Friday, July 13, 2012

Bubble Ruffle Tu-Tu Tutorial

Last month I shared this tutorial over at UCreate.  It was so much fun being over there and it was so nice to hear all of the bubble ruffle tu-tu love.  When I created the bubble ruffle tu-tu I never expected it to get the reaction that it did!  I thought it was time I brought it home so here it is -

This is a little skirt that you can make to look very sophisticated or super fun.  It has everything a girl needs - fluffy, frilly, twirly, sassy, chic, you name it!  I can't help but think of how amazing bubble ruffles in white chiffon would look on the bottom of a wedding dress.  There are just so many possibilities.  The best part?  ANYONE CAN MAKE THIS SKIRT.

This skirt looks like it might be complicated and requires a lot of sewing skill but it doesn't.  Even a beginner can do this.  You technically don't even need to know how to sew a straight line.  And because the bubble ruffles are so fluffy it easily will hide any mistakes you might make.

You can complete this skirt in 4 basic steps.


I know, you're thinking, "That was technically only 3 steps."  But trust me, step #4 is the most important and most fun part.

Let's get started.  Here's what you'll need.

For the black skirt I cut up an older lady style nightgown to make the skirt.  The skirt base was made from a slip and the ruffles were made from a nylon chiffon.  Neither of which needed to be hemmed.  For the pink skirt I used quilters cotton and tulle.  If you use cotton like this you will need to hem your skirt to keep it from fraying.  Do your best to pick colors that match each other so it will all flow together.

For my 4 year old I used 1 yard of cotton and 4+ yards of tulle.  You of course would need to determine the amount you'd need for the size you create but you can use this as a guide.

You can purchase 2 inch wide black elastic HERE.

Make a modified circle skirt.

To create your circle skirt pattern, measure A & B.  To create the curve you can tie a string to a pencil and hold it the length that you need.  Simply move it up and down on your paper to create the nice curve.

If you look closely at the picture above you can see that the fabric is folded in half on the bottom and then folded over again and there is a fold on the left hand side.  When you fold it this way you will cut out one continuous circle.

Now that you have your nice circle you need to modify it a bit.  As a true circle skirt it is too bulky with the ruffles, but using this modification you cut down on the bulk while still keeping the twirl factor alive.

Cut a pie shape out of the skirt like the picture above shows. You don't need to get too technical about how much you cut out.  Like I said, this is a very forgiving skirt.  Sew up that now open seam.

If you are using a material that will fray, now is the time to secure those edges so they look nice and clean.  For mine I serged the edges then folded it under and top stitched, but you can use any number of hemming techniques you are familiar with.  If you're using a material that won't fray you don't need to hem the skirt.

Sew Bubble Ruffles All Over Skirt

First things first - cut your tulle in 2-3 inch wide strips.  It's ok if its not perfect.

Take a strip of tulle, bunch it up a little and stitch onto your skirt.  Then about 2 inches later, bunch up your fabric again and stitch again.  Repeat this step in a random pattern until you've covered the entire skirt.

This is what it looks like after one strip of tulle has been sewn on.  As you can see you'll need a lot of tulle.

Although you'll be sewing in a random pattern there is no need to sew and stop, sew and stop. If you look at the back of my skirt you can see that I just made one continuous line.

A faster way to make the ruffles is to lay your tulle strip in a zig zag pattern and sew down the middle.  It works faster but you really have to make sure you fill in all the spaces next to it to get that full bubble look.

After you make a few bubble ruffles you'll get in the swing of things and the work will go much faster.

Leave about an inch or two at the waist free of ruffles so you can attach your elastic.

Attach Elastic

When you sew the elastic together and then stitch down the edges it creates a nice flat round of elastic and a finished look.  When you attach they elastic you'll need to make sure you stretch out the elastic to line up smoothly with the waistband as you sew to ensure it has the give it needs to fit over your little girls tum.

Step 4
Rock it!

The best part about creating is creating smiles!

I hope you create a bubble ruffle tu-tu for the girls in your life.  If you do be sure to stop by The Creative Vault and show me.  I'd love to see it!

Thank you Kari for noticing my little tu-tu and inviting me here today.  It is such an honor and a ton of fun!  

Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!


  1. This is sooo Stinking adorable! Just love the super ruffles on this skirt! I am totally featuring this next week on the Pink Hippo Party!
    Thanks so much for sharing with the Pink Hippo!
    Amie @ Pinkapotamus

  2. So cute! I need to make one for my daughter. Thanks for the tutorial! Visiting from Ta-Da Tuedsday :)

  3. This is crazy cute, thanks for the tutorial. I have no kids, but I'm surely gonna try this some day :)

  4. OMG! it's amazing, lovely, chic, funny and so girly!
    thanks for sharing
    brazilian hugs

  5. WOW !!! My 7 year old grand daughter would love this skirt. She lives in Australia. I think I will make it in Christmas colors make a matching top and send it early so she can wear it as her holiday outfit. I am going to look for some red sparkle tulle and buy it when Joann's have a 50% of coupon. Thank you so much for sharing picture and especially the tutorial. Maureen

  6. So so so cute - I'm not sure I have the tenacity to sew all those little bubbles on!

  7. Wow... I want to give it a try, my 4 y.o. would love for sure, but I am a beginner, not sure if I can make it!

  8. I tried making it but it did not turn out anywhere as cute as yours AND it took me two days. I think I did something wrong with the bunching because it took me forever and I had to keep starting and stopping instead of creating the one line. Any suggestions you can provide would be appreciated because I really want to be able to master this skirt.

  9. Could we please get a printable bubble ruffle pattern? I love it!

  10. I am going to make this for my granddaughters, I have 5 so after the first couplei hope I will have the hang of it thank you so much;-)

  11. I am going to make this for my granddaughters, I have 5 so after the first couplei hope I will have the hang of it thank you so much;-)

  12. A must do for my daughter !!! thanks !

  13. So pretty! You just gave me an idea. Thanks for posting :)

  14. Ruffle Chiffon

    pc Ruffle Top of your Choice or Default color/size. Dress this top up or down with your favorite heels and accessories. Default color - Shocking Pink size:

    to get more -


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