Monday, May 18, 2009

Vintage Bubble Skirted Dresses

1950s Bubble Hem Party Dress at Couture Allure

In the late 1950's, the bubble skirt became a popular style for party, cocktail, and prom dresses. A bubble skirt is a full skirt that folds under at the hem and is gathered into a smaller lining. This forms a pretty pouf at the hem rather than the knife edge we are used to. Many bubble skirts have netting sewn in between the outer skirt and the lining to give the bubble more volume. Also called balloon hems or harem skirts, here are several from 1958:

This dress features a velveteen bodice with an irridescent taffeta bubble skirt. By Barbara Dance Frocks.

Another by Barbara Dance Frocks, this time in soft nylon tricot with a velveteen band across the upper bodice. The flying panels at the back can be caught over the arms as a stole or float free at the back of the dress.

Pink rayon satin fashions a pretty bubble dress by Betty Lane.

This cocktail dress is a fitted sheath of cotton velveteen with a short bubble pouf at the hem. By Candy Jrs.

How do they do it? Here is a peek at the underside of the hem of our blue dress at the top. The outer skirt is cut longer and wider than the lining. The edge of the outer skirt is gathered and sewn to the smaller lining, encasing a netting interlining for added pouf. The three skirt layers are then sewn to the waistband of the dress.

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