THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

January 27, 2008

Armani Prive – A Better Bubble Skirt

I’m sure like most of you; I’m not a huge fan of bubble skirts for a host of obvious reasons. But the spring 2008 Armani Prive collection has several that are a tad different from what we usually see, and I think they are also much more flattering. Here are my faves:

One thing interesting about this skirt on all three designs is the separate hem band along the bottom, and of course I had to see if I could replicate it! The first step was to find some detail photos, and these two of the pinstripe design were really helpful:

Notice the side seam, and also the pinstripes tell us that this skirt is bias cut. So we know for this style there are two side seams on both the skirt and the hem band. I drafted a quick pattern for my daughters 18 inch doll dress form:

Nothing fancy, just a basic A-line shape. I drafted the skirt on the straight grain, although most in the Armani collection appear to be on the bias. There are also a few tulip skirt shapes here and there. The hem bands appear to have fashion fabric facings on the tailored designs, and I’m beginning to think there are also fashion fabric hem band facings on the dress silks.

Oh and I think Mary 9821 is perfect for the jacket on the tweed suit – all you need to do is change the center front closure to the Armani curved lapped front, lower the neckline, add the petal edges at the bottom of the princess seams, flair the sleeves at the wrist, and build out those classic YSL-style shoulders.

This Armani collection is inspiring and very beautiful, so definitely check it out on and also see the video on The Thoughtful Dresser.  It’s an utterly wearable collection that any of us could see in our wardrobes (well, maybe without the funky embellishment!)


  1. Thank you for this post. I love this rendition of the tulip skirt and I agree that the hem makes it so much more wearable for the average person.

    Comment by loopylulu — January 27, 2008 @ 3:41 pm

  2. I also noticed those skirts. I especially like the dressy blue satin. I think it is fuller than the pin-striped versions. All are very nice and wearable. I wonder what they would look like in dupioni?

    Comment by patsijean — January 27, 2008 @ 5:34 pm

  3. I really like the new take on the bubble skirt and your version is looking good.

    Comment by sheila — January 27, 2008 @ 5:35 pm

  4. I like the new look of the bubble skirt and your version is looking good.

    Comment by sheila — January 27, 2008 @ 5:41 pm

  5. Ah, Phyllis – I see you are definitely “Johnny-on-the-spot” with your drafting. but, as I thought – it was not a simple strip – looks terrific. You have to link to Linda’s blog — if nothing else we have introduced her to “Advanced Clothing Engineering 101”. 🙂

    Comment by toby Wollin — January 27, 2008 @ 8:06 pm

  6. I think of these more as a “lantern” shape than a bubble shape. I am someone with a pronounced pear shape…much larger hips than torso, and I find this line quite flattering. I think that the ‘bubbled” hem has a way of balancing the hips. I have made several things with this line and have worn them all a lot. You’ve inspired me…maybe it’s time for another!

    Comment by dawn — January 28, 2008 @ 8:23 am

  7. Yes Phyllis, this line skirt is very inspiring and combined with small bodies above the silhouette is enough stylized as the skirt itself does not have too much volume. Thank you for the pattern. Sincerely, Paco

    Comment by Paco Peralta — January 28, 2008 @ 12:50 pm

  8. Great post Phyllis. I agree with Dawn that this hemline style reminds me of the “Chinese lantern” shapes.

    Comment by Els — January 29, 2008 @ 6:16 am

  9. Phyllis – I think you and I need to pack up our sewing machines and pay Linda Grant a visit. Perhaps introduce her to the wonders of fabric addition, too. Between the two of us, I’m sure we could run her up several dresses over a weekend!!!

    Comment by toby Wollin — January 29, 2008 @ 7:09 am

  10. Great pictures!

    I stumbled across your great blog, and have some news that may interest you and your readers. I work at JR Language Translations, and we just finished translating the Spring pattern catalog for Simplicity into German.

    It will be launched in Europe in February.


    Comment by Sergio — January 29, 2008 @ 5:17 pm

  11. Thanks for sharing this with us. I am also intrugued by the little fabric (ribbon?) triangle embellishments…

    Comment by christina — January 30, 2008 @ 4:07 pm

  12. Great post, Phyllis! So inspiring! I love this style from the new Armani Prive collection!

    Comment by Tany — January 31, 2008 @ 6:56 pm

  13. Christina, I think those mobius-like embellishmnts are made from strips of the fashion fabric. If you look closely on the right detail photo they appear to be attached with a tiny black rivet.

    Comment by phyllisc — February 2, 2008 @ 8:04 am

  14. brilliant

    Comment by ILikePaperCutting — March 18, 2010 @ 4:02 am

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