal.  I knew the print would be almost impossible to find, so I took some creative liberty both with that and with the design (wanted to make it a bit more modern).  Here’s what I came up with…

very retro romper

The fabric is a thrifted vintage bed sheet, with store bought bias tape for the bindings.

very retro romper

Her saltwaters sandals (affiliate link) are a different color too, but it all goes together and better reflects my daughter’s girlier personality (I was more of a tomboy when I was little).

very retro romper

The pattern is the Retro Romper by Blank Slate Patterns (affiliate links), and it was such a joy to sew!  I love the instructions for attaching the bodice to the shorts and simultaneously creating a casing for the elastic, and it came together super quickly.  I made some fit changes to take it even MORE retro – the bodice is a 4T but the shorts are a 2T (with 4T width).  Aside from the shortened rise, I also shortened the shorts to the 18m skort cutting line, re-rounding the edges to keep the sweet running short look.  Short shorts are so quintessentially ’80s, amirite?

very retro romper

I think I should’ve lengthened the bodice a bit to compensate for my short shortening and give her a bit more growing room, but how was I to know she was going to grow an inch and a half in, like, 2 months??

very retro romper

She likes it and my husband has said it’s one of his favorite things I’ve made for her, probably because she gets all silly when she wears it – something about a romper makes her all acrobatic, much more so than with a dress.  She hadn’t worn a romper since she was a tiny baby, so it was fun to make one she could wear as a big five year old.  Rompers are fun!

Thanks so much for having me, Suz!

9 thoughts on “a very retro romper

  1. Lindsay says:

    This is the first I’ve heard of this series, and I think it’s so cool! I absolutely love your modern twist on the romper, the fact that your daughter is so close in age to your original photo, and the fact that you sought out a chain link fence for the current photo. Love it all!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    This is so fun! Maybe I’ll try making a romper this summer. My daughter had one she wore the past two summers and absolutely loved, but I’m sure it’s outgrown by now. My sister bought it for her, somewhat as a joke, because apparently rompers were all the rage with the high school students she teaches.

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