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Make a Flouncy Bubble Skirt…with an elastic waist

In my mind, it’s still February.  And I still have like 2 months to make the kiddos an Easter outfit.  My mom made us a new Easter dress every year and it’s one of my favorite memories.  She also bought us those awful 80s white hats that the stores would sell around Easter time.  You know, with a hideous white silk flower or huge white bow.  Yeah, awful, but at the time……I LOVED those hats!


Well, I had every intention of making the girls dresses and Connor a rockin’ cool vest and tie this year for Easter.  Did that happen?  Nope.  But I did make Elli a little skirt months ago that I completely forgot about and just found and finished up.  I could have made Chloe one too, made Connor a simple tie, and called it an Easter sewing success!  But over the weekend, I found the cutest little dresses at Osh Kosh and I couldn’t resist.  And the girls REALLY wanted to match, the dresses were right in front of me, and the sizes were exactly what we needed…….so I just went with it. 


However, this little skirt must be shared because I love how it turned out.  And Elli can wear it for whatever occasion she wants to…..because there are plenty of those. 







This bubble skirt is made from a lightweight chiffon and is so flouncy and fun.  (And can easily be made in teen/adult sizes…)





The waistband is a wide elastic, so it’s comfy and easy to wear (and more simple to construct than a fitted waistband).





And ohhhhh, that bubble along the bottom!  It makes this skirt so bouncy and twirly……which Elli loves!





There is a lining underneath to keep things hidden, but it also holds the bubble hem in place.





Oh, sweet Elli, you are still so fun to sew for.  And so easy to please.  


I know the time will come when you hate all of my ideas and clothing suggestions.  But give me a few more years before that happens.  Deal? (Sorry mom…..I remember being such a brat about those turtle necks you’d buy me for Christmas.  Yuck!)





And even though I didn’t get one made in time for Easter, I’m pretty sure Chloe needs one of these Bubble Skirts too.  She’ll adore it just as much.




Would you like to make a Bubble Skirt too?

They’re easy to make in teen/adult sizes too…



Okay, let’s get started.



  • Chiffon Fabric (or other lightweight fabric)
  • Lining Fabric (I used some lightweight polyester fabric)
  • 2 inch wide elastic


Begin by measuring your subject’s waist and decide how long you’d like the finished skirt to be.


Then, cut your elastic and fabrics to the correct measurements, following the guide below.



**The reason you subtract 1.25 from the fabric height, is because your elastic is 2 inches tall and adds to the height of the skirt.  You will overlap the elastic by .75  of an inch and sew in place……so we have to subtract the 1.25 to keep the correct skirt height.

**The reason you subtract a little from the lining fabric height and add a little to the outer fabric height…….is because the outer fabric is longer and folds under to meet the shorter lining fabric, creating the bubble in the bottom of the skirt.



I’ll share Elli’s measurements (who wears a size 7 in girl’s), as an example.  Her waist is 21 inches and I wanted the finished skirt to measure 13 inches long.  So I cut the following:

  • Elastic – 21 inches long
  • Lining Fabric – 1 piece at 9.75 x 31.5 inches
  • Outer Fabric – 2 pieces at 14.75 x 31.5 inches



Okay, now it’s time to start sewing.


Fold your Lining Fabric in half width-wise (with right sides together) and sew your two shorter ends together, with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Then zig-zag the raw edges, finishing them off and keeping them from fraying.  Set aside.




Now, grab the two Outer Fabric pieces together (with right sides together) and sew the shorter ends together, creating one large circle of fabric.  Use a 1/2 inch seam allowance and then zig-zag the edges, finishing them off nicely.




Now, it’s time to add a basting stitch for gathering along the bottom edge (if your print has a direction and there’s a top and bottom to your skirt fabric), of your skirt.  Add a basting stitch along the front half of the skirt and another basting stitch along the back half of the skirt, 1/2 inch from the raw edge.  (Need help with gathering and basting stitches?)




Because chiffon fabric is so thin, I decided to use elastic thread in the bobbin to help gather the fabric for me.  I still used a really long stitch (like the gathering link above) so that I could pull in the top thread a little more if needed.  But the elastic thread worked great and saved me some time gathering the fabric in along the threads.  (Need help using elastic thread?)




Slide the tube of Lining Fabric inside the tube of Outer Fabric (placing the right sides of each fabric together).  Match up the gathered edge of the Outer Fabric with the Lining Fabric, pinning the raw edges together.




Add more pins until the Outer Fabric is evenly distributed around the Lining Fabric.




Sew together, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Then, zig-zag the raw edges, finishing them off and keeping them from fraying.




Open up the seam you just sewed and turn the fabric right side out.  Steam the seam open.




Now, gather the other edge of the Outer Fabric (which will end up being the top edge of the skirt that attaches to the elastic), just like you gathered the first edge.




While the fabric is still right side out, tuck the lining down to the inside of the Outer Fabric until the raw edge of the Lining Fabric reaches down to the gathered edge of the Outer Fabric.




Match up these 2 raw edges and pin them together, just like you did above.




Sew them together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance and zig-zag the edges, just like you did above.




Now, overlap the 2 ends of the elastic by 1 inch and sew together.  Then divide the elastic waistband into 8 equal sections and mark with a pin.  Divide the opening of the skirt into 8 equal sections and mark with pins as well.  (This step will completed just like the Elastic Band Skirt Tutorial.)




Continue following the tutorial linked above and overlap the elastic band by 3/4 of an inch into the fabric and pin together.  Then sew in place.




Steam the fabric by the waistband down, to help flatten it a bit.  You don’t want to create sharp creases with your iron, just gently steam it to help it look a little more polished.




If you lift up the bottom portion of the skirt, it should look like the image below.




And that’s it. 


A nice and flouncy Bubble Skirt…









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  1. anonymous says:

    It looks like a skirt but is actually shorts . A skirt doesn’t contain extra fabric to help hide things . Put her in a actual skirt , with panties underneath of course and those same shoes , let her go play , she will learn modesty real quick.

  2. ego says:

    God bless you. Looks so wonderful

  3. Shubha says:

    Very pretty skirt…u always explain so well and tempt every1 to try …Thanks for all your tutorials…U ROCK….:-))..I have a daughter of same age and same size so for me its even more better just to copy the measurements ;-))…

  4. Jessica says:

    I love this!! As always such easy instructions! I chose jersey stretch material for my daughter (well, she chose it) and made matching skirts for her and her 18″ doll. Wish I could submit a photo… :) Thanks for such awesome tutorials!!!! ~Jessica

  5. Enta says:

    I see that skirt an am in love with it but having problem to make it how can I start thanks

  6. Sarah Helene says:

    FAB GIRL’S BUBBLE SKIRT TUTORIAL! So detailed with photos to accompany each and every step of instructions. I LOVE the colorful print chiffon fabric. I whole-heartedly agree with many comments above — CUTE- AS-CAN-BE bubble skirt! GREAT PHOTO SHOOT also. THANKS for sharing. Sarah in Minneapolis

  7. Teeg says:

    This is a really cute idea, and a great tutorial, thank you.

    I am confused though, you say to cut waist measurement x 1.5 for both the lining and the outer fabric. But only the outer fabric is gathered, and the lining tube looks much narrower than the outer one. Is it definitely the same length measurement for both fabrics (31.5″ in your example)?

    1. Teeg says:

      Ignore me! I had missed that it was two pieces of outer fabric, Doh!

  8. Kristie says:

    So I have made three of these, following your measurement guide. And each of them has ended up at least 2 inches too short. Any suggestions? I measured my kids and actually added at least an inch to the length. Or is this skirt designed to be a little shorter so that you would need some shorts under it? Thanks!

  9. Sharlyn says:

    Soooooo darling! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Vali says:

    Hi, Ashley!

    Thanks for the tutorial. I have two girls and this bubble skirt was my first project. The girls love this skirts. Now, I just can’t wait to buy more fabric to sew something else.
    Have a nice day!

  11. Sew Straight & Gather says:

    Thanks for sharing! That skirt is soooo pretty! I will have to make one now!

  12. Anne says:

    Cute!!! And no having to hem chiffon! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for this evening that links to your tutorial:

  13. Terra says:

    Ok…question for all you moms out there. What do you find to be the best “item” to put under your little girls skirts and dresses? My little girl loves to bounce and play and sometimes even with the sewn in undershorts so much more is revealed then should be. What do you do! After having 2 boys and venturing into a little girl world. I need a few ideas.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Leggings type shorts – they fit tight so they don’t show anything! :)

  14. katiasafia says:

    thank you

  15. katiasafia says:

    je te remercier pour l’explication de la jupe ballon avec la ceinture elastique et j’ai baucoup aimer i

  16. colette says:

    I boight that exact material for a shirt for me. Only got as far ascutting it out. Thanks for the tutorial, i need to make my daughter one of these again!

    1. Ashley says:

      Ha… funny! Well, a shirt for you and a skirt for her! :)

  17. Preethi says:

    wow..lovely skirt.. I like the wideband elastic. its just so much easier.

    1. Ashley says:

      Exactly…..that’s why I love the elastic!

  18. Paige says:

    Elli is the same age as my daughter! Who told them that they could grow up so fast? That’s what I’d like to know! Once again, a skirt sewing winner! I have a remnant in my stash that will work quite nicely, I think!

    1. Ashley says:

      Gosh, I know……stop it! And hopefully Elli’s measurements are just what you need! :)

  19. Michaela says:

    Hi Ashley!
    Thank you so much for your wonderful and creative ideas and thank you for sharing it! I have three kids too and `my big one` is 7 years old and has the same measurements than Elli (and by the way the same tooth missing…) So I pinned a lot of your pictures and have I lot of projects to do…

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh perfect! Glad that works out so well for you! :)

  20. Cami says:

    That is so adorable! I too had great plans for easter sunday outfits. Hmmmm. Don’t think it is going to happen unless I make a trip to Old Navy. Oh well. Can’t win them all. This skirt is so fun though – I am sure my girls would love it.

    1. Ashley says:

      Haha…..I totally know! :)

  21. Jennifer H. says:

    This is so cute! I love the print on that fabric too…. …! And I always love your instructions and pictures… !

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh good, glad they’re helpful!

  22. Gail says:


  23. SONI says:

    Love it !! always you rock with selecting the fabrics and colours! soon ll make one for me:) elli looks cute

    1. Ashley says:

      Thanks Soni! :)

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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