Inspired by the halter top jumper I made last week I spent many restless nights thinking this project through. It took me a trip to baby gap plus another 5 days to actually put pencil to paper on it. The finished product isn’t exactly how I envisioned it but once I started to really think about it it took on a life of its own. I liked the really soft knit style that I saw in the stores and I might give one like that a try next. Here’s how it all started:
You could trace a pair of your child’s shorts but I played it safe and started with the shorts pattern from Butterick 4503. An even simpler short pattern, i.e. 4 identical pieces for front and back, would be even easier. Come to think of it, you could even eliminate one set of seams if you did it that way. The project requires astoundingly little fabric, about a half a yard is enough to make the jumper and the belt.
I laid out the pieces and then used my see through ruler to add enough length to make the total measurement 17.5 inches to the new top from the bottom of each front and back piece. I guestimated the finished length I wanted based on some measuring of my daughter’s clothes. She’s wearing 24 months or 2T. I used the marked grain line to help make sure that my lines were straight.
The rest of the construction proceeds as it otherwise would for shorts or pants. Join the front and back pieces together at the short edge of the crotch, then attach those two pieces to each other stitching along the big U, open them out and stitch the side seams all the way up along the shorts and the bodice.
I used about 18 inches of 1/4 inch elastic at the top. I turned in 1/4 inch and then slightly more to make the casing for the elastic.
I originally wanted the kind of belt loops that would allow you to make an adjustable belt but I couldn’t find them yesterday at the store. These are kind of neat though I need to take about a 1/2 inch off the belt. I cut a strip of fabric about 24 inches long. I didn’t measure the strip when I cut it. It ended up being a two inch strip. The belt buckle allowed for an inch and a quarter belt so I folded the strip in half right sides together and used a 3/4 inch seam. I cut the seam allowance down close to the stitching and turned it right side out. I pressed the belt so that the seam was in the center of the underside and then attached it to the buckle using the zipper foot. I added some belt loops to the jumper by just sewing around it with some embroidery floss in the side seams.
All done! Really simple, really quick. I waited to hem the legs in case it was way too long or way too short and I can’t figure out if I should add straps or not. I like the way it looks strapless but I think I need to cinch the elastic in a little more if there’s going to be any substantial playing in it. So when do kids start sitting and quietly drawing or reading books instead of jumping all over the furniture? That’s going to happen… right?