Baby Bubble Shorts {Tutorial}

Growing up, my dad had a helium machine.  My brothers and I used to beg him to fill up balloons for us and then we'd secretly suck the helium out of the balloons until we sounded like Alvin & The Chipmunks.  That doesn't even sound remotely fun to me now.  {Sucking helium now would be like inviting a head ache to come over and stay for dinner.}  Why did we think that was so cool? Because we were kids and anything from whoopee cushions to penny candy was the best thing ever? Probably.

Sometimes, when I didn't suck out the helium, my Dad would take us outside and we'd let our balloons go.  We'd watch until they'd become tiny dots in the sky.  I loved it.  So much so that last year, when Lila accidentally let a balloon slip out of her hand, I thought she would enjoy watching her balloon go up in the sky.  She didn't.  She cried and cried and didn't forget about it.  She talked about it so much that about a month later, I made her tell the story to get it out of her little two year old system.
And then she wanted a sucker.  Typical.  :)

Anyway, these shorts remind me of balloons.  And bubbles. {Hence the name}  Madelyn, our little 10 months old squish, needed some summer shorts in a big way.  I'm trying to use up my random fabric stash, so I was happy to oblige.

What you need:

  • about 1/4 of a yard of cotton fabric
  • coordinating thread
  • One 3/4'' elastic {About 9 inches}
  • Elastic thread

I took a pair of existing shorts
 and because I was using cotton instead of knit, I added a couple inches all around.
 I cute four pieces.  Two front {right and left} and two back {right and left}
 Now turn those right sides together.
 And sew and finish seams {unless you serge it}
 *optional: Now press the excess over to one side
*optional: And top stitch on the right side.  Do the same with the other, only press the excess fabric to the opposite side so that the top-stitches are coordinated on the same side {make sense?}
Now take the front and the back peice and put them right sides together and sew on both sides and down the middle {where I've marked and and where the pins are}  Be sure to finish your seams with a zigzag}

 Now turn it inside out and press.
 *optional: topstictch both sides and down the middle where you just sewed
Ok.  Now you get to make a casing for your elastic.  {Note: I did a flat front for this, but if I make them again, I'll just do a full elastic waistband.  It stays on a baby waist more efficiently} Fold your fabric 1/4'' to the wrong side.  Then 1/2'' more towards the wrong side.
 And stitch {only around the back if you're making a flat front}
 I used a 3/4'' elastic that was about 8-9 inches long {double that if you're doing a full wasitband}
 Feed the elastic through with a safety pin.
 Until it's all the way through.
 Finish off casing.  Stitch elastic in place for a flat front.
 And now you have a flat front.  {Again, for a baby, I would make a full casing instead}
 Now hem the bottom of the pants by folding the fabric inward 1/4'' twice.
 And sew.
 So that it looks like this on the right side:
 Now change out your normal bobbin for your elastic thread bobbin.  And start shirring about 1/4'' above your hemline.  Then once more 1/4'' above that.  
 When you're done, it should look like this:
 You might notice that the elastic is pretty loose and doesn't pull much.  You can fix this by squirting a little water on the elastic thread and pressing it on your iron's highest setting.
 And it should come together and have more pull.  
 And now you have a pair of baby bubble pants!  Hip hip!
Perfect for a baby on the go.
 Hope your day is rockin'.


  1. Thx for the tutorial! These are adorable. Can't wait to make a pair!

  2. Thx for the tutorial! These are adorable. Can't wait to make a pair!

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