Bubble dress: patterns and tutorial

Edit, March 19: the free bubble dress pattern has been replaced by an all new and improved version, which is sold via my patterns page for $8. My apologies to those of you who were ‘lured’ here via Pinterest by the promise of a free pattern – I cannot remove those pictures from Pinterest. To soothe your disappointment: you enjoy a $1 discount if you use the code PINTEREST.
So, how has the pattern been improved?
– better sizing (the dress is longer for the higher ages)
– more sizes: instead of 2y – 4y – 6y – 8y, it is now 1y – 18m – 2y – 3y – 4y – 5y – 6y.
– a peter pan collar, which you can choose to leave on or off
– digitally drawn instead of hand drawn patterns
– much more detailed instructions 
– more information (table with sizing, table with yardage needed, printing and assembling instructions, cutting diagrams, etcetera)
– all information is now provided in inches/yards as well as centimeters


115 thoughts on “Bubble dress: patterns and tutorial

  1. Cute dresses but the Model is so adorable – little Princess ;-))) I'll sew this for my girls for next summer. Or maybe it will work with some havier fabrics for colder days? Thank you for teaching that! KamiJns

  2. You can just print it at home; it is separate A4-size pages, which you will have to put together with tape. Just make sure you do not resize it (print at 100%) and you'll be fine! Good luck with it -let me know how it works out 🙂

  3. Thank you 🙂 I've made balloon dresses in lawn cotton, double gauze, and quilting weight cotton, and the first two give the best results. But as you can see in the pics, quilting weight also works well! I doubt if heavier fabrics than quilting (eg corduroy, canvas, heavy linen) will look good though. As the dress is fully lined, it'll also be warm if, for instance, you use quilting weight for both lining and outside. 🙂

  4. I just finished making this dress with some sweet Laura Ashley fabric I bought about 25 years ago when I lived in the Netherlands. There used to be a LA outlet by Helmond, not sure if it is still there. Anyway, after a few false starts, due mostly from not always reading the directions it came out great. Thank you for the great tutorial and the lovely pictures of your little one.
    Is it okay with you to use this pattern to make dresses to sell on my Etsy shop? I would be very happy to give you credit in the write up.

    Thanks again,


  5. Waw, that's great! You can sure sell them in your Etsy-shop; just include a sentence like “the pattern for this dress was made by StraightGrain” and then a link to my tutorial and I'm happy! So curious about the dress in Laura Ashley! …

  6. Thank you so much! This pattern's really great. I tried it with a gauze outer fabric and cotton batiste lining and it turned out to be adorable. I can see why you've made several of them!

  7. That's so great to hear, Megan! If you have a picture of the dress, you can perhaps email it to me – in a couple of weeks, I'd love to post some pics of different versions of the dress, made by other people than me 🙂

  8. Hi Lisa, it depends on the size you make, on the width of the fabric (regular or quilting) and on whether your fabric has an upside and downside. The best you can do is cut out the pattern pieces and take them to your fabric shop. But I used less than a yard for my 2-year old…

  9. Onedi said….Please I would like to print these pattern how do I?I would like to do to my granddaughter who will be two years old.What are the measures of pattern?If answered is I'll be very happy and grateful.Hugs

    Translated by Bing 🙂

  10. I think I will give this one a go. Well done on getting some of your patterns up for people to share. I would like to do the same sometime but haven't quite worked it out yet!

  11. wow!!! great tutorial…it seems easy I should try… I have a lot of nieces… and right now I know what to give them for christmas!! thank you!!!

  12. I made this dress with satin. A blue tunic and gold bubble base, I made puffy sleeves in red and teal and madw a snow white costume for my niece for Christams. Thankyou this was really easy to follow and alot of fun!

  13. I am a novice sewer (like this was my second project with my sewing machine) and it turned out great!!! I can't wait to see my niece in it! I used a lightweight corduroy with a cotton lining and I couldn't be happier with it! Great job on an easy pattern and lots of instructions (especially for us newbies!!! I'd love to share a pic if you'd like!

  14. Do you have a tutorial for your bubble skirt too?
    I am a novice sewer and was able to follow your awesome tutorial and finished the dress in one day. My daughter loved it! Thank you so much!

  15. Funny you're asking! I'm planning to make a bubble skirt pattern and tutorial in the coming weeks. Happy to hear that the bubble dress worked out well – thank you for the nice comments 🙂

  16. Great tutorial, thanks a bunch from Switzerland! You made a little princess very happy at Christmas, she loves her dress!

  17. Thank you for this pattern, I made it in purple for my 2 year old and it looks great. Think I will be making more of these!

  18. Okay, I am not a seamstress by any means – so when I print out your pattern pieces, do I need to re-size them or are they ready to use? Sorry for a silly question! I am new to all of this sewing stuff! 🙂

  19. Hi Sherry, not a silly question at all! It is important that you rpibt it at 100%. Tip: before you start cutting the fabric, put the pattern pieces on one of your daughter's dresses to make sure that the size is okay.

  20. Allo! It would have been nice to have a square test to see if our print is ok. Here in Canada we use only letter paper, which is smaller than your A4 paper. But I think that when I choose on the printer A4 size with the option “without border” it's OK, hopefully!
    Anyway, thank you for the nice pattern, j'adore !!!

  21. How odd is that! I had no idea about the Canadian paper sizes! 🙂
    But as long as you print it at 100%, it shouldn't matter too much. The important thing is that it fits your daughter. Compare the width of the bodice pattern to the width of a dress which fits your daughter well, and you should be fine, even if the pattern is printed slightly smaller or bigger. (Don't forget that the pattern included seam allowance, though)

  22. Just saw your edit for pattern updates after cutting the frock pattern yesterday. 🙂
    Keep up the awesome work.
    Love from India,


  23. Sorry about that, Rashmi! The pattern seems to run a bit small, especially for the highest ages, so I want to lengthen them a bit. I don't know how old your daughter is exactly, but if you've already cut the patterns, you could place them on an existing dress, and check if they fit. Keep in mind that the pattern includes seam allowances (1 cm at the top of the bodice, 1 at the bottom of the bodice, 1 at the top of the skirt, 1 at the bottom of the skirt). If it turns out to be too short, you could manually add some length to the bodice and/or skirt. Hope this helps!

  24. Yes Kristen, that would be great. Just send me a little email (see About page for my address) and we'll work something out. Only thing is that the dress would have to be finished within 3 weeks…

  25. Quick question…I think I can create my own pattern for the bodice but is the shell of the skirt longer than the lining? Or are they the same lengths (vertically speaking).

  26. I'm considering making this out of wool felt (and not lining the bodice, just cutting out the pieces…) Do you think that could work, or should I still line the bodice? Want to make this out of a “warmer” fabric for winter!

  27. I really want to use this for my three girls… for easter which means i better start soon lol …. hoping the pattern is up soon? 🙂 love it

  28. Also, does it need to be top and bottom? Can't the dress just be one piece, instead of having to deal with sewing top and bottom together…perfecting ruffle before sewing into place

  29. Thank you, Sarah, Ashley and Kabisho! I'm working as hard as I can on the pattern. With the last tester feedback on its way, I hope to have it ready by March 18…

    As far as the separate top and bottom are concerned: of course it is possible to have a bubble dress in one piece, but then you're dealing with a totally different pattern…

  30. Thank you soo much! I downloaded the pattern last december and had not gotten to do it because I am still a rookie with the sewing skills. the bubble dress is actually the very first dress I sew from a pattern, I had done refashion but this was my first, will try to email a pic. danke!

  31. oehhhh! Ik ben verliefd 🙂 Ons meiske is pas 8 maanden, de kleinste maat is dus te groot…. Heb je een suggestie voor me? Of misschien tóch nog in kleiner? Mijn beste vriendin trouwt over 2 weken, en onze Nore móet dit jurkje aan 🙂

    Liefs uit Rotterdam

  32. Oooohhh…. Ik ben verliefd…. Onze Nore is pas 8 maanden en de kleinste maat van het patroon is te groot vrees ik. Heb je 'm nog kleiner? Ze draagt nu maat 74 (is een petit meiske) Fijne avond en groeten uit Rotterdam!

  33. Hi Michelle, the tutorial is now included in the pattern. The pattern is now better in sizing, and includes a collar too. The instructions are more detailed than the tutorial which used to be online.

  34. Hi Selena, yes it is. It has no particularly difficult techniques (no button holes, no zipper, for instance) and all steps are explained with clear pictures. If you should buy the pattern and still find anything unclear, feel free to send me an email for help! An

  35. Hi An, thinking of making this next (after hanami, which is a great pattern!) can I do invisible zipper for the back? Just curious


  36. Thanks, Loren! You could use a blind zipper in the back, but you would have to adapt the back bodice a bit: because of the overlap, the back bodice parts are a bit skewed (as they overlap at the bottom, but only just touch each other at the top). So you would have to 'straighten' them first(send me an email if you need help with that). an

  37. I’m still learning from you, but I’m trying to achieve my goals. I absolutely enjoy reading all that is written on your blog.Keep the tips coming. I liked it….
    especially this blog is mainly for sewing…

  38. I love this pattern! I have made several already and I am NOT an advanced sewer. People rave about the dress when my daughter wears hers. And the dress still fits her even though I made the 18 month pattern and she is almost 3! It is short, but we put leggings on under it so it makes for a cute bubble type shirt/dress. And it is so fun to choose the fabric.

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