You can easily change the sizes to make a dress/tunic/shirt style, but I will tell you what I used. My daughter wears between a 2/3T so what I used was a boy's 3T t-shirt for the body of the tunic. The bubble hem needs to be smaller than the body of the shirt, so I used a 2T tank/shirt for the hem and the sleeves. The small shirt (or knit) needs to have a LOT of stretch.
I wanted to get as much length out of my t-shirt as I could, so I took out the bottom hem. Otherwise just cut off both hems, like I did with the tank top.
Decide how wide you want your bubble hem to be, double that number and add about an inch for seam allowance. Then measure and cut your second shirt that you have a tube.
Fold your tube of fabric in half, with the wrong sides facing. Pin at the side seams so that the ends of the fabric meet. Then fold in half the other way and pin it there so that you have pins dividing the hem into quarters. Now do the same to the bottom of the body of your shirt. Do you see how much smaller my hem is than my shirt?
Now pin your shirt and hem, right sides together (and cut ends of both fabrics meeting), at the quarters. You should expect to have extra fabric bunched because they are not the same size.
Now it is time to sew them together! You can use a zigzag stitch, but I just discovered another stitch that I have been really have with so far. It looks like a really small zigzag stitch, but then after a few stitches it does one really big zigzag. I'm really pleased with how well it stretches after it was sewn, far more than the experience I've had with a regular zigzag stitch. As you start sewing, be sure to back stitch so secure it and then as you sew gently stretch the bubble hem so that it matches the length of the shirt. Once you get to the next set of pins, make sure your needle is down and then continue stretching up to the following set of pins.
TADA! You now have a bubble hem!
I used the tutorial here for the sleeves of the dress. For the first blue t-shirt I used the hem I cut from the patterned tank top (just cut it in half). It didn't have as much stretch as I would have liked, I think I'll actually redo that one.
For the second one I cut strips from the purple shirt I used. The other change I made was to trim the "shoulder" of the shirt. I lined up my ruler and cut about an inch off just the top so that it would look less like a boy's "muscle" t-shirt.
I am much happier with how this one turned out. I think I'll end up doing the necklines the same way.
As my daughter would say, "tee ree YON!" (translated, To Infinity And Beyond!)!
I hope you enjoy and make lots of cute, unique bubble tunics for your little ones to enjoy!
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