How to make a bubble hem dress

Updated February 21, 2017

Bubble hem dresses are trendy and relatively easy to make. Few supplies are needed to create the look, but some sewing experience is necessary to finish the hem quickly. A simple and inexpensive way to make a bubble hem dress is to convert a dress already in your closest rather than making one from scratch.

Select and put on an A-line dress from your closet. The longer the dress the better because dresses can always be shortened. It is much harder to add length to a dress.

Measure the waist with a tape measure by placing one end of the tape measure just above the hips. Pull the tape measure around your natural waist until the tape measure meets the other end. Add about two inches to the measurement, and write the number on a piece of paper before removing the dress.

Cut the elastic to the measured length. Insert a safety pin to the end of the elastic.

Insert the end of a seam ripper into the hem. Rip the hem a few inches to create an opening. Do not rip the entire seam out.

Insert the elastic with the safety pin on the end into the hem opening. Push it through, working it around the entire hem. As the elastic is being worked into the hem, the dress will begin to gather. Use caution so that no more of the seam is ripped out. Push the pin and elastic around the hem until it comes out of the hole on the other side. This means that the piece of elastic is now entirely in the hem.

Remove the safety pin, and sew the two ends of elastic together with a needle and thread. Push the end of the elastic into the seam, and restitch the opening to close it using a sewing machine. Arrange the hem of the dress around the elastic to create the bubble effect.


When restitching the opening closed, it is best to stitch past the opening to make sure the hem is in place. If the dress is longer, cut it so that the dress falls just below the knees. Measure the length from your waist to just below the knees to find the appropriate hem length. Place the measuring tape at the waist of the dress, and make a small mark at the desired length. Trim the dress and sew a hem on the sewing machine. Continue following the steps to create a bubble hem.

Things You'll Need

  • A-Line dress
  • Tape measure
  • Elastic
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
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