A Review of the Summer Nights Romper & Two-Piece PDF Pattern by Ellie & Mac.
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Ellie & Mac have recently released the Summer Nights Romper & Two-Piece Set Pattern. It comes in sizes XXS - 6XL and has many options. You can make a romper or separate top and pants and the pattern includes four sleeve options:
You can also choose to make full or capri length pants with optional slash pockets. The top is an off the shoulder design with optional flounce.
I opted to make separates because of the practicality. I liked the idea of the short sleeved top with flounce paired with shorts. There isn't an option to make shorts but I just traced a shorts length inseam off of the main pattern - approximately 6" and I chose to include the pockets and yoga band. Using the measuring chart that accompanies the pattern I should make an Extra Large but previous Ellie & Mac makes have been too big for me so I decided to go by my upper bust measurement and make the Large. This was a much better fit.
According to the instructions, fabric recommendations are:
... 50% four way stretch knit fabric with good recovery. If the fabric has more than 50% stretch the garment may fit looser and appear less structured. If less stretch, then the garment will fit tighter and will not drape as well.
I found a great four way stretch fabric from Loris Textiles in Limassol, Cyprus. It is super soft but has a crinkled finish - something that I can just wash and hang - no ironing required!
The Summer Nights Romper & Two-Piece Set Pattern has many options so I printed out all of the pattern pieces and traced off the pieces I needed for this particular combination. I felt that the flounce was a little too short so I added 2" to the height - this means that the flounce covers all of my chest. I also decided to add to the length of the top and omit the band. I knew that this would make the top a more versatile item for me - I can either wear it tucked in or over shorts. When I cut out the top I noticed that the sides are straight with no shaping so I used a pattern piece from Ellie & Mac's FREE Curved Hem Pocket Tank and traced off a more shaped side seam.
The instructions for the Summer Nights Romper & Two-Piece Set Pattern are easy enough and there is plenty of information to read before you get to the actual instructions (perhaps too much) including a sewing glossary and cutting tips. The photographs accompanying the instructions aren't particularly clear - I much prefer diagrams. There are two YouTube videos, however, which are helpful.
Construction of the Summer Nights Top is really quick and easy. There are no darts to sew and no fiddly components. Once you have attached the flounce to the front and back bodice you create a channel into which you thread elastic to hold the flounce on to your shoulders. The instructions suggest you measure the distance around your shoulders and minus three inches. This worked very well for me and I have to say this has been the most comfortable off the shoulder top I've worn - the shoulders neither slip down or flip up.
Construction of the Summer Nights Pants is straightforward too. I really like the slash pockets - they are a decent size and really easy to sew together. I was worried that the yoga waistband was going to be too small but once on it all fits nicely and holds the shorts up well.
Final Thoughts: I'm really happy with my Summer Nights Two-Piece Set and can see more in my wardrobe. Its a very versatile pattern - a Pants length version with long sleeved top will be lovely to wear in the Autumn.