We Welcome Olga! Sharing the No Gathers Bubble Skirt

You may remember Olga from Skirt Week— she and her blogging pal Oksana won twice! So we’re thrilled to have her here to share a skirt tutorial, and if you’re a gathers-hater (not so much the look of them, but the part where they can be a total pain to create and then even more painful should the gathering threads snap and destroy your effort) then you’ll especially enjoy this. Thank you for sharing with us, Olga!


I am so excited to be here today! My name is Olga and I am part of the blogging duo at Kid Approved. I mostly sew for my four children. Today, I will share one of my favorite projects to make – a bubble skirt with no gathers involved. I am not against making gathers per se, but I prefer this method because it takes about 20 minutes to make and it is easy. Also, the child can do cartwheels in it without the fear of breaking gathers. :)


I had a piece of fabric left from the dress I made for my daughter last year. When she saw her new skirt she was horrified, thinking I cut up her dress. :)

You will need:

  • any woven fabric (You will cut a rectangle or two, depending on the size you are making. The shorter side will be the length of the finished skirt plus 3-4 inches; the long side – your child’s waist measurement multiplied by two)
  • fabric for lining, the same width as your main fabric but about 4 inches shorter
  • skinny elastic to gather the bottom of  the skirt; about a yard (Use less for smaller sizes.)
  • elastic for the waistband (Use your child’s measurements to determine how much you need.)
  • usual sewing supplies


1. Gather your supplies.
2. Fold short sides of the fabric rectangle right sides together, pin and stich. If you use two panels, pin the two panels right sides together and stich. Repeat with lining.
3. Pin lining and outer skirt right sides together and stich their bottom (hem) edges together.
4. Divide and mark the bottom of the skirt into four equal parts. Stitch the ends of skinny elastic to make a circle. Mark it into quarters. Pin the elastic to the hem aligning the markings.
5. Stitch elastic to bottom-hem seam allowances only stretching the elastic as you go.
6. Pull the lining inside the skirt.
7. Push the lining out of the way to make the casing for the elastic. Fold the raw edge of the skirt 1/4 of a inch an iron. Make another fold approximately two inches (make sure it is wide enough for your elastic) and iron.
8. Now pull the lining so it is encased in the fold you just made. Pin in place and sew around the waistband leaving a small opening for inserting elastic.
9. Insert the elastic into casing. Stitch ends of elastic together and sew the opening closed. You are done!
We wanted to go to the beach for the photo shoot, except it was cold, windy and rainy. Ania was a trooper. Sort of.
Really? Do we have to do it?
Enough with the pictures! Well, at least the skirt is cute…

So cute and quick, yes? Find more of Olga’s tutorials and design inspiration posts at Kid Approved.


  1. says

    What a clever idea to use elastic at the bottom! I love it! Can you please clarify if you recommend a proportion of final width to elastic length (like 80%?) that will make a nice bubble but not be too tight for walking and running?

    • says

      Good question, June. I was playing around with elastic to see what the best length would be, and I figured out about a yard is a good guess. I wouldn’t go less than 34 inches for smaller sizes and more than 40 inces for larges sizes. I made size 6. To give you an idea, my fabric was 54 inches wide, I used about a yard of elastic and it made a pretty good bubble. If you use two panels and a yard of elastic it would be even fuller. What size will you be making?

      • says

        I have 3 little girls (3-yo twins and a 5 yo) who wear size 3T and 6. Of course, I can’t make a skirt for 1 without the other 2 getting upset, so whenever I sew for my girls, I must churn out 3 of everything! :) Thanks for the detailed measurements on the version that you made – a big help!

  2. says

    Such a sweet little skirt, Olga!!! I have never made a bubble skirt and while I’m quite happy making gathers, I think this would make for a more comfortable skirt. Pinning for future reference.

  3. Lori says

    This is so cute. I had tried making a few bubble skirts with gathers and they just don’t look very cute. I love the idea of the elastic on the bottom and I think that will help with the non-cuteness issue I had with the other skirts. I am fairly new to sewing and I love skirts because they are easy and my 2 year old loves them. win-win. I am thinking some cute fall fabric for the skirt, and pair it with some leggings and boots.

    • Lori says

      Olga, I made one today and it turned out beautiful. My daughter is a 2T and I was able to just use two gorgeous pink and purple floral corduroy-ish fat quarters and some plain pink fabric (that I got as a remnant and was the perfect size for this and one other project) So I was able to make an adorable skirt for probably less than $4! . It was a little longer than I like (that’s okay, I’m sure she’ll grown into it) so next time I will just cut a few inches off the bottom. It was so quick and easy to make. I messed up and forgot to include the liner in the casing for the elastic so I just hemmed the bottom of the liner and sewed it along the bottom of the casing before I inserted the elastic. I also used this method to fix a skirt I made that was too long for my daughter and just kinda blah. My daughter loved her new skirt and spent about half an hour twirling around and dancing in it. Thank you for such a simple tutorial that even a novice sewer like me can make it. I can’t wait to go and get some more fat quarters to make more for this fall and I am thinking my twin nieces will each be getting a cute bubble skirt for their upcoming birthday.


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