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Sunday, June 10, 2012

DIY Maternity Friendly Bubble Skirt

Some men surprise girls with flowers, my man buys me great shoes! Love.
 Remember the sleeves I made when sewing Simplicity 2892; the ones where the lining was shorter than the outer fabric so that the hem pulled under in a delicate poof? These sleeves inspired me to make a skirt. Apparently, this is not a new concept however and many bubble skirts are made in this way. There are plenty of really good tutorials out there, but I wanted to make my own maternity friendly version. The reason this skirt is dubbed maternity friendly and not just maternity is because this DIY project works for those who are expecting and for those who aren't, and also for those who are and only have a little bump so far, like me! The only difference lies in the waist band.
My little bump maternity waistband
On to the tutorial:
Main fabric (grey with white polka dots for me)
Lining (eh, I just used some muslin I had laying around)
Elastic and/ or other materials for your choice of waistband if not pregnant.  
Stretch fabric, like a jersey knit, if you are pregnant. (I used the spandex blend I use in my belly bands.)
Scissors, pins, sewing stuff...

1. Take your measurements. Measure for width: Measure your waist, if you are not pregnant. If you are pregnant, measure under your belly, at about your pelvic bone. This is what I did, my measurement was roughly 34 inches. Measure for length: Measure, from the point where you took your measurement for width, how long you would like your skirt. So, from my pelvic bone to my knees, roughly, I measured 22 inches.
2. Lets do a little bit of math! Calculate for the main fabric first. Double (or triple if you want extra poof) the above width. Add 4 inches to the above length.
Myself: 34 x 2 = 68 inches width, and 22 + 4 = 26 inches length. 
Calculate for the lining next. Add 10 inches to the width and subtract 4 inches from the length.
Myself: 34 + 10 = 44 inches width, and 22 - 4 = 18 inches length. 
3. Go ahead and cut your fabric into rectangles with the measurements calculated above. 
4. Sew the side seam together on the main skirt, right sides together. Take the long rectangle of fabric and fold it in half, right sides together. Where the length edges meet is where your side seam needs to be. And then, sew the side seam together on the lining too, right sides together.
Side seam from my skirt wrong side out.
5. Sew gathering stitches on the main fabric. (Using a long stitch, sew two parallel lines of stitches all around both the top and the bottom of the main fabric. Sew one at 1/2 inch and the other at 1/4 inch.) These will be used to gather the skirt in the next step.
See my almost straight parallel long stitches to be used for gathering.
 6. Sew the bottom of the skirt to the bottom of the lining: Choose one edge of the main fabric to be the bottom of the skirt and gather those stitches by pulling on the threads of the parallel long stitches. Choose one edge of the lining to be the bottom of the skirt and line that edge up with the gathered edge of the main material, right sides together! Pin in place and sew together. Now, with the main fabric right side out, pull the lining down through the inside of the skirt.
Lining up the gathered skirt bottom to the lining bottom
Here is the seam as I prepare to tuck the lining into the hole of the skirt.
Looking up the skirt. The difference in length between the skirt and lining pulls the skirt inward.
Another picture to show the bubble effect, this time from the finished skirt.
 7. Sew the top of the skirt to the top of the lining: Gather the top of the main fabric and pin/ sew it to the top of the lining.
We're almost done! 
Since we added 10 inches to our width measurement when we cut out our lining, this skirt is too big without a waist band. I like the extra width though because it slides on easily over hips! If you are pregnant, continue on to step 8 now. If you are not pregnant, make yourself a waistband: If you have a favorite waistband method, then please do what you like and attach it to your skirt. Otherwise, a really simple way would be to attach a thick band of elastic in a coordinating color, cut to the size of your waist. I suggest that you stretch the elastic as you sew to fit the top of your bubble skirt; after you're done, the elastic will have sprung back to its relaxed state and your skirt would therefore fit. Or, I suppose you could once again gather the top of your skirt to fit the size of your elastic and sew together to achieve the same effect. Just remember to use a zig zag stitch. This elastic waist band method would resemble this: 
Skirt with elastic waistband from ruffles and stuff.com
 Continue on here if you are pregnant: (This is what I did next.)
8. Sew yourself a belly band out of the stretchy fabric you chose. This is SO easy and SO fast. Do NOT panic. If you're not sure how to go about doing this, visit my tutorial here and then come right back to finish your bubble skirt! Hey- if you have a spare belly band laying around, you can just use that one!
Here is a picture of the belly band I used for the belly band tutorial. The only difference between it and the one I used for this skirt is the color! I just forgot to take a picture of my blue one before I attached it to my skirt today.
 9. Attach the belly band to the skirt. Gather your skirt top to the bottom of your belly band and sew them with right sides together using a zig zag stitch.
The zig zag stitch allows for stretch.
All finished!
 All that's left to do now is wear your fabulous skirt. And, hey if anyone does make this skirt for themselves I'd love to see how it turns out! Happy sewing!


  1. Ok where did you get that fabric? It is EXACTLY what Ive been looking for for a crib skirt for baby boy. I NEED to get some but cant find grey with white polk a dots anywhere!

    1. Joanns! When I saw it I fell in love and bought it without knowing what I'd use it for. I like it for the skirt, but I think it would make a fantastic crib skirt for your boy! Good idea!

  2. Wow!Awesome!I would love to try something like this.

  3. Great skirt and great tutorial! I love the shoes too :)

  4. This is so cute! I'm a beginning sewer and the tutorial is very nice. :)

    Jess @ The Delightful Crafter

  5. Oh my goodness, that is so cute...I need to learn how to sew! Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog :)
    Modern Modest Beauty

  6. Awesome! I love it. So cute and great way to make it "growable"!

    I'm going to be passing this one on to my sis, who is 5mo along!

    Thanks for sharing @ Creatively Living!