I’m so excited for today’s post! I pulled out the ol’ sewing machine (literally, mine’s from 1979), made a trip to Jo Ann Fabric’s, and started sewing up a storm. The finished product? A gorgeous, flowing tulle skirt that earned me lots of compliments at the office today! But let me tell you, creating this skirt was a journey. Today’s DIY is less of a step-by-step DIY and more of a “here’s what I learned”, “DON’T do this” about trying to sew a tulle skirt, all from a beginner’s point of view. So this is great if you’re a beginner at sewing and want to learn from my mistakes. Or it’ll be hilarious if you’re a sewing guru and you’re reading about my pitfalls in creating this skirt! Here’s my DIY tulle skirt, with lots of photos & tips!
The finished product. Isn’t it gorgeous? Okay, girlfriend, let’s lay this project out:
-Total time: 4 hours max
-Total cost: $19
-Times stabbed by own needle: 3
Here’s our materials:
-6 yards of tulle, at least
-spool of matching cotton thread
-roll of 1 inch elastic
-2.5 yards of lining fabric (I used a drapey cotton), at least
-pins, scissors, measuring table, needle, etc.
Let’s start with taking some measurements. You’ll want two numbers from your bod: waist and length. For me, my waist measurement was 27 in and the length was 23. These are important so write these down!
1. Cut the tulle. You’ll want at least three times your waist measurement, so I used the full 6 yards. Also, cut to the desired length.
2. Prepare the layers of tulle.
If your bolt was doubled, as in the tulle was folded over itself, then you technically have two layers of tulle to start with. To add more tulle, I folded one of my 3 yards over on itself so instead of 6 yards I have 3-but there’s now four layers of tulle. If your tulle is thick, don’t do more than four layers or it will be too voluminous to handle.
4. Pin and sew an opening for the elastic.
Because my tulle is still folded over itself, I simply slid all the layers underneath each other so that they all overlayed each other, and I could slide elastic in the very middle to hold it together. So, since my elastic was 1 in wide, I measured 1.5 inches from the top, pinned a row of pins, and sewed right down that row.
5. Slide in the elastic. This probably took me the longest, but you just have to keep bunching the opening of tulle so you can slide the elastic the entire way down. Pin each end so the elastic stays in place.
6. Add lining.
Here’s where I realized I needed lining. Like I said, I’m just getting into sewing so mistakes will be made! I cut & hemmed a cotton lining to be 2 inches shorter than the length of the tulle skirt and sewed it right under the elastic-BIG MISTAKE. Don’t do this, it makes it smaller since the elastic will stretch around my hips, but the stitching where I attached the lining doesn’t. To fix this, I should have attached it when I was originally sewing the space to slide in the elastic, so it would bunch and strech with it.
7. Sew up the side seam, with the lining on the outside.
All that’s left is complete the side seam to attach everything together. I recommend hand stitching the bit through the elastic because I tried on my sewing machine and broke the needle (my bad).
8. Turn it right side out and you have a beautiful finished skirt!
What I like about my method is that I didn’t sew the elastic directly to the tulle-as a beginner, I think this would have been a little overwhelming for me to try to master. Perhaps a few projects down the line!
I hope to keep this “Sew it Yourself” series going, and the tutorials will get better, I promise! It was well worth all the compliments I receive when I wear it. Next up: I think I’m going to create a 60’s mod-inspired boxy peach lace top to go with this skirt!
Thanks for reading,