DIY Toddler Romper Out of a T-Shirt

I am the first to admit that my sewing skills are very limited.  If you have basic knowledge of how to use a sewing machine, you can make this romper.  It was easy and I was able to make it in a few hours.

I decided to make this as part of my daughter’s Halloween costume.  Due to our weather, I really wanted her costume to be a romper, but it also needed a hood!  I also needed her outfit to match the grey t-shirts I will be making for my husband and me.  A grey romper with a hood?  That is pretty much impossible to find!  After completely giving up, I decided to make her a romper out of the same t-shirts I will be using for the adult costumes.


  • 2 small t-shirts or 1 very large t-shirt
  • Snap tape or snaps and snap application tool
  • Romper and hooded sweater for size reference
  • Matching thread, sewing machine, marking tool, scissors


  1. Gather your materials.  I got everything I needed at JoAnne.  I bought an XS toddler shirt for her actual romper, and then an extra shirt for her hood material.  If you don’t want a hood, one shirt would be fine, or if you are using a very large t-shirt you may be able to make the hood out of the leftover material.
  2. Trace your romper.  Lay your romper t-shirt on a flat surface.  Lay your example romper on top of the t-shirt, lining up the necklines at the top.  Use your marking tool (I used sidewalk chalk because I’m a mom and that is all I could find) and trace around your romper.  Leave about an inch around the romper for sewing allowance.  My daughter is very thin and I wanted something that hugged, so I made mine thinner than you might want to.  I wanted to use the bottom of my t-shirt for my romper’s legs, so I continued the outline to the bottom of the t-shirt.
  3. Cut out your romper.  Save your scraps!  We will use them later.  wp_20160929_004
  4. Sew your romper sides.  Turn your romper inside out and pin both sides together.  Sew about half an inch seam on both sides, making sure you stop at the armpit and don’t sew the arm holes shut!
  5. Sew your arm holes and leg holes-optional.  If you don’t want to finish the arm holes, all you need to do is pull the fabric so it naturally curls.  Otherwise, turn your romper inside out, roll the arm holes over and sew around them.  I was able to use the t-shirt’s bottom hem as the bottom of my romper, but if you are unable to do that, you can either pull the edges to make them curl, or fold over and sew your edges.
  6. Add reinforcement material to the crotch.  You can try to put your snaps or snap tape directly on your t-shirt fabric, however I read that the t-shirt material may not be strong enough to hold by itself so it needs to be reinforced.  In order to reinforce the crotch, first cut off the hem on both t-shirt’s sleeves, leaving about half an inch below the sleeve seam.  Lay one strip front side down onto the front side of one crotch side, lining up the two rough edges.  Pin and sew them together.  Repeat on the other side of the crotch.     wp_20160929_005
  7. Add snaps to the crotch.  I used snap tape for the first time and I really liked it.  For the front crotch piece, add snaps to the back side of the fabric, while on the back crotch piece, add snaps to the front side of the fabric (consult your example romper if you are confused- I was!).  For the snap tape I simply cut a length of the tape that fit my romper, pinned it down, and then sewed around it.  If you are using traditional snaps, press them in evenly around the crotch.

    Notice on the back crotch, somehow that side is smaller so I had to cut my snap tape into pieces to fit.  Once snapped together you can’t tell.  
  8. If you are not adding a hood, you are done!  I had to try it on her to make sure it fit.                                                                         wp_20160929_074
  9. Trace your hood.  Lay your hood t-shirt on a flat surface.  Lay  your hood example on top of the t-shirt, lining the opening of the hood to the bottom seam of the t-shirt.  Use your marking tool to trace around the hood, leaving about an inch for seam allowance.  I wanted the hood to be a bit oversized, so I left a little more room than maybe you want to.  Remove the hood example and continue your tracing lines, angling the bottom line down.
  10. Cut out your hood.  You want to cut two pieces of the hood, so make sure you cut both the front and back sides of the t-shirt.
  11. Sew your hood together.  Place the pieces with the right side fabric facing each other.  Sew around the curve of the hood, leaving the bottom and front sides open.

    The seam looks a lot lumpier than it does once it is finished.
  12. Sew your hood to your romper.  Find the middle back of your t-shirt, and pin the seam of the front side of your hood to the back side of your neckline.  Continue pinning all the way around the hood.  Sew the hood onto the romper.  I tried to line up my seam with the seam already on the neckline to hide it.
  13. Done!  Go out and have your little one rock their new adorable romper!  My romper turned out a little more drop crotch than I was anticipating, but drop crotch is in so she is going to rock it!

I am really impressed with how it turned out!  I am definitely going to make a few more of these out of old t-shirts I have laying around.  Plus, because of the design, there is a LOT of room to grow into this romper.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this still fits next summer!

Stay tuned for how I turn this cute romper into…..a unicorn!


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