June 13, 2012

Shirred Bubble Romper

A little while ago, I got the urge to sew something with elastic thread. So I did. I came up with this Bubble Romper. It has shirring at the top and a stretchy elastic waist to make it easy to get in and out of.



I love one-piece dressing. So much simpler when you don't have to pick out a top and bottoms to match. Especially when someone {or her sister!} wants to pick out her own clothes. Because then the top and the bottom don't always match. More accurately, they almost never match.

It's perfect for finding rocks and flowers on hot summer days.

Want to make your own? You'll need about a yard of fabric, thread, a piece of 1/8" elastic, and elastic thread. If you have a Brother machine and you're convinced you'll never be able to sew with elastic thread, click here.


Start by cutting out two rectangles for the top. Mine measured about 18"x11", but it doesn't have to be perfect. Just make it wide enough and tall enough that it "bubbles" when it's shirred.

For the bottom, trace a pair of shorts {or use a basic shorts pattern}. Cut two front pieces.

And two back pieces. Make sure the inner leg seam is long enough to accommodate the cuff. I wanted a fairly deep cuff, so I cut the shorts longer than the original. 

Sew the two top pieces right sides together along the short sides.

Zig zag stitch one long end all the way around. Fold down and press, then stitch it down. This is the top end.

Sew rows of elastic thread along the top until the top is gathered enough that it will fit snugly around your child's chest.

Now for the shorts. Sew the front pieces to the back pieces at the inner and outer leg seams.

Turn one leg right side out and insert into the other leg. 

Stitch along the curved line. I like to do a double row of stitching, since this area tends to get a lot of strain.

Turn the shorts right side out. Use a leg to measure the width of your cuff. It should be the same width of the leg, plus side seams. It should be double the height you want the cuff to be. The cuff shown below is two rectangles, one on top of the other.

Sew each cuff with right sides together at the side seams.

Fold the cuffs in half and press. The raw edges are at the top, and there is a fold at the bottom.

Insert a cuff into one of the legs, matching the raw edges. There should be a total of three layers all the way around the leg opening.

Zig zag stitch the cuff to the leg.

Turn the cuffs to the outside of the shorts and press.

Run a gathering stitch around the bottom of the top piece, so that it is the same width as the top of the shorts.

Turn the top inside out and insert the shorts into the top. Match the raw edges. Stitch the top to the shorts.

Pull the top out of the shorts. It should look like this:

Now it's time to gather the waist. On the inside, stitch a 1/8" elastic along the seam line, stretching the elastic as you sew. Once you let go of the elastic, it will shrink back to its original size, gathering the fabric with it.

So now your bubble romper should look like this:

For shoulder ties, I cut four strips of fabric and sewed them into tubes. Don't make them too long-safety first!

Turn them right side out and press.

Then stitch them to the top where you want them and you have a Shirred Bubble Romper! 

I ended up tying the bows in double knots so they'd be extra secure.



5 comments:

Tricia said...

Adorable. And a big ol' congrats on Skirt Week. You did such a great job on the skirt, and absolutely deserve it! Wahoo!

Kia said...

so pretty and such a fun outfit =)

Shannon said...

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RaeAnna Goss said...

Great tutorial!!! I love this romper! Thank you for linking up!!!

Sew She Seams said...

Is it hard to take down for potty breaks? I want to sew one of these for my niece, but she is 4 & goes to the bathroom very often.