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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

.:Tutorial Tuesday - Ruched Bubble Top:.

Before I get started, have you checked out my new blog design? Click out to see it if you are in a reader. Kayla, from Freckles in April, did it for me! She did a whole series on her blog to walk you through doing your own design. I pretty much love it. Grab a new button if you like. The other updated ones will be coming soon! Didn't Kayla do a great job???

Have you guys forgiven me for not posting this last week like I was supposed to?

I surely hope so.

And I hope you’re ready to sew, because you’ll probably want to whip one of these up after I finish showing you how. They are super easy and super cute. Great combo, if you ask me!


Here’s what you need:

- fabric
- thin elastic
- sewing machine/accessories
- iron
- measuring tape

Three girls means three sets of fabric. Hooray for fabric shopping!


You’ll want to start by taking some measurements. You can do this with a shirt, or directly on your little lady. I knew I wanted this top to be poofy (like a bubble!) so I needed to measure the length I wanted from my daughter’s chest to her waist. Normally I would add a few inches to make it look more bubbly, but since we are adding a band on the top and the bottom of the shirt, that will give me some extra inches, and allow this piece of fabric to be bubbly.  For my 4T daughter, this measurement was 10.5 inches.

The width of the body of the shirt needs to be about 1.5 times the width you’d measure across her chest. Reece was about 10-11 inches across, so I made her width 16 inches. This will gather it some, but not too much. You can do it even more if you want it more gathered.

Next, I needed to measure for the two bands. There will be separate measurements for the front bands and the back bands. I wanted the front bands to lay flat, but the back ones to have some stretch to them so that the shirt isn’t too difficult to take on and off. So for the front two bands, I can just use the width measurement that I took for Reece’s chest: 11 inches. This will give me the flatter look that I am going for. The length is entirely up to you! I wanted my bands about 2-2.5 inches long, so I made the length 5 inches. This will let me just fold over the band and iron it to give it a nice look when I sew.

For the back two bands, I can use the width measurement that I used for the body of the top: 16 inches. My length needs to be the same as the front two pieces, so again, it is 5 inches.

I wanted the back bands to be snug, so I cut the elastic to 10 inches.

The straps I just used measurements from another pattern I own. You can do that or figure out how wide you want them and how long you need them!

Are you still with me? I know this is a lot of wordy stuff with no pictures!

So here’s the breakdown measurements for my 4T daughter (in inches):

Body: 10.5 x 16 (cut two)
Front bands: 5 x 11 (cut two)
Back Bands: 5 x 16 (cut two)
Elastic: 10 (cut two)

And because I’m super awesome, here are the measurements for my other two girls:

3T (in inches):

Body: 10 x 15 (cut two)
Front bands: 5 x 10 (cut two)
Back bands: 5 x 15 (cut two)
Elastic: 9 (cut two)

6-9 month (in inches):

Body: 8 x 13.5 (cut two)
Front bands: 4 x 9 (cut two)
Back bands: 4 x 13.5 (cut two)
Elastic: 7.5 (cut two)

Whew! Let’s get on with it, shall we?

Here’s what I’ve got cut now. It’s fun to sort of see it come together!


Iron your band pieces in half, length wise.


Take your front body piece and do a gathering stitch along the top. Gather your top evenly, and pin it to one of your front band pieces, matching up your raw edges.


Repeat with the bottom of your front piece and remaining front band.


Sew in place and finish your edges.


Take your back body piece and your back bands. You do not need to gather the body piece. Simply pin in place with your raw edges matched up.


Sew in place for the top and bottom of your back body piece.


Now it’s time to ruche that back piece!

Take your elastic and line it up with your seam on the wrong side of the fabric, about a half inch in from the edge.


Back stitching at the beginning and end, sew your elastic to the back piece, stretching the elastic as you sew.


Now attach your straps to the front and back pieces where you would like them placed.


Pin up your side seams.


Sew in place on both sides, finish your edges, and turn your new top right side out!


I love the mixing of the different fabrics!


And of course, the bubbly goodness.


Perfect for some pictures!




And some playing.


And sitting.


And just generally being cute.


You like?

(Photos taken by Your Vantage Photography)

Linking up here:


  1. Very cute! I love the fabrics that you chose too! :) Nice job, mumma!
    Happy Day!

  2. Super cute and I am positively drooling over that zigzag fabric. Where may I ask did you get it????

    1. It's made by Riley Blake. Local fabric stores that carry designer fabric may carry them. This is one of my favorite places to buy online, they have fast shipping:


  3. Totally cute top. Saw you on KSL 5 today and had to come check you out!


Thanks for leaving a comment! I love reading them! I try to reply to questions the best I can, but you can always email me at sumossweetstuff {at} gmail {dot} com.