Bubble Dress Tutorial

by bosssanders on April 15, 2010 with 12 comments


Yesterday, I made the girls bubble dresses.  They’re even cuter ON, but I don’t have a photo of her in it just yet.

So, the tutorial:


Basically, you’ll need to measure your kiddo over her arms/shoulders to figure out what the measurement for the straps will be.  Then, after you’ve figured out what length you’ll need for straps, you need to cut those out with a 4 1/2 inch width.  (You’ll fold them in half, plus you’re allowing for a seam.)  SO, 2 rectangles 4 1/2 in x ?? for arm straps.

Then, you will need a chest piece – which is another rectangular strip 4 1/2 inches “wide” – or long, depending on how you want to look at it.  You’ll have to measure your kiddo again for this one.  Have her raise her arms a bit and then use tape or fabric to measure her.  Add a couple of inches to that because we won’t be using buttons or zippers, so she’ll need to be able to slip it all over her head.  I actually left plenty of room and then cut off what I didn’t need later on.

The third piece of fabric is the “body piece.”  It needs to be 2x as “long/wide” as the chest piece.  We’re going to “ruffle it,” so that’s why you need the extra to fit around her body.  You can make the length whatever you want.  Lorelei’s was made to hit her right under her knees.

NOW, fold the straps and chest piece inside out in half.  Sew a seam along the long edge.  Turn them right side out.  For mine, I wanted the seam to be unseen, so I centered my seam on the backside and then sewed the ends of each piece so they wouldn’t fray.  You can do this however you want.  Heck, if you’re feeling frisky, you can even iron them!

Next, I held the chest piece to Lorelei and positioned the arm straps how I wanted them and pinned them.  Then, I sewed the arm straps to the chest piece by running a seam from one end of the chest piece to the other, keeping the strap ends to the inside of the chest piece.

The body piece is the simplest part in my opinion (no trying to get a toddler to stand still).  I folded down the top edge so there were no raw edges and sewed across.  I did the same along the bottom, but allowed for elastic to go through on the bottom.  Then, I went back to the top of the body piece and sewed a line across with the loosest stitch I could (to make my ruffle).  Next, I pulled the bottom thread on each side and used my free hand to gather up the fabric into a ruffle!  Once I had it to the right length, I just pinned it to the chest piece and sewed it on.

For the elastic, I cut a piece long enough that could fit over her shoulders.  I fed it through the bottom of the “body piece” through the seam edge I made earlier.  Then, I made small stitches on each end to keep the elastic from moving.

Last (you’re almost done!), turn the whole thing inside out again and sew up the back!

Voila!  A bubble dress!

These are fun for summer and easy breezy (for them, too!  –Especially great for potty training!).

Note:  For my “body” piece for Lorelei, I only had 1 1/2 times the length as the chest piece (not 2x) and it worked just fine.  It wasn’t as “ruffled,” but don’t feel like you can’t alter these without totally screwing them up.  They’re so forgiving!

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  • Dana

    This is beyond cute. I have a little girl who is 4 months old about 24 inches long. She can still fit into 0-3 clothes. I want to make her some of these dresses but I’m not sure about width for straps and what not. This will be my first venture on a sewing machine (with guidance of course from an expert sewer). What lengths/widths would you suggest for my daughter?

  • bosssanders

    Dana, you want it to be at least an inch or so, but the rest is up to your personal preference. I would take a piece of fabric and fold it over and see which width would work best on her. OR…you can look at your favorite dresses in the closet and see how wide those straps are. Either way, it’s mostly all up to preference! Good luck!!

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  • Trackbacks

  • Trackback from Baby’s bubble dress tutorial | Boss Sanders
    Thursday, 15 April, 2010

    [...] basically 2 pieces.  The first piece, the chest piece, was a rectangle (see the other tutorial for Lorelei’s bubble dress) but instead of being 4 1/2 inches, I made it 9 inches wide. Then, I sewed it in half just like [...]

  • Trackback from Hobby # 1 – Day 12/30 | Boss Sanders
    Sunday, 31 October, 2010

    [...] A Bubble Dress Paper Fortune Cookies Felt Board Paintings Christmas Gifts Make Me Famous: [...]

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