Thursday, September 20, 2012

Japanese Bubble Dress - twice!

There's still wedding related sewing going on - these are dresses for my SIL-to-be's nieces. The pattern is from a Japanese Pattern Book that I've used a few times before
I was encouraged to sew these again by the Balloon Dress Sew-a-long on the Japanese Sewing Books blog (written by Yifarn and a 'must-read' for anyone interested in Japanese patterns).
The fabric is a babycord from Stenzo, and while I didn't want the dresses too matchy, I couldn't resist swapping the pocket fabric.


The Sew-a-long is very helpful, but I made a major change to the pattern to ensure the hem seam would be hidden.
I will try to keep it short!!
  1. Cut the outer and lining back pattern pieces as 2 pieces and include a seam allowance where the fold line is.
  2. Sew the outer fabric at the shoulders. Sew the lining fabric at the shoulders.
  3. Put the lining and outer fabric right sides together and sew at the armholes and at the neckline (stop just at the seam allowance at the back neckline.
  4. Turn the dress right side out by pushing the right and left back pieces including lining through their corresponding shoulders.
  5. Sew the side seams of the outer and lining fabric on both sides, matching seams.
  6. Sew the centre back seams (leaving an opening for turning) just as far as the back opening. Turn the seam allowances at the neckline to the inside and press seams flat on lining and outer fabric.
  7. For the button loop, one method is to Insert and pin a loop of thin elastic into one side of the neckline from the outside.
  8. Topstitch the neckline, including the back neckline opening, Topstitch the armholes also.
  9. Attach pockets as per pattern.
  10. Gather the outer dress hem.
  11. To sew the hem, pin only about 2 inches/5cm of the back seams of the lining and outer fabric right sides together.
  12. Turn the dress inside out through the opening in the back lining seam, keeping the pins in place. Continue pinning the hems together (the dress outer and lining will almost form a loop. Sew the lining and outer hem together.
  13. When the hem is sewn, turn the dress right side out through the back opening, and hand sew the opening.
  14. Ta daaaa!!!! Hopefully!
I much prefer to sew the dress this way, and it leaves it looking very neat.


The twins are about 1 year old, and I made the dresses larger so there should be no problem with fit. It's a perfect dress to give as a present, when you have no measurements, because the fit at the chest is generous.


Edited to add: Linked to Justine's Sew & Tell Saturday Pin It Now!  


  1. Those are incredible! Totally lovely. You get such nice fabrics in Europe! We have more choices in the USA but they are not as lovely.

    1. Thanks Kathy, I'm so pleased with how they turned out. I love the European fabrics too, but they can be difficult to get hold of here too.I envy your access to fabric in the US too :-)

  2. These are adorable! I think the fabrics you chose are particularly good for the pattern. My five year old is looking over her shoulder and voicing her approval. I am sure that the twins will look sweet and their mum will really appreciate the gift.

    1. Karin, you are completely right about the fabric. The cord holds the bubble shape perfectly. I sewed a bubble dress in voile that just went flat! I like your 5 year olds taste ;-)

  3. Those bubble dresses are absolutely beautiful - I imagine they have a lovely swing to the skirts when worn. It's a very Avoca look, ever so charming in those pretty fabrics.

    1. Mise, thanks. You're right - they have such a lovely shape, and are wider at the hem than bubble dresses usually are. I've looked at the Avoca website on occasion for how they use colour :-)

  4. The dresses are lovely! And once again, your finishing is flawless.:)

  5. Thanks, Cindy :-) It took a bit of time to figure out how to hide the seam on this one, but is worth it for the clean finish

  6. I love that Japanese Pattern site! Your dresses are so cute!

    1. Thanks Justine! It's a great site, badly needed in the 'blogosphere' :-)

  7. Such sweet dresses - I love them both, lucky girls!

  8. Hello Gabrielle, thanks for you lovely comment :-)

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