DIY: Designing a cute smocked baby romper for your little kid

If you are thinking about making a meaningful gift for your child, why not trying self-designing a clothing item for her? It would be an outfit filled with unconditional, genuine love of mother which make your lovely one the happiest child in the world. Today, Babeeni will introduce a free tutorial for our amazing moms, it is about how to design a smocked baby romper. Let’s get started!

*The measurements in this tutorial are for a size 12-18 month romper.


  • 3/4 yard of fabric (any cotton, linen, etc.)
  • elastic thread
  • coordinating thread
  • 3/4 yard of 1/4 inch wide elasticDIY smocked baby romper

Step 1

– Fold your fabric in half selvage to selvage. Your fabric should be about 42-45 inches wide.

– Using an existing baby romper, determine how long you need your bodysuit to be.

– Cut your fabric into a long rectangle.

Step 2

– Cut that that rectangle in half so you have two pieces, each 21 inches by 18 inches.

Fold those pieces in half short end to short end.

– Using a bodysuit, mimic the shape of the bottom of the body suit, but exaggerated so that you have space for the elastic to gather and cinch the legs. Also, add an inch from the bottom the body suit so that you can fold it under to make the casing. The front piece will be more curved than the back piece. Be sure the bottoms (the crotch) are the same width.

– Finish the edges of the legs with a serger or a zigzag stitch. Iron it under 1/2 an inch.

– Line up the front and back pieces, right sides together, pin up the sides (unfold the part you ironed under for now) and sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

– Next, you want to finish the top of the romper. Fold it under 1/4 of an inch – twice. Iron it in place (so you won’t have to pin it down and to keep it even). Sew around the top.

Step 3

Now it’s time to get shirring!

Here are some tips for shirring with a bobbin like the one you see above:

– Hand wind the elastic onto your bobbin. You want a consistent tension that is not tight but not completely loose either

– Only wind it about 2/3 full. If you fill it completely up, it might not work

– Lengthen your stitch significantly

– Always do a test swatch. You may not remember how tight to wind my bobbin, since it seems a fussy process. So, just wind it and test it first. Once you get it how you like it, then get proceed.


Step 4

– This step is optional but, you stitch and then pull long tails off after each row and knot the elastic ends together. This ensures that the elastic thread never comes loose. It might never come loose if you stitch at the beginning and end, but it’s just my preference to do it this way.

– Sew about 10 rows. It will look smocked but probably not quite tight enough.

– Pulling off a freezer paper stencil kind of fun. Heat up your iron and put it on full steam. Press (don’t push back and forth) your iron over the shirred lines.

Step 5

It’s time to finish to bottom of your baby romper

– Sew the casing in place (this where the previous pressing prep helps out). Measure the length of elastic you’ll need by using the existing body suit as a reference. I used 11 inches per leg. Once you thread it through, sew a line of stitching at each end to hold it in place.

– Now, you have a choice. You can sew the bottom of the romper, right sides together. This is the simplest sewing option but would mean that you would have to pull the romper all the way off and on when diapering.

– If you want to be able to open the bottom, add snap tape. You can pick this up by the yard in the notions section of most fabric stores

Step 6

Are you ready for straps?

– The simplest option would be to sew on ribbon. You can also cut 1 1/2 inch strips of fabric (the picture shows 2-inch strips but I cut it down afterwards) and make fabric straps.

– Fold the raw edges inward and then fold it in half. Press it with a hot iron (pretty much how bias tape is made but the fabric doesn’t need to be cut on the bias). Sew the strips and knot the ends. You need four of these straps, each strap at least a foot long. I usually make them much longer than that and then cut them down as needed.

To add the straps tie two pieces together into a bow. Pin them in place.

– Lastly, Sew a dense zigzag stitch over each strap. Trim excess strap length as needed. Add a tag if desired…

And you are D.O.N.E.!

Hope you enjoy the baby romper made by yourself!






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