Sunday, October 21, 2012

Peplum bubble dress: Patterns and tutorial



I didn't get to much sewing this week, as I spent most of my spare time on drawing the patterns and writing the tutorial for the peplum bubble dress
I made patterns for ages 1 to 6 (including 18 months), with the help of Winifred Aldrich's great book.

The bodice is a very basic model with a blind zipper, and bias at the armholes and neck line. The pattern has regular shoulders instead of the cap sleeves I used for my own two versions.

I hope the patterns and tutorial are clear and correct; please let me know if they're not! 









MATERIALS

- fabric: bubble dresses and skirts look best in thin fabrics such as poplin, double gauze, and lawn cotton. Quilting weight cotton also works, but it's best to stay away from heavier fabrics such as canvas, heavy linen, and corduroy. Knit fabrics tend to fall rather 'flat', and do not give the 'bubbly' look you might be aiming for.
- fabric for lining of the skirt
- a blind zipper, preferably at least the length of the back of the bodice, preferably a few centimeters longer.


PATTERNS

The pattern pieces are free. All you need to do to get them is become a follower of this blog (via Google Friend Connect, or email, or Facebook) and download them here.
[Note: this is a new and improved version of the pattern, put online on March 28, 2013]



Make sure you print the patterns on letter size or A4-size paper, at 100%, so with no scaling (click here if you don't know what I'm talking about). Cut the pieces out, put them together with  tape, and you're ready to get started. 

The pdf-document contains the patterns for the bodice back and front, and the skirt's lining. It also contains a table with the measurements for the outer skirt, which is a simple rectangle.





ABOUT THE SIZES


The new version of the pattern contains a table with the measurements of the finished dress. Compare these with the measurements of a dress which fits your child well in order to get an idea of which size to make. The bodice gets a bit more narrow towards the bottom; keep in mind that you'll have to be able to pull the dress over your child's shoulders!

If you do want to shorten or lengthen the skirt of the dress, it is best to shorten the skirt at the bottom (not the top). You will have to shorten the lining as well as the outside skirt. So for instance, if you want the dress to be 3 centimeters shorter, you'll have to cut off 3 centimeters from the lining, and three centimeters from the outside skirt.



COMBINING IT WITH ANOTHER BODICE PATTERN


If you want, you can replace the pattern of the bodice of the dress with that of another dress (e.g., one with sleeves, buttons, ...). One thing you'll have to keep an eye on is that the bottom of the bodice has the same width as the top the lining (!) of the skirt, as these parts need to be stitched together without any gathering.



TUTORIAL


Note: all seams are 1 cm (0.4 inch), and are included in the pattern.

0. Cut all the pattern pieces, and serge or zigzag the following edges:




  • the sides of the front and back piece of the bodice (indicated in red)
  • the schoulders of the front and back piece of the bodice (indicated in red)
  • optional: the inside of the back pieces.I like to serge these together with the zipper later on, but if you don't like this, then now is the time to serge the back pieces. (indicated in green)

1. First, assemble the bodice. Put the back pieces on the front piece, right sides together. Stitch sides and shoulders at 1 cm (0.4 inch) of the edge.




2. Install the invisible zipper in the back. There are plenty of tutorials online for how to install an invisible zipper (e.g., this one). Important note: if you bought a zipper a bit longer than the bodice (like I suggested above), installing the zipper will be super easy! More specifically, you will not need to 'close' the fabric under the zipper (as it runs accross the entire length of the bodice) and you will not need to lift your needle to pass the zipper thingy, as you can just open the zipper all the way until the thingy is under the bodice. You're welcome.




3. Next, finish the armholes an neck line with bias binding. First stitch it to the wrong side of the fabric (good side bias on wrong side fabric) and then fold it over and topstitch on the right side.




4. The bodice is finished! Now, let's make the skirt. Put the pieces of the lining with right sides together, and stitch the sides. Open the seams and press. Repeat for the pieces of the outside fabric (if you use only one rectangle for the outside of the skirt, there will be only one 'side' to stitch of course).




5. A little confession: I was so eager to finish this dress that I forgot to take pictures of the next steps. In my defense: this was around midnight. So for the next steps, I will be using pictures of that other bubble dress tutorial.
Now we'll put the lining and the outside of the skirt together. We'll start with the bottom, putting the right sides together. First, gather the outside fabric so it is reduced to the same width as the lining. Here is a little tutorial with some tricks on how to do this perfectly. Stitch the bottom of the skirt and the lining together, and turn.








6. Now, we'll do the same thing with the top of the skirt; only this time, we'll sew them with the wrong sides together. Very important: stitch them together at about 0.7 cm (0.3 inch) instead of 1 cm (0.4 inch).




7. Now, we'll put the bodice and the skirt together. Do this with the right sides together, at 1 cm (0.4 inch). If you used 1 rectangle of fabric for the outside of the skirt, make sure that the seam is in the back, right underneath the invisible zipper. If you used two rectangles, make sure that the seams of the skirt allign with the side seams of the bodice.






8. Serge the seam you just created, and turn the dress. Oh la la!





41 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous little dress - thank you for sharing the pattern and tutorial.

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  2. Such a gorgeous little dress!!! Thank you so much for sharing this! I am really loving your blog!

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  3. Great that you made this tutorial :)
    I hope to find a time to sew this adorable dress :)

    And by the way... I love this fabric !! :)
    greetings from Poland :)

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  4. I'm so excited to get sewing on this dress! Thank you so much!!!!! :)

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  5. wow! wow! what a lot of work you put into this tutorial! thank you SO much for taking the time to do this, and for sharing your gorgeous dress with the rest of us. it's simply stunning!

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  6. Awwww! Such a sweet dress! Thanks for sharing... this one is going straight to the top of my to-do list ;-)

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  7. I have my pieces cut, fabric in the wash and cannot WAIT to get started on this beaut !!!

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  8. bonjour c'est maqgnifique comment faire pour avoir le patron please??

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mily, you just have to send an email to straightgrainblog [at] gmail.com, and I'll reply with the pattern.

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  9. Love love love this! New follower thanks to www.sewset.com

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  10. I would love to have your pattern for this cute little dress. I know I'll enJOY making it. You've got lots of great ideas on your blog. love it.

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  11. Thank you for sharing this I think I found the christmas pressent for my daughter

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  12. What a beautiful dress! Just great for my daughter's first birthday:)

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  13. Adorable! I would really love to have this pattern.

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  14. Hi, I absolutely loved this dress! I was so inspired I made one for my little girl. Although I didn't use your pattern, the inspiration came totally from yours.
    Kind regards, Monica.
    http://www.anotherdress.weebly.com

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  15. Thanks for the tutorial, can we print this pattern?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, just print it on regular paper, cut out, and assemble :-)

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  16. Thank you so much for this tutorial! You're the best!

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  17. Thank you so much for the pattern and tutorial! It was easy to follow and turned out great! It was only my 2nd item I've ever made and I'm so proud of it!

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  18. Hi I am having trouble printing the pattern!
    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sook, could you tell me what the problem are - maybe I can help you out?

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  19. Just discovered your blog- it's great! I already made a batik peplum bubble dress for my niece - thanks for an awesome pattern! Check it out: http://cookinandcraftin.blogspot.com/2013/03/batik-peplum-bubble-dress.html

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  20. hello
    This is my first visit to your blog and I absolutely love your free pattern. This will make a wonderfull summer dress for my niece. I tried printing it but on the skirt the bottom corner of the skirt pattern the corners are missing and i was wondering if thats the way its suppose to print. i followed your printing instructions and used letter size paper. Any suggestions on what might of gone wrong.
    Thanks

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    1. Hi Ybat, thank you for pointing this out! I guess I tried to squeeze a bit too much on just one page ;-)
      I've adapted page 7 of the pattern (the piece is now on pages 7 &8) and uploaded the new version. It should now print fine; please let me know if it doesn't!
      Have fun making the dress :-)

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    2. Hi
      Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I reprinted the pattern and it came out great. Cant wait to make it.

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  21. Hi An,

    I've made your Peplum Bubble dress for my daughters: a post on my blog specially for you: compagnie-m.blogspot.be
    Thanks for the pattern and the tutorial.

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  22. Hi! I'm making this now, and am wondering what size is the bias tape?? Thanks!!

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    1. And We can't find the measurements for the skirt rectangle! Thanks for your help!

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    2. I'm so sorry about that! I updated the pattern a few days ago (added some assembing diagrams) but then I forgot to include the measurements table. My apologies for the inconvenience!
      About the bias: width is up to you - it has no implications for the size. The length depends on the size you make. Just measure the armholes and neckline, add a bit extra, and you'll know how much you need. Hey, it's free pattern , you'll have to do some work yourself ;-)
      Hope everything goes smoothly now!

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    3. Thanks!! This is uh...my first attempt at following a pattern so that's why I asked. I have my aunt helping me next so she can help with the bias. Thanks so much for the quick reply! Have all the pieces except the rectangle cut!

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    4. I finished the dress! And it came out beautifully if I do say so myself!! All thanks to your wonderful (free) pattern and very clear tutorial. My very first baby dress and first time sewing from a pattern. Thank you thank you!!

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  23. Hello,
    Thank you SO VERY much for this professional, CUTE (and FREE!) pattern and tutorial. I am working on it right now for my daughter's Easter dress.
    I, too, have a question about the outer skirt dimensions. I see the chart you added with the measurements, but I don't understand how to cut a rectangle with three different measurements? I'm sure I'm just missing something, but could you please clarify? Is it just one rectangle? or three? I see the "cute 1 piece" and "cut 2 piece" instructions, but I don't understand what they mean.

    Thanks again So, SO, much.

    Love your work and creativity.
    Bethany

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your nice comments, Bethany!
      About the rectangles: you can choose whether (A) you cut one very wide rectangle for the outside skirt (you would have 1 seam, in the back of the skirt, right underneath the zipper), or (B) you cut two smaller rectangles which you stitch together (you would then have two seams: one at either side of the dress). Which option you choose depends on the size you make and on the width of your fabric (quilting width vs. regular width).
      So, the rectangle does not have three measurements: you just choose whether you make the skirt in 1 or 2 pieces, and use the two measurements which apply.

      Am I making any sense? Please let me know if not!
      an

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    2. Ohhhh! Duh duh duh to me! Yes that makes sense, and I see you updated the PDF with that wording too. THANK YOU!! I finished it and absolutely LOVE this. My favorite little girls dress pattern and tutorial yet! I did store bought bias in contrasting color (or complementary) and did a matching (to the bias) exposed zipper in the back. Sooo stinking cute. I already have my fabric ironed for the next one in fact! Thank you for the professional pattern an FREE use. Really helps us new sewers learn.

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  24. Hi An! I have finally made the dress, you can see it here!
    http://missaliceismaking.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/summer-look4-look-dete4.html
    I hope that is ok with you.
    Thank you so so much!!!

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  25. Hello! I'm so happy to have found your website and this cute tutorial (and also the bubble skirt). I'm buying fabric to make this, can you tell me how much fabric I would need to make a 4T? I don't see it anywhere in the tutorial or pattern pages. Thank you!!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Gigi, the free patterns indeed doesn't come with a yardage table. When I made the 3T for my daughter, 1 yard of quilting width fabric was not enough, so I used 1.5 yards but then I had a lot left. So I'm guesstimating that 1.5 yards will be probably be enough for a 4T.

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  26. I've just made this as part of the Spring KCW and I really love it. Thanks for the pattern!

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  27. Thank you so much for kindly sharing your knowledge and skill with beginners like me, the instructions are so straight forward and also reflects that you have a good sense of humour. you make it seem so easy and i'll definitely be making the bubble dress for my little girl.Thanks Thanks

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  28. Perfect pattern, perfect instructions. Made one for my daughter to go on holidays, finished it rather soon. Used a regular in stead of a blind zipper (as I just broke the blind zipper of her other dress, didn't feel like having to put in another zipper once more ;-)) and that also works fine.

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  29. Thank you for such and adorable pattern!
    God Bless,
    Sue

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