Friday, May 6, 2011

Feature Friday:'Born-Again Crafter' {Vintage Sheet Bubble Dress Tutorial}

It's Friday!! Which means I get to feature someone!

I happened across Lyssa's "Vintage Sheet Bubble Dress" and
I immediately got out my sewing machine manual and tried to figure out how to turn the thing on. Cause gosh darn if I don't even know how to turn that machine on and I feel like maybe that's key. I feel like if I can just get past that part, I'm getting somewhere. But I couldn't figure it out and didn't think Nana would appreciate a midnight call. So, I'll just keep admiring cute sewing projects for now.

I asked Lyssa to come over and introduce herself to you guys and show y'all how she made the dress. I just love the colors she used, the vintage sheet, the layered bubble skirt- so cute!

So here ya go! Be sure to check out her blog!

I'm so excited to be over here today at Faith Hope Love with Laura!! Thank you girl!

I live over at born-again crafter! My blog consists of a bit of thrifty goodness, sewing, scrapping and lots of redos. Love redos. And you can't have too many tutorials either!

I also host a weekly "thrifty thursdays" & "scrapbook sundays" party so I would love for you to join me!

I also just opened up a etsy shop called Pretty Grey Bench. Come check it out ;)

Are you curious about my name? Well, it came from after having my 3rd child, when no time was left for ME. So I am finding my crafty self again!

Today I'll be showing you how to make this:

The Vintage Sheet Bubble Dress.

Want to see what it looks like on my lil' girl? She was very excited because she pretty much designed it herself...and i'm not kidding...she's not even 6 and she's designing..oh boy...

So our inspiration? This number right here from Shabby Apple. I wanted to make her a new Easter dress so I had her look at dresses from the site as ideas of what she wanted. And of course she chooses the more difficult and expensive one!

It took me a while to figure out how to do this easily. After arguing discussing fabric choices, I persuaded her to use this: a vintage sheet...which is perfect for Spring, if you ask me.

Initially I was going to make the whole thing out of this material but after multiple attempts at the top part, I looked for easier ways.

Then Emma, my daughter, brought me this shirt:

and the whole dress clicked in my mind! Plus, this shirt was getting a bit too small for her anyways so what perfect way to use it than to make it into a dress ;)

So I measured from her waist to her knee for the skirt. I wanted space for her to walk/run so my first cut was 12 x 44.

Next I cut out 3 strips of fabric for the bubble parts. They were 12 x 48 inches.

I took the strips, put wrong sides together and did a basting stitch.

Then came the the task of ruffling...sigh, took so long but was worth it ;)

Then when it's all ruffled, sew the ends together. Do that with all three strips.

Ok so back to the shirt...

Take the skirt piece and sew the ends together. You'll have a tube that somewhat resembles a skirt.
Next, stick it on the shirt so that the right sides of the skirt and shirt are touching.

I lined up the stitch on the skirt to the middle of the back of the shirt:

Then use LOTS of pins to space the skirt equally around the shirt and sew in place the ruffled skirt.

After you do that, you place your ruffles onto the skirt. The top one, I place right on the stitch where the shirt and skirt met. This part is tricky because you also have to make sure the ruffles of skirt pieces are the same circumference as where it'll be placed on the skirt.

You also need to pin the ruffled pieces upside down and right sides together with the shirt because the piece is going to be folded over when it's done...see in the picture below, the ruffled piece is up or upside down. After I sew it, I will fold it over the stitch so it will be right side up.

***which after making it, I should have had the 3 strips of fabric for the "bubble" part different lengths so that they would have held the same ruffleness..does that make sense?***

I then added the middle ruffle about 4-5 inches down, making sure the seam would be covered by the ruffle on top. Do the same things I said above for this and the third ruffle.

Another tip is lining all the stitches together in the back. Thats where I started each one so I made sure they lined up.

After I sewed them all on, I trimmed some fabric underneath because it was TOO poofy.

Wha-la! Main part done...but not done done. If you look closely, there are a few stains around the chest. Not on this dress, you don't!

But this is how it looked so far on my model. She was excited about the progress ;)

After much back&forth, Emma was set to have a yellow rose on the shirt to cover stains. She even picked the fabric. So I went to work to figure out how to do that.

First, I took a strip of fabric, 5 x 44

Put wrong sides together...

Did a basting stitch...

and started ruffling...hmm sound familiar?

After ruffling, I sewed the ends all nice and shut.

Then I started playing around on the shirt. I started with a circle and slowly slowly slowly sewed it on the shirt. I would sew a bit, then work some more around. It was hard to move fast anyways with all that fabric!

Finally at the middle where I just made sure everything was sewed down

And there you go! All done. Emma was very excited for the BIG flower on the shirt ;)

I LOVED how it turned out. Much better than I thought it would. And this being my first "bubble" dress, I am happy with it.

And I also love that this dress cost me NOTHING.

Thanks again Laura for having me over here today!


  1. beautiful lovely little dress... making one for my sweet abby!!! awesome tutorial too!

  2. I love how you let us know how to pronounce your name - it made me smile. I have a friend named Pape and he introduces himself as, "Pape. It's like "paper" but without the R." Cracks me up every time!

  3. Thanks again Laura! So fun to be over here today!!


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