Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bubble Bum Romper Tutorial

I love that little girls can wear things that look so freaking cute but would be a disaster on an adult female.  Like the Bubble Bum Romper.  First, I will not be seen in anything that has the words "bubble" and "bum" in its name.  Second, my bum doesn't really need any help bubbling.  But, my goodness, Noelle looks adorable!

The top has about a billion lines (or maybe more like 12) of shirring, so it really emphasizes the bubbling of the shorts section.

Want to make one?  Let's go!

fabric (about 1.5 yards for size 2T)
1/4-inch elastic
elastic thread
coordinating trim

**Use 1/2-inch seam allowance throughout unless otherwise noted.**
Cut out your pieces, which are all rectangles... which is awesome.  Should have included this in my Hip to Be Square week!  

For size 2T, you'll cut 
2-- 3"x10" straps
1-- 12"x 35" bodice
2-- 14"x length of fabric for bubble shorts

Put your two big pieces right sides together then fold them in half, so the selvages line up.  Cut out a little leghole that measures 3 inches tall by 1/2 inch wide (on the fold).

Open up the pieces and sew together; then finish with a zig-zag stitch.  Also sew the side seams now.

Fold the leg holes up 1/4 inch then a 1/2 inch to create a casing.  Leave an opening of 1 inch through which you'll thread your elastic... but don't do this yet.   For now, set this aside.

Grab your bodice piece and hem the top by turning over 1/4 inch, pressing, then doing it again.  Stitch it down.

Grab your elastic thread and get ready to shirr (oh boy!  it's so fun!!).  Here's a great tutorial from Ashley, at Make it and Love it, on shirring.  Just a note: for my machine, I actually have to wind it like normal thread for it to work.  Hand-winding doesn't cut it.  You may have to play around to figure out what works for your machine.   Run your first line of shirring along the hem line you just did.

From there, use your presser foot edge as a guide.  The back of your fabric will look like this.  Super cool.

Keep doing your lines of shirring until you have an inch left at the bottom of your fabric.

Sew up the side seams of your bodice and grab your bottom part now.  Looks pretty hilarious, right?  I thought so.  You're going to run a gathering stitch along the top of the bubble bum part and gather it up until it's 34" (or 17" a side).  34" is the original width of your bodice piece (since you cut it 35" then used 1/2-inch seam allowance).

Place the bodice and bubble bum pieces right sides together, lining up bodice seam with one of the side seams.  I pinned together by finding the centers of the front and back of both pieces and also the other side.  Then, as I sewed them, I just get my raw edges lined up.  Use 5/8" seam allowance here!
 **Another tip-- it may actually be easier to sew with the shirred bodice on top (with the bottom stuffed in it), as the shirred part may try to sneak up under your needle.  Just a thought...

After you get it all sewn together, flip it right side out to make sure that you didn't accidentally snag fabric where you didn't want to.  If you're pleased as punch, go back and zig-zag stitch to finish.

Now take your strap pieces and sew up three sides, two long and one short.  Flip right side out and press.  As you press, just turn that fourth side in.  You can also just topstitch it closed if you want, as it won't be seen.

Grab your trim and center it on your strap pieces.  Using matching thread, sew the trim on.

Now find the center of your bodice.  You'll have to stretch it to find this.  Mark it with a pin (the pink one by my index finger).  Then measure out 2 inches from that pin and place your strap.  Do this on the other side of the pin, too.  

Place the edge of your strap, so it's overlapping that top line of shirring.

Topstitch it on following the shirred line.  Do the same with the other strap.  Then repeat the process in the back of the bodice.

Now get that 1/4-inch elastic and thread it through the leg casing.  I used 10" pieces; if you're working around chunkier thighs, you may want to go a little longer. :)

Since you'll be gathering it quite a bit, pin the edge of the elastic, so it doesn't pull through.

Once you get the elastic all the way through, you can either stitch it together or save yourself the time and knot it.  Then close up the casing...

... and voila! 

This was what Noelle gave me when I asked her to smile.  I laughed then, and I'm laughing again now!

Ahhh... that's more like it.  Bubble bum goofiness. :)


  1. this is adorable! I love the way you decided to make the bottom with the elastic. Very cute.

  2. Awesome.....!My daughter loved the pattern and the color,would love to stitch one for her.

    1. Thanks! The fabric is from Riley Blake. Got it at Pick Your Plum! Isn't it great??


I love comments more than I love buying new fabric, and that's saying something. :)