Perhaps you have one of these… or maybe even a few? You know, you start a project and then somewhere along the way it goes into a bag or the closet and soon enough it slips into the WIP files, work in progress or a UFO. I hope you enjoy this story of mine.

During a trip to NYC I bought a yummy unbleached natural cotton waffle knit with the idea that my friend Jessie that tie-dyes and I would make something cooler than life out it.

Over a year later Jessie dropped off the two yard piece now dyed with beautiful colors. I sat around and stared at the fabric asking what its deepest desire to be was for five months.

I decided a little 1960s romper. I’ve worked with this knit and know it works well with loosely draped clothing or super tight clothing (long underwear) due to its elasticity. Never on something like this.

I carefully matched up the pattern pieces to the dyed piece knit fabric and cut it out. I was left with a good strip of fabric right down the center and a beautiful scarf was born.

I knew the waffle knit romper would come out much larger than the pattern dimensions due to its stretch but made the size 10 (which is a size 4 in todays clothing) anyways. I tried it on along the way. Before finishing the seams I took it in making it smaller 8″.

At this point I was fine with it. I finished all the seams with stitch witchery and my walking foot to keep them from wavering like bacon.

I put the dress in my closet for another month, now it’s been two years. I asked friends what they thought and got mixed responses like, “It’s okay if it didn’t work out, artists are never happy with their work.” and “It looks like long underwear.”

I really felt this romper had summer festival potential and was not giving up so I added patch pockets. The patch pockets were too low, I ripped them off and restitched them. Then they were uneven, again out came the ripper!

The romper still didn’t feel right so I walked away and in my closet it went. A couple of months later I tried it on and it seemed to have grown BIGGER in my closet!

I took the romper totally apart starting with the neckline. That stitch witchery was a problem at this point, I soldiered on.

I took it in eight more inches for round two. I took the shoulders up 3″ to bring the crotch rise up, dropped the neckline and arm cycles down and then finished the romper.


If I were to use this fabric again I know exactly what I would make, a razor back skater dress with inset pockets. I would let it hang for weeks before finishing any seams.

Three years later romper wound up looking really good on a client and he purchased it! WIN! WIN!

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!