Yup! It is! And this is the same person that told the testers just a few months ago that I'm not into rompers and they can just expect to never see one in the Sofiona store. Apparently I'm one of those people that resorts to saying no first and then changing her mind. I'm ok with that. So, welcome Aspen!!
It actually came down to my oldest. She's been asking for a pantsuit like I made myself a few years ago. It was then I realized that I think my aversion to the word "romper" is because all I can picture is baby outfits with lots of ruffles. A quilting cotton balloon, if you will. It turns out there is such a thing as a one piece outfit without the balloon look and I really, really like it! It's all about getting past that one image in your mind that is blocking out the good ideas. And if you didn't know already, Sofiona exists with the tween styles in mind so when it was my oldest that was asking, I knew I needed to consider her request and I'm glad I did because these outfits are so great.
This same daughter loves the Dandelion. She requested it for her Christmas dress last year too which you can see here. And me, I love Tide. So the idea to make this an add-on was born out of the desire to give us both what we wanted. And what YOU get is a great variety of outfits between the 3 patterns. I've bundled Tide and Aspen together as the Tide Romper Bundle in the store for a savings. Dandelion is already a free pattern with the code in the FB group, so that's a pretty sweet deal for summer rompers, tank tops and dresses.
The details about Aspen are quite simple.
- sizes 2-16
- short, capri, or full length pants
- optional pockets
- A0 file
- projector file
Choosing a size is a bit different than our other patterns. It's a mix of choosing a trunk size like you would for a swim suit and then also choosing a leg length that works. I pulled in extra testers for this because I wanted to make sure I was getting this right. Before cutting, make sure to read the "How to Choose a Size" section in the Aspen tutorial. This affects both the size of your Tide/Dandelion bodice as well as the Aspen. Basically, you will choose your bodice length and your rise height based on trunk size. Then you will choose the leg length/hem based on the inseam. Size up only once you've reached halfway between sizes. Sizing up too soon can result in an oversized outfit. This pattern is meant to look more sleek and fitted as opposed to oversized.
Because the size chart covers a range of height between each size, you may need to hem a little more than stated in the tutorial. But this is also affected by fabric. More on that below.
This is a pattern for knit fabric only, but the types of knit fabric are pretty open. There is, of course, some things to keep in mind. First, I do recommend reading these blog posts about Tide and Dandelion to see what kinds of things you should keep in mind about your bodice fabric choices. And regarding Aspen, there's really just 2 things that really jump out at me for you to consider.
The waistband is going to be pulled up and down over those hips/bottoms which means if you are using a fabric that doesn't have good recovery, that's going to look stretched out and sloppy real quick. So at the very least, make sure your lining fabric has good recovery. Second, the seam around the waist that attaches the waistband to the bodice will have a few layers. Especially with the Tide since it is lined. I would make sure that the lining fabric is not too thick so that seam doesn't become too bulky.
One of our wise testers gave us all the tip to first press your waistband up and press it on both the inside and outside of the bodice. Then pull the waistband down into position and press again. This should help flatten it down nicely. I will also suggest that sometimes serged seams tend to bulk up and if your fabrics are a bit bulky, you might want to consider a stretch stitch on your sewing machine instead of the serger. I've found this to be helpful with other makes as well. But that might just be my serger. I won't claim that is actually the best method. Just something to try out.
The second fabric decision to consider is vertical stretch. I'm talking about fabrics like DBP that have that drape and deceptive amount of weight that pulls down further than you expect. This will matter more and more the higher the size you are making and the longer the length you are choosing. A size 16 pant is going to really pull down with some fabrics and in those cases you'll just need to hem them up further and maybe just baste the Aspen Add-On to your bodice for a quick check. You might want to trim down the rise of the pant as well.
This pattern has pockets!!! But they are completely optional. I think most of the testers did choose pockets, because, well, POCKETS!!!
Tide specific - One thing to keep in mind when choosing Tide as your bodice. You will find that the overall trunk length is going to make a difference with how you tie up the top. Tide is drafted to sit a bit higher than I know some people expect. It's not a super high neckline, but it is higher than some. So if you find that the crotch is hanging a bit too low, check to see if you have it tied up at the right spot. If it's still low, you might want to remove a bit of height from the rise of Aspen.
Dandelion specific - The Dandelion pattern actually got an update during this process. I've added a size 16, tidied up a few truing issues I found, added some contouring to the lower back of the peplum version and added the A0 and projector files for your convenience. If you already have this pattern, I would highly recommend downloading the revised version called Dandelion Tank Top V2 from your account on the website. And ESPECIALLY if you are using it with the Aspen because that back contouring makes all the difference for this pairing.
As well, there is an optional step in the Dandelion tutorial to tack down the criss cross back. This is not necessary for the romper option and might actually make it difficult for the wearer to get it on and off over the hip/bottom. So maybe just leave that out.
This whole collection of patterns (Tide, Dandelion and Aspen) already give so many great outfit ideas, but how about a good hack on top of that? A flutter sleeve on the Dandelion anyone???
And that's it! As always, it is best practice to make a muslin first and I think it's almost more important when making something like a romper that needs to fit properly from shoulder to crotch. We have done our best to make sure that the sizing page is going to help get a great first fit, but we also know that sometimes people take measurements a bit differently and body types are so varied that surprises still happen. Use your best judgment.