Adding a Circle Skirt to The South Shore Romper by Ellie & Mac Patterns.
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I've just made The South Shore Romper (see MY REVIEW HERE) and loved it! I made the shorts version but loved the fit and look of the cross-over bodice that I wanted to see if I could turn it into a Dress.
Recommended fabric is 50% four-way stretch knit. I'd purchased some soft touch ITY jersey fabric recently from poundfabrics.co.uk. It came as a 3 metre piece for only £8 so was a great price. The South Shore Romper is available in sizes XXS - 5XL which is a bust range of 29" - 63". The pdf is layered and comes in A4, US Letter, A0 and Projector versions.
The South Shore Romper is drafted for a side waist of 8" and a height of 5'4". I didn't shorten the side waist on my first version but this time took out an inch. This was a much better fit. The shorten/lengthen lines are clearly marked on the front and back pattern pieces so it's an easy adjustment to make.
The sides of the South Shore Romper front pattern pieces are gathered but there's no indication how much to gather them. With my first version I measured the distance between my underbust and waist and sized up the gathers to match but this time I pulled the gathers as tightly as they would go and the bodice looks so much better.
I chose to add a Full Circle Skirt to the South Shore Romper. I feel that this gives quite a flattering shape as the fabric drapes nicely from the waist. The circle skirt is cut from one piece of fabric so there are no side seams, however, that does mean that I didn't add pockets.
To cut a circle skirt you need to fold your fabric in half (left to right) and then fold again (top to bottom). Measure the waist of the finished bodice (the circumference) and divide this number by 6.28 (2π) this will give you the radius (the number you need to cut out the centre circle). You also need to measure the length you want the circle skirt to be. I made mine 23" long. If you have narrow fabric you will be limited to what length you can cut.
Once I had serged the South Shore bodice to the circle skirt I measured a length of elastic that felt comfortable around my waist and sewed this directly on to the waist seam, stretching it as I sewed, using a zigzag stitch. This gives the waist a more flattering look (for me) but also the circle skirt uses a lot of fabric and is quite heavy. The elastic at the waist adds some stability, preventing the bodice from being overstretched.
I'm really pleased with my finished South Shore Romper Dress Hack. This time I did make a fabric belt - perhaps it's too long as I can fit it around my waist twice! I think for the dress it adds a nice touch though. Adding a Circle Skirt was really easy to do - I'll definitely make more!