Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tutorial: Adding Snaps to a Romper or Shorts

I love rompers.  They are so cute and comfortable!  I just have one beef with them - diaper changes and potty training.  Trying to completely remove a romper from an already mad baby with a wet/dirty diaper?  No thanks.  Even worse, dealing with a 2 year old who has to go potty RIGHT NOW while you're struggling to get the romper off of her...yuck.  I'm a subscriber to a "the less clothing a potty training child has on, the better" type of philosophy.  Dresses and skirts work great for this, but you lose some of the casualness and the modesty factor of a romper (seriously, show me a 2 year old girl who doesn't regularly pull her dress up, exposing everything she has to all and sundry). 

All that to say, I've had my eye on Ashley from Make It and Love It's Little Girl Romper for a long time, but I have put off making it for just these reasons.  Then it just hit me - why not modify the shorts portion to have a snap closure?  Now you have a convenient access point to the baby's diaper and a quick opening for that must-potty-NOW toddler!  Then my best friends came back from the thrift store with two gorgeous matching vintage pillowcases and the deal was sealed.

You can't even see the snaps!  Now diaper/potty time is simplified and your cutie is comfy and covered!

I made these a big large on purpose...hoping they will fit next summer.  For now, we're sporting the bermuda shorts romper look :)

Want to add snaps to your existing shorts pattern?  You will need your pattern, some tracing paper and a pencil, and snaps.  I used some size 16 snaps and my snap setter, but sew-on snaps would work too. 

First draft your shorts pattern according to Ashley's tutorial.  When you get to the inseam curve, extend it to the side by 1".  You can see my initial pencil line in the photo below - this is the original inseam.  I added 1" and outlined it in black marker.

Cut out your shorts pieces and sew the crotch seams together on the front pieces and the back pieces.  Leave the inseams unsewn!

We need to make a facing for the snaps so they have enough fabric to catch onto without ripping your shorts when you unsnap them.  Lay out the inseam from the front pieces and trace around it, making the beginning of a template for your snap facing.  Do the same for the back pieces.

From your bottom line (the line you traced right up against your inseam), measure up 1.25" and draw a connecting line across, making a rectangular-ish shape.  Again, do this for the front and back pieces. 

With right sides facing, cut two pieces of fabric from each of your templates.  Using 1/4" seam allowance, stitch the front facings together along the top edge (if you aren't sure which is your top edge, it should be the one that is slightly longer than the actual inseam length).  Also stitch the back facings together in the same manner.

Now flip the facings right side out and press with your iron.

Pin each facing along your front and back inseams, right sides together and matching up the raw edges.  Stitch along the raw edge, using 1/4" seam allowance.

Flip the facings back into the inside of the shorts and press with your iron.  Stitch close to the folded edge, securing the facing into the shorts.

Overlap your front and back inseams, trimming any excess so that each inseam is the same length.

Finish sewing up the shorts by stitching the front and back together.  Hem the shorts before adding the snaps!  Once hemmed, add your snaps according to your preferred method.  I suggest overlapping the front inseam over the back.

Snap it up to make sure it all works!

Now you have a romper that's easy to get in and out of and no one will notice the snaps!  This method would work for any baby shorts/pants where you want to add a snap closure.

Romp around in that hot, hot sun!


  1. I love this idea! And repurposing pillowcases as rompers is fabulous!

  2. Will this method work it it's a harem style pant and there is no crotch seam running up the front/back? Would you just do it as per instructions before sewing the side seams?


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