Make Nine 2019: Alexandria/Cora Romper

Pattern Stats: Alexandria & Cora
Pattern designer: Made for Mermaids
Pattern level: 3/10
Time start to finish: 2 hours
Suggested fabrics: mid-weight knits with good recovery 
My fabric: black bamboo from Mily Mae Fabrics
Price: Alexandria $9.00, Cora free 

I saw the Alexandria/Cora romper from Whitney on the Phee Fabrics blog last year and loved it so much. I've always loved the idea of a romper but they never fit me. Now that I know how to measure and sew to fit my body, I decided this year was the year to make them happen!

Pattern Details

The patterns that Whitney used for this mashup were the Alexandria swimsuit with the Cora culottes. The Made for Mermaids Alexandria is a swim pattern that has an option for a faux wrap top and optional flounces. I chose to do the double flounce because I love that look. 

The bottoms are the Women's Cora culottes which are a free pattern also from Made for Mermaids. I've made these in rayon spandex and find them insanely comfortable. I made the 4" length last year which I felt were a bit too short for my larger booty. 


This was the most eye opening portion of this project. Measure your trunk people! I'm 5'5" tall which is what most patterns are drafted for. Yet I have a trunk length 4.5" longer than the pattern length. Seriously, no wonder rompers never fit me! 


Since the majority of shirts fit me fine, I opted to add 0.5" to my bodice and 2" to my inseam.  I determined that proportion since my side waist is 8.25" and the pattern is drafted for an 8' side waist. I didn't think it was worth the modifications for only 0.25" so I adjusted it to 0.50". 

I did several modifications based on my preferences too. I chose to add length to the Cora culottes. I went with the idea that I could always shorten them but couldn't add length later on. I ended up cutting them with a 6" inseam length to start with. I later chose to trim 1" off the length and ended up with a 5" inseam for my final length.

After prepping my pattern pieces I had the thought to measure the waist of the Cora culotte hacked pattern piece. I quickly realized it wouldn't fit my waist. So I measured my Alexandria waist pieces and adjusted the top part of my Cora pattern to be equal. When I added the height for my longer trunk and removing the waistband, I graded in the waist too much. 

Another modification was to add length to my straps. With the same concept in mind, I often find straps too short because I have broad shoulders that raise strap lengths. I decided to cut my straps 14" long rather than the 13" in the Alexandria pattern. 

Fabric Selection

Fabric was a key factor in this make as well. I wanted it to be something breathable that I could wear to our Vegas trip in July when it will be over 100 but also wouldn't stretch out. I knew immediately I wanted to use a bamboo fabric. The new bamboo from Mily Mae Fabrics is quite honestly my favorite to sew and wear so it was an easy choice. It has enough weight to not show sheerness but drapes really nicely. 

Also, with the Cora's and flounces, I didn't want to hem so I needed a fabric that wouldn't unravel with wash and wear. 


I started by sewing together the culotte bottoms. This was done by simply putting right sides together of a front and back leg piece and sewing both the outer and inner seams. Then I put both legs right sides together and sewed the crotch seam. I tried them on at this point to double check they fit.

Next, I started on the Alexandria portion of the construction. The only difference from the instructions is that I'm constructing a crop version that's 8.5" long rather than having the lower crotch pieces. I followed the directions as written but replaced the swim elastic with 1/4" clear elastic. I would highly recommend using the elastic throughout to ensure the top is stabilized and molds to the body. This was especially important since I wasn't planning on wearing a bra with this romper. I didn't think it was necessary to use the armsyce elastic and am regretting it right away. 

Final Assessment 

I absolutely love this romper. The only parts that I would change in the future is to lower the inner cups I added and make sure I add all the recommended elastic. I also have a bit of pulling across the bodice at the waist and may try sizing up there for future makes. 

I'm planning at least one more for my Vegas trip and to last me through the summer. What could be better than not needing to wear a bra and an easy to wear outfit?

#MakeNine2019 Update

I'm now 1/3 of the way through my makenine2019 and almost half way through the year. I still plan on most of these items but am using this as a challenge to sew new things. I'm really pushing my skills and gaining confidence in my makes. I already have the Hey June Willamette pattern prepped and need to work on woven shorts as summer will be here in just a few weeks!

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