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Bubble skirts are a type of short skirt with a balloon style silhouette. These skirts are designed to billow out on the bottom and sides, while being tightly fitted at the waistline. Bubble skirts usually reach mid thigh, but are sometimes shorter. Bubble miniskirts often had shorts sewn in underneath the skirt, or were worn over knee length tights.
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There are usually three major components in a pattern for a bubble skirt. The cut piece consists of a longer, extra wide outer layer, a narrow, shorter inner layer, and a waistband. Even though the skirts typically consist of only three pieces, they can require some skill to assemble.
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To custom make a bubble skirt, the wearer should be measured from waist to mid thigh, and then an additional 8 inches (20 cm) should be added to the length. The final total represents the length of the fabric piece that should be cut for the outer layer. After the fabric pieces for the bubble skirt are cut, they are ready to be assembled. The bottom edge of the outer piece of fabric should be tightly gathered to the bottom edge of the inner piece. Once that is done, the top edge of the outer piece should be aligned to the top edge of the inner piece, once again gathering the outer piece to fit the inner section.
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Some styles of bubble skirts use wide bands of elastic instead of sewn waistbands. Using elastic allows for an easier fit, but attaching fabric to elastic can sometimes be tricky, especially for beginners. The elastic should be stretched as the fabric is sewn. Failure to do this may cause the elastic to lose elasticity, defeating the entire purpose.
Bubble skirts can be made of most any soft, pliable fabric. Most of the bubble skirts of the 1980s were constructed using cotton or polyester knits. Other fabrics that work well for this type of skirt are soft satin, silk, and taffeta.