Quick and Easy – Bubble Skirt Tutorial

Right now I am in the process of updating my girls spring wardrobe.  Savannah seems to have grown overnight and everything is about 1″ – 2″ too short.  I am repurposing a lot of her clothes, adding a few totally handmade items, and buying a few new things.  I will share the full wardrobe with you once I have it all completed, but for now I thought I would share this quick and easy Bubble Skirt Tutorial.
I’m not kidding when I say that this skirt only took me 20 minutes to make (including cutting time).  It’s SO quick and easy and if you have a serger it’s even easier (though you do not need one at all for this project).  If you have a naptime to spare, you can whip up several of these little skirts that will be perfect for running around outside this spring/summer season.
Quick and Easy
Bubble Skirt Tutorial
(Size 6 months – 14 years)
Supplies:
1-1.5 yards knit fabric (cotton interlock or jersey knit)
Sewing machine
Thread
Scissors
Directions:
First you need to determine your child’s measurements.  Measure around their waist and subtract 3″ (or even 4″ if you have SUPER stretchy fabric) – that will be your waist band measurement.  Figure out where you would like the skirt to hit.  Here are some standard measurements for you:
Measurements – Above the Knee (first measurement) and At the Knee (second measurement):
6 months – 6.25″, 6.5″
12 months – 6.75″, 7.25″
18 months – 7.25″, 8″
2T – 7.75″, 8.75″
3T – 8.25″, 9.50″
4T – 8.75″, 10.25″
5 – 10″, 13.5″
6 – 12.25″, 14.5″
7 – 13″, 15.5″
8 – 13.75″, 16.5″
10 – 14.50″, 17.5″
12 – 15.25″, 18.5″
14 – 16″, 19.5″
Once you’ve determined your measurements, it’s now time to cut.  Cut your main bubble skirt piece.  You may need more fabric if you are doing a much larger pre-teen size.  Double the length measurement and add 1″.  You need to double the measurement because the skirt is going to essentially be lined (or folded in half).  Use the width of your fabric as your width measurement.  Mine was 54″, yours may be 60″ – if you would prefer less gathers in the skirt, then reduce the width measurement.
Cut the skirt band.  This measurement is your child’s waist measurement minus 3″ – 4″.  Reducing the size of the waist-band is VERY important.  If you don’t do this step correctly the skirt will not stay up, so measure carefully and think about the amount of stretch you have in the fabric you are using.  
For Savannah’s, I did an 18″ waist band x 6″.  The waistband will be folded in half (length-wise), so the 6″ will actually become about 2.5″-3″.  For Matilda’s, I did a more narrow waist-band, but I think I preferred the wider one on Savannah’s.
Join the two raw sides of the main bubble piece and sew down the side.  Do the same for the waist-band piece.  Now you will have two circles of fabric.  I suggest changing your needle to a ball-point needle when sewing with knits – it will make things go much more smoothly.
Fold the main bubble fabric in half length-wise (wrong-sides together).  I sewed mine together at the top just to make the next step easier, but you certainly don’t need to.  Do the same thing with the waist-band fabric.  Now you will have two fabric pieces both folded in half.
Run a gathering-stitch along the top of the skirt piece.  Pull bobbin thread to gather the skirt to the same size as the waist-band.
Pin the raw edge of the waistband to the raw edge of the bubble skirt.  Stitch in place.
Flip the waistband up and your skirt is complete!  The blue skirt is the one I made for Matilda with the more narrow waist-band.  Her waist-band is only about 1″.  I prefer the larger one on Savannah’s (pictured below), but feel free to adjust it more or less.

This is Savannah’s skirt and the waist-band is about 2.5″ wide, which I think is just right. Next time I may even try making it much larger so that it scrunches at the top…….maybe 12″ so I end up with a 6″ waist-band.

Here are the girls finished skirts.  I don’t like things too short on little girls, so I used the “at the knee” measurement for both of them.

Matilda was very happy to be part of this photo session.  I typically use her older sister since she is easier to work with, but Matilda is learning to follow directions and not run off, so you will be seeing more of her soon.

I love these skirts because they can be dressed up or totally dressed down.  I ordered some solid colored tank tops from Old Navy that I think will look darling with these skirts for playing outside or at the park.

Stay tuned for my full spring wardrobe reveal which was inspired by Jessica at “Me Sew Crazy“.  I hope to give you some inspiring creations that will give your little one a boutique style wardrobe for a fraction of the cost.
Happy Spring!
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23 Comments

  1. I saw you mention this on Facebook last night, and I’m so glad you posted the tutorial…thank you! I have some knit fabric and a serger but have yet to touch the fabric because I heard you need special needles for it…is that true? Thanks!!

  2. Oh I LOVE it! I will have to make one for my little lady!

  3. OHMYWORD!!!!! SO cute!!!!! Can’t wait to try it!
    Thank you SOOOOOO much for sharing!

  4. I love bubble skirts on little girls….they are just so cute!

  5. Super cute and comfortable!!!

  6. so so sweet! and comfy looking too. 🙂

  7. What fun! Can’t wait to try it out!

  8. I don’t know why but this isn’t clicking with me…I am confused when you say you should have a “circle” of fabric. Maybe it’s just one of those days,lol.
    Love them though and j already have some jersey knit. Just need a ball point needle. Thanks for the tutorial!!!!

  9. This just made my day, I cannot wait to see What you have in store for us! Yeah!

  10. Loved this easy skirt and will certainly be using it again! Shared the link on my blog, http://hopefulthreads.blogspot.com/2011/04/sewin-for-fun.html

    Thanks again!

  11. wonderful skirts! Thanks for the great tutorial. I may need one in my size, too!

  12. I’m a complete novice when it comes to sewing but am trying to teach myself with the help of tutorials online. This has got to be my next project!!! I imagine if it turns out successful them my daughter will have these in many different colours and patterns haha.
    This is my blog if you fancy a laugh http://thats-sew-kirsty.blogspot.com/
    xxx

  13. Your girls are so pretty! Love the fabrics you picked and the fullness of the skirts.

  14. Love this skirt! Are ball point needles necessary with a serger and knits and is the waist band cut on the straight or cross of grain? Must need more coffee this am!

  15. Love thie tutorial! It was a very easy and quick skirt to make, you can make anything look easy. Thanks so much for sharing!!

    http://sweetpeaandpumkins.blogspot.com/2011/04/quick-and-easy-buble-skirt.html

  16. What darling skirts! Great tutorial!

  17. Where did you find this awesome fabric? Thanks so much for sharing!

  18. The fabric is from my local Joann’s store – it’s a really soft, stretchy knit.

  19. Anonymous says

    This is awesome!I never really used knits before, but i am going to test it out. i have 3 girls so i could get some mileage out of this one, i will probably have to make one for me too! It would also be really easy maternity wear.

  20. very good , this skirts is looking beautiful and i like it ,its very useful for girls.
    skirts for girls

  21. I love these! I’m actually trying to make one right now I’m new at this whole sewing thing, and I’m confused… I have all my cuts but I’m stuck at this part:

    “Join the two raw sides of the main bubble piece and sew down the side. Do the same for the waist-band piece. Now you will have two circles of fabric. I suggest changing your needle to a ball-point needle when sewing with knits – it will make things go much more smoothly.”

    Are the “raw” sides of teh fabric the side you want to show or the side that won’t be seen? And I’m confused by the “two circles of fabric.”

    I would really appreciate some help!

    Thanks!
    *MamaGoose

    • The raw edge, means the cut, unfinished edge. You fold the main piece of fabric in half, with the right sides together, and sew along the unfinished, cut edge (raw edge) to make the bottom of the skirt. When you sew one raw edge to the other raw edge, it makes a circle (or tube) of fabric. You do the same thing with the waistband fabric to make the top of the skirt. Hope this helps!!

  22. Simple and Beautiful! Thanks for sharing 🙂