Bubble Skirt Tutorial

I think bubble skirts are so sweet. They are just so girly! I especially like them during the winter because they have a lining and every little layer adds just that much more warmth. This is one of those projects that turned out way cuter than the photos show.  I had trouble getting Caitlin to model for me. Imagine that; a three year old didn’t want to stand still for a picture. Hmmm.

That was the best picture out of probably 50 or so shots. She was actually still for a minute. Even my sports action, rapid shot settings were still blurring because she was so wiggly. Oh well. Oh, and as you can see, she’s still toting that rubber lizard everywhere. Gotta love that girl!

Anyway, I had to do a little research plus a little trial and error to figure out how best to make these cute little skirts. This is what I came up with.

You’ll need:
Interior Fabric and Exterior Fabric. How much depends on the person. Since I was making a skirt for my toddler, I probably only used 1/2 a yard each.
Elastic for the waist.

First measure the person you are making the skirt for.

Waist width = waist measurement x 2
Hem width = Waist width + 6 inches
Length exterior = measure from hip to how long you want the skirt to be + 8
Length interior = length measurement -2
Elastic = width – 1

Caitlin’s waist was 18 inches and her length was 11 inches. With that info, here were her measurements.
Waist width = 18 x 2 = 36
Hem width = 36 + 6 = 42
Length exterior fabric = 11 + 8 = 19
Length interior fabric = 11 – 2 =9
Elastic = 18 – 1 = 17

My ‘research’ all said to cut the fabric in a rectangle shape and sew it into a tube. WRONG! If you do that, you won’t have the leg room when it’s all finished to actually walk around in it. So…. you need to cut it into a trapezoid shape. Where the bottom width is several inches wider than the the top. Like this —

That extra width around the legs is so important because to make a bubble skirt you will need to gather the bottom hem around to create the bubble effect.

Once all your fabric pieces are cut out. Fold your exterior piece in half right sides together and sew down the side to make your “tube”.

Repeat on the interior fabric.

Press your seams open. Now, put the two tubes together; wrong sides together lining up the seams. Like shown in the picture below.

You’ll also want to slide the interior fabric down about 1 inch as shown.

This is where we are going to create the casing for the elastic waistband. You can use your iron on this part if you like. I didn’t.

Fold down the exterior fabric about 1/2 inch.

Fold down again; about 1 inch. Fold it down enough to leave room for your elastic after you sew the casing.

Make sure you catch the interior fabric under the casing. Sew around leaving a hole to insert your elastic.

Lack of photos here…ugh. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in making the project I forget to take pictures of the process. Sorry about that.

Thread your elastic through. Use a safety pin to help guide it through the casing.

Sew elastic ends together.

Sew opening closed. – Your waistband is finished.

Next step – hemming and creating the bubble.

Your interior and exterior fabrics should not be the same length here. If they are, you’ll need to trim your interior fabric down.

Ok, now line up your interior and exterior fabrics’ raw edges together; wrong sides together.

Begin sewing around. As you go, add pleats. The more the better. I did mine at random, but tried to keep them fairly consistent around.

If you notice there are already some threads sewn in the picture above, it’s because I tried to do a gathering stitch. That is a totally ok way to do this. You can run a gathering stitch around both pieces of fabric and pull to gather. For some reason when I did that this time, my thread kept breaking and why I resorted to pleating. Either way works and is totally your preference.

Now turn your skirt right side out. Fluff a little and there you have it. A bubble skirt!

Linking Up To: Christy’s Cuties,Crafty Cousins, Family Ever After, Frugally Sustainable, JAQS Studio, Just Us Four, Lines Across, Momnivore’s Dilemma, Not Just a Housewife, One Artsy Mama, One Little Momma, Our Delightful Home, Sew Much Ado, Serendipity and Spice, So You Think You’re Crafty, Sugarbee Crafts, Tatertots and Jello, Tip Junkie, Tip Junkie


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