Bubble Ruffle Tu-Tu Tutorial

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.
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!

Become a subscriber

Sign up below and never miss another great recipe or tutorial!


    • says

      I did! The black one is a repurposed older lady style nightgown. The base of the skirt is the same material they make slips out of and the bubble ruffles are made with a nylon chiffon from the nightgown. This one is much smoother and the bubbles are more distinguished because of the different fabric but the technique to sew it is the same.

  1. says

    I have a question, how big of a section do I cut from the circle skirt to modify it and do I sew up the seem before or after I bubble ruffle? Sorry not very experienced at this but love the tutorial.

    • says

      I wish I had a better answer for you but I would just cut out enough of a chunk to make the skirt full but not too full. It’s not an exact science you just don’t want too much fabric or else the skirt start to fold. As for sewing up the seam you would just sew like you would any seam. I would sew it together BEFORE your do the ruffles. Good luck I hope this helps!

  2. says

    I am in LOVE with this skirt!!! And I can’t wait to give it a try, though I’m still a bit intimidated by it since I’m a MEGA BEGINNER at sewing, if you happen to make a video tutorial of the tulle part please let me know since I would love to make a little dress for my daughter to wear at my sister’s wedding, she will be the flower girl <3

    Lovely tutorial, thanks! I just wish I was more knowledgeable at sewing.

  3. says

    This is a LOVELY project I’d LOVE to make, specially for my daughter who is going to be the flower girl at my sister’s wedding… the only problem is me being a BEGINNER :/

    If there is any chance you can do a video on the tulle part please, please, please let me know.

    Thanks again!

  4. says

    Hello from Verra and my daughter Payton from SC. I am trying this for the first time, I am making a longer skirt for a princess costume…I pray it turns out right…its my first time sewing again since highschool over 10yrs ago. Thank you for sharing this amazing tutorial. Its so appreciated.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *