Bubble Shorts & Pillowcase Top Sewing Pattern
About 6 years ago I came up with this adorable pattern for bubble shorts. It’s been copied many times over by other pattern makers, but I like to think that my pattern is still one of the best. It was based on 15th Century Italian Men’s wear and the old-fashioned knickers kids used to wear. But, I put a fun, modern twist on it. It is still one of my favorite patterns. Even my 10-year-old will still wear bubble shorts.
I love these shorts because they are cute, simple to sew, and cheap to make. This entire outfit cost me $2.00. The shorts are a remnant of cotton – Merletta fiesta from Joann Fabrics. $1.44 – there is still enough left to make a headband. I just haven’t gotten that far. The knit was a scrap from another project. So, I’m going to consider it a freebie. The pineapple was also make from a tiny scrap of vinyl I had left from another project and I had the ribbon and elastic. They are just really small pieces.
Modifying a Sewing Pattern
One of the reasons I like this pattern is that it is versatile. If you know anything about sewing, you can change a pattern you already have. The original pattern uses cotton for the waistband and cuffs. For these little shorts, I wanted to be lazy and use knit jersey. That means no elastic channel, no gathering, and half the time. You can see the original pattern here. The pattern comes with two options – waistband and no waistband. You can see that the cuffs and waistband are made with cotton just like the shorts. That means when you are making the pattern with all cotton you have to gather to waist and legs to match the cuffs.
It’s very easy to use a knit instead. You still cut everything out using the same pattern pieces/measurements. The only difference when you use a knit is that instead of gathering the legs and waist to fit the cuffs/waistband, you stretch the cuff out to be the same length as the legs/waist. You can see in the photo at the right that the knit fabric easily stretches while you stitch it down. The original pattern is available here in my etsy shop for $7.95 and has sizes newborn – 12 girls.
This is another favorite of mine. The pillowcase dress pattern, available here, is only $7.95. It comes with the cutting instructions for newborn through 12 girls in a top style and a dress length. The original pattern has a band at the bottom. To make the little pineapple top, I didn’t us a band. I just cut the shirt a little longer. I cannot tell you how often I make pillowcase outfits. Any party or event you can whip one of these out in under 20 minutes. I also use the pattern all the time to make costumes. Cruella and Malificent are both wearing pillowcase dresses. These things are so easy to make. The Hippo, birthday, and Easter Dresses all Pillowcase Dresses.
It’s easy to see why I love this pattern. Just change up the materials and you have something totally different. I used ruffle fabric for the Easter Dresses, I added rickrack and an applique for the Circus Birthday Dress. The Hippo is made of fleece. I sewed on a little tummy and made a channel in the bottom with elastic to make it the puffy shape. The possibilities are really endless with it.
I’m giving you the svg for the pineapple here for free. Free pineapple svg cut file for Cricut and Silhouette. It’s a really cute design for shirts. It’s totally scalable, so you can make it any size you want.
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