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Sew-Along: Gathered Romper

Updated: Mar 1, 2020

I’ve always loved the idea of a gathered romper – it’s cute and comfy; most importantly, it protects the bottoms and thighs much more than a onesie does and that’s very good for little babes who are learning how to crawl and walk.

This is a romper with shoulder & bottom snap openings for easy access. The gathered waist makes is roomy for babies to move in. The fit is generous in the bottom and the pattern is available for 6 months, 12 months and 18 months.

In polka dot jersey with contrast ribbing, the romper just looks so delicious!


  • 1/2 (1/2, 1/2) yard of light- to medium-weight cotton jersey or double knit.

  • 1 1/2 (1 1/2, 1 1/2) yard of 3.5cm wide ribbing

  • 3/4 (1, 1) yard of 8-cord elastic

  • 40cm cotton woven herringbone or twill tape

  • Matching thread

  • 6 11mm metal or plastic snaps

  • A safety pin, for pulling the elastic through its casing

  • A Gathered Romper pattern, printed, prepared and cut out in the appropriate size.


To fit babies of 6 (12, 18) months.

Finished waist: 27.5 (29.5, 31.5) cm in circumference.

Finished length from front High Point Shoulder: 44 (45.5, 47) cm.

Things to Note

  • The Gathered Romper pattern has seam allowances included. Unless otherwise stated, the seam allowance given is 1cm.

  • Prewash the fabric before cutting.

  • Prepare and adjust your sewing machine to sew knit material. This could mean doing the following:

  1. Change the needle to jersey needle

  2. Reduce the thread tension

  3. Reduce the dog feed pressure

  4. Increase stitch length

  5. Change to walking foot

For demonstration, a white polka dot on grey heather jersey was used. The wrong side of the fabric is a solid grey in the images.

Cut Fabric

Using the pattern that you have prepared, place the pattern on your fabric following the indicated grain line and cut:

  • 1 front bodice, on fold

  • 1 back bodice, on fold

  • 2 back bottoms

  • 2 front bottoms

In order to get a set of left and right front/back bottoms, simply fold your fabric and cut through both layers at once.

Also cut your ribbing fabric to 3.5cm widths. We would require 1 1/2 yard. Press the ribbing in halves. Open the ribbing and press the raw edges towards the centre lengthwise.

Cut Elastic

Cut 2 27 (28, 30) cm pieces for the leg openings.

Piece the Front & Back Bodices of Romper

With the right sides together, serge one side seam.

Seam the other side seam in a similar manner.


Normal pins may snag the yarns in your knit fabric, so do test with a scrap of your fabric before applying the pins to your project. In order to keep the two layers of fabric lined up, consider using Clover Wonder Clips.

Prepare Bottoms for Gathering

Before we serge the bottom pieces together, sew two rows of running stitches along the waist of each bottom piece to facilitate gathering the waist later on. Make sure the running stitch starts and ends 1cm away from the edge.

Piece the Front & Back Bottoms

With the right sides together, serge the back crotch of the back bottoms together.

In a similar fashion, serge the centre fronts of the front bottoms together.

Joining Side Seams of Bottom

With the right sides of the front and back bottoms together, serge the side seams.

Match Bottom to Bodice of Romper

With the right sides together, match and carefully pin the side seams of the bottom to the bodice. Then match and carefully pin the centre front of the bodice to the front crotch of the bottom. Similarly, match and carefully pin the centre back of the bodice to the back crotch of the bottom.

Gather the Waist of Bottom

Using the running stitches along the waist of the bottom, gently pull and gather the waist until it matches the waist of the bodice.

Serge carefully in the round, making sure to overlap the overlocking stitches at the end of the round.


Depending on the thickness of your fabric, the gathers might be shifted when you are pushing the layers through the overlocking machine. To prevent that, try to sew a row of stay stitches around the waist to hold the gathers in place before serving the layers together.

Serge Bottoms hem.

Serge the left and right bottom hems.

Press 1.5cm of the bottom hem into the wrong side.

Make the Elastic Casing

Top stitch the hem at 1cm away from the folded edge.

Attach the safety pin to on end of your elastic. Insert this end into the left casing. Pull the pin through the casing, exiting on the other side. Make sure not to pull the elastic’s other side into the channel.

Do the above step to the right casing.

Secure by stitching down the ends of the elastic near the casing openings.

Finishing Bottom Snap Opening

Measure the width of the bottom snap opening. Cut 2 lengths of woven herringbone or twill tape that is 2cm longer to the opening. Fold 1cm of each short edge of the tape to the wrong side. On the romper, mark 1cm from the edge of the opening. Line up the edge of the tape to this marking. Stitch the tape down at 0.5cm away from the edge of the tape.

Repeat the above step for the other side of the opening.

Apply Ribbing to Armhole

With right sides together, match and carefully pin the long edge of the ribbing to the edge of the left armhole. Sew both layers at the first crease line of the ribbing.

Press the ribbing at the seam line or ditch and turn the ribbing to the wrong side encasing all the raw edges within the ribbing.

Top stitch the ribbing at 0.2cm away of the ditch.

Repeat the above step for the right armhole.

Apply Ribbing to the Neckline

In a similar fashion to the armhole, apply the ribbing to the front and back necklines.

Finish Shoulder Openings

Similar to the bottom opening, finish the shoulder openings using the woven herringbone or twill tape.

Insert Snaps

Insert two snaps to each of the shoulder opening. Insert two snaps to the bottom opening. Your gathered romper is complete!

Having Problems with the Sewing Steps?

Email us your questions and we are happy to help!


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