Friday, December 11, 2009


I have to say right off the bat that bubble dresses are not my favorite thing. In fact, until about three days ago I would have said that I was somewhat dogmatic about the evils of The Bubble Skirt. I mean, do we really want to wear something that looks like it was baked in a patisserie? It doesn’t work for brides, who could be reasonably given some allowance for wearing the ridiculous on a day when they have agreed to stand up in front of 250 people and declare their undying love like some kind of Disney character amid giant floral sprays and cooing doves. It definitely won't work for a day at the office. The fact that the word "bubble" is fundamental to this style of clothing should tip us off that it is too cute. Too stylized. Just plain trying too hard to be a Look. The same could be said for "Pixie Stix dresses" and "Kuddly Kitten shoes". Or whatever.

Now granted, part of my hatred of bubble skirts comes from a bad sort of acid-trip flashback to my youth in the mid-80s, when music was made by computers, underwear was considered a valid form of blouse and skirts were all bubbled. Give me a minute. I have to clear my head from the horror-filled memories. Ack. Who ever told Prince that he should wear a purple jumpsuit and jerry-curl his hair within a inch of it's life should be shot.

However. Last week I received a catalog from Chasing Fireflies. I like this catalog because it's filled with the most outrageously-priced children's clothes that are things that I could (if I got around to it) make myself. I usually take a quick look through the catalog to see what crazy $150 tulle skirts they have this month.

Enter The Bubble Dress. Now, you may or may not have picked up by now that TLo is quite the little princess. If it's pink and fluffy and totally over-the-top it's hers. She's also quite the little catalog shopper and so in the interest of keeping her occupied while I do something more fun than entertaining her, I let her peruse the catalogs when they come in. Last week she found The Bubble Dress in the Chasing Fireflies catalog.

(note: clicking on the photo will take you to


Fine. I happen to own several bubble-dress patterns courtesy of the good people at Burda World of Fashion and Ottobre. I decided I could put aside my bubble dress convictions for a while and make a few cutesy dresses for The Princess while she still young enough to get away with them. But because I was in a hurry (I still have lots of practical long-sleeve t-shirts to make for her), I decided to use this pattern: Ottobre 6-2008-19.


It looked like something she could probably wear to school (in place of one of the t-shirts that making it would stop me from completing). I thought, “It’s not too much bubble, so it should be ok for everyday wear.”


Apparently I was right. It's not remotely "too much " bubble. In fact, I defy you to figure out that it's a bubble at all.

I'm not sure what the deal is, but this is the second velour knitwear item that I've made from Ottobre that hasn't gone well for me. I find this overly disappointing because generally I've come to expect great things from each and every Ottobre pattern I use. But this dress is a bit of a stretchy mess, to be blunt. It's entirely possible that I'm just not very good at sewing knit velour.

Plus, it’s not very full so I personally think the hem looks odd. It does actually look quite a bit like the photo in the magazine, I was just sort of hoping that their photo didn’t show the bubble-ness to best advantage. Apparently it actually just looks like that.

Don't get me wrong, TLo was over the moon with this and asked me four times while I was sewing it if it was ready yet. She did not one time, not once, argue about her clothes this morning which is virtually unheard of. So all in all this was successful from the point of view that TLo loves it. It's even teal, not pink, which despite being one of her really good red-head "autumn" colors, she doesn't normally like to wear. However, I'm disappointed enough with it that I feel obligated to make another bubble skirt (from another pattern) that's a bit more... well... bubbly.

I can’t believe I just said that.


  1. As long as she's happy that's all that matters. It looks really comfy!!! I made a bubble for one of my grands for Christmas from taffeta. It bubbled pretty well. I think the fabric makes a difference. I also added a little tulle inside the bubble though.

  2. She loves it! Good job, Mom! You're right though - it doesn't look very bubble-y. Still cute. I'm with Julia. Velour has so much drape - I think it needs some crispness.

  3. TLo *is* gorgeous in teal, and hey, you just got a 'get out of jail free' ticket if you felt it was a wadder but she saw the diamond in the rough. Like the other commenters, the heavy velour looks like the culprit to me. The catalogue bubble dress fabric is more crisp and airy. Hope they airbrushed her into that snowfield. Tulle--good idea, Julia! And TLo would love a bubbly tulle-d up skirt. I don't know the details, but can you lift a drooping bubble by underlining with a shorter hem of ltwt fabric and hemming together?


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