Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sewing 101 Week 2: Easy Bubble Skirt


Are you ready for week 2? ( Here's Week 1 if your missed it and  click HERE to see all the weeks.) Before we begin our project, I want to go over a few sewing terms:

Selvage: The finished edges on the side of each piece of fabric.
Grain:  All fabric is made up of little threads that are woven together.  You can clearly see this is you look at this piece of burlap.
Lengthwise grain: Parallel to the selvage edge
Crosswise grain: Perpendicular to the selvage edge
Have you ever bought a shirt and after you washed it went all wonky and instead of the seam going down the side it wrapped around your stomach? This is b/c it wasn't cut properly. To avoid this, when you cut out fabric you need to make sure that you are cutting your pieces so they line up with the grain line. Use the selvage edge or the fold as a guide.
Nap: Some fabrics have a one way direction.  For example, velvet or suede. It feels smooth when you run your hand in one direction and rough in the other.  Some printed fabrics have a nap b/c the design has an obvious up and down.  If you fabric has a nap, you want to make sure that you pay attention to the nap when you cut out your pieces or it will look weird. 

Now that we got that out of the way, let's sew! Today we are going to make a super-simple bubble skirt.  I love this skirt b/c all of your seams are hidden, so it gives you a very clean and professional looking end product.  Also, with a little practice it only take about 15 minutes to crank out one of these beauties.

You will need:
1/2 inch elastic
1/4-3/4 yard of fabric-depending on size (pick something cute without an obvious nap)
safety pins

Before we begin, you will need 2 measurements. The waist, and the desired length of the finished skirt. Here's a quick size guide:

6-9 month-7/16
12 month-8 /17
18 month-9/18
2T-10/18 3/4
3T-11/19 1/2
4T -12/21

Step 1: Cut out a piece of fabric along the grain.  You're going to have to do a little math:

Width=Waist X 2
Length= length +2

The width with be the waist measurement times 2 and the lenth will be the desired length plus 2 inches.  For example: I want to make a 6m, so I cut one piece of fabric 9x 32 (if you want it a little fuller, just add more to the width-I was lazy and just cut it 44 inches-b/c that's the width of my fabric).

Step 2: Using your gauge and pins, measure 2 inches from the top of the fabric.

Step 3: Fold fabric over pins and iron down (do a good job-you're going to need the crease).

Step 4: Bring the tip edge to the crease and fold it over again.
Step 5: Iron down-you should have a 1 inch  double fold.

Step 6: Unfold the top. To make the side seam, fold your fabric piece in half with the pretty sides together.  Using the above picture sew the side seam. Make sure don't sew where I marked "open", this is where you will put the elastic in latter. Each time you sew, make sure you sew frontwards a few stitches, then backwards to lock the stitch in place.
Step 7: Press side seam open.
 Step: Bring the bottom of the skirt up so it aligns with the bottom crease.
Step 9: Fold the top over.  Pin in place.
 Step 10:  Line up your presser foot with the bottom edge of the fold ans sew completely around the waistband.
Step 11: Cut a piece of 1/2 inch elastic to a comfortable waist length. Remember that little hole you left when you sewed up the side seam?  Pin a safety pin on each end of your elastic and thread it through the waistband. 

Step 12: You can either sew the ends of the elastic together (sew it several times so it's secure) or just leve the safety pin and tuck it inside the waistband.  As your child grows, you can let out the elastic.

Step 13: ( Optional)-Embelish-add rosettes, bows, buttons etc.

To see where I link up or to add your party, please click here.
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I guess I've been making this skirt for quite a few years.  I just found this pic of one I made one for my daughter to wear to ballet. (she's 14 now).  I did use another fabric for the waistband, but it's the same idea.

I'd love to see you work. After you complete your skirt, please send me a link in the commentsbelow, so I can check it out.

A Little Knick Knack


  1. I liked to see the sewing terms! Since I taught myself how to sew I need to learn more about the terminology! Great tutorial! Pretty skirt.

  2. I love it! I should attempt to make it :) I want to become a better sewer.

  3. It's cute... and the one picture is good! I featured you on my Facebook page! Thanks for linking at the Stinky Linky!

  4. Nice tutorial, looks like it would be easy to follow! I wish I had the time to make it and join your Linky!

  5. So cute! I can't wait to try and make one for my neice!

  6. Super cute! I used to make Laney skirts all the time. This cute one might get me back in the mood!

    PS. I've never used a gauge, after reading your tutorials, I am totally buying one! How handy.

    1. You should splurge-I think they will set you back about a buck. Let me know if you make one for Laney. I've only ever made this for babies/toddlers.

  7. Easy to follow instructions. Thanks for this series.

  8. LOVE the tutorial!! I know that took you a while!! PLEASE delete my cake!! I put up the wrong thing!! SORRY!! I am linking my pumpkins!!

  9. so cute, I have two girls that would love a skirt like this. I just might have to attempt to make them one.

  10. I love bubble skirts!! Thanks for sharing at Shine on Friday!

  11. Cute! I love bubble skirts for little girls!

  12. So cute! I think I could actually handle this project!

  13. This is so cute! I definitely need to make one for my daughter. I just pinned it! And thanks for linking up to my party! I hope to see you again tomorrow!

  14. A darling skirt, and is a great project for beginner's. You tutorial is very good. So pretty! Thanks for sharing you creative inspiration at Sunday's Best. I featured your sewing series on my FB page.

  15. Ack, so cute (and looks so easy)! If only I had girls.... :)

  16. This is adorable! I gave it a feature tonight, come check it out!

  17. This is too cute! I love the fabric you used.

    Mrs. Delightful

  18. This is another great tutorial! I may have to make a bubble skirt for my little ones, now!

    Take care,


  19. Nice tutorial!! Thanks for sharing at Things I've Done Thursday!

  20. I love bubble skirts and yours is so, so darling! Makes me long for the days when my girls were little and I could dress them up in ribbons, bows, frills and poufs!

    Thank you so much for always having something wonderful to share at Rook No. 17!


  21. I finally made the bubble skirt! You can see it on my blog here
    Thanks for the tutorial and inspiration!

  22. Yay!! Sorry I'm a little slow to see this but I'm so excited that you wrote up this tutorial!! I'm excited for this sewing 101 series, you are a great teacher. :-)