kojotutorial: ribbon candy bubble dress

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Can I gush for a minute about this Leila and Ben pattern? It’s so fabulous! I’m not much of a pattern type of girl (I mostly use what my kids are wearing as design templates), but I can see myself using this sweet, simple dress pattern again and again!


And I loved having a chance to tailor this dress to match the spunky-sweetness of our god-daughter Joanie by adding the ribbon candy collar, sweet sleeve bows and bubble hem. Want to add some of those details to your Sweet Little Dress as well?

To embellish your sweet little dress and make a ribbon candy bubble dress, you’ll need:
-the sweet little dress pattern by Leila and Ben (I bet you could also use another basic, short sleeved dress pattern and have similar results)
-a yard of fabric for the dress itself
-a yard of muslin (for the dress lining/bubble hem)
-a long thin rectangle (about 4″ thick and more than a yard long) of white cotton for the ribbon candy collar and the sweet little bows
-a couple strips of white tulle (to make the bubble more twirly)… I used the kind on a 6″ roll
-a yard and a half of grosgrain ribbon
-sewing machine and supplies

To make the bubble hem-

Trace the ‘body’ piece of the pattern onto your patterned fabric. Extend the hemline about 3″ lower than the pattern piece calls for. Also trace the pattern piece onto a piece of lightweight fabric (like muslin) that will become your dress lining. Do not adjust the hemline. You’ll end up with four fabric cut-outs- two patterned pieces and two lining pieces (a front and a back in each type of fabric).

With the right sides together, sew the bottom edge of the patterned front piece to the bottom edge of the lining front piece. The pattern calls for the edge to be curved, to add the bubble hem, you’ll stitch in a straight line. Press open.

Repeat for the back pieces.

Place the sewn-together back pieces and the sewn-together front pieces together, right sides facing in. Stitch along the entire length of each side (your fabric should be a half lining, half patterned tube with a curved top edge on either end).

Sew a couple layers of 6″ wide tulle to the bottom of the lining layer (go all the way around the front and the back of the dress until the tulle overlaps). This will add a little extra poof to the bubble hem.

Tuck the lining layer of the dress into the patterned layer. You should now have a double layered dress body with an unfinished collar and a little bit of poof in the bottom hem. From now on, treat the two layered top the same as you’d treat the single layer that the pattern calls for. Attach the sleeves to both layers, iron both layers, etc.

To add a ribbon-candy collar and sleeve bows-
Make a tube of white fabric, about a yard long and two inches wide. Press flat and stitch along the edges in   acontrasting color.

Using this white ‘trim,’ pin a series of loops in place crisscrossing back and forth across the center of the front of the dress, with each loop getting progressively smaller. Pin one length of contrasting-edge-stitched white tubing down the center of the back-and-forth loops. Stitch in place (which also secures the loops in place). Finish off the collar as instructed in the L&B pattern.

Make a single loop using your contrasting-edge-stitched tubing and sew in place. Cinch the center of the loop to make your bow. Hand sew bows onto each sleeve with a button in the center.

DONE! Your sweet dress is bubbled and ribbon-candy-collared and finished off with sweet little bows!

ps- Did you see the fabulousness at Project Run and Play this week? Today’s the last day to vote for your favorite look!

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  1. That dress is adorable!!! And so is your little model 🙂 I love the ribbon detail on the sleeves too!

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