Good morning, SST world! This morning, I’m hanging out on the couch while I nurse a slight flu that both Raymond and I got this weekend. The back half of the week is filled with awesomely fun blogger events around the Denver area and this weekend is my 10 year high school reunion, so I’m hoping to get better super quickly! (Crossing my fingers. Eek!)
With Halloween coming up, my friends and I have all been debating about what to be for the holiday – and I decided to be a ballerina! I love not having to buy new goodies to make my Halloween costume, and I had all the gear… except for the tulle skirt. Since tulle skirts are all the rage right now, I knew I’d be able to use it outside of Halloween, as well, but couldn’t find a color I liked. So, whatever provoked me to do this I don’t know, but I decided to make my own!
We all know this isn’t a DIY blog, so I followed the genius directions from Laura over at A Beautiful Mess. Ultimately, the skirt turned GREAT, and I can’t wait to twirl and leap all the way through the holiday!
– Tulle (around double the yards as the amount of layers you want & the width of the fabric should be at least twice the length you’re looking for)
– Lining (I’d recommend at least 3 yards and the same width as the tulle)
– Craft paper/fabric for pattern (should be good with 2ish yards here)
– Fabric scissors
– Elastic for waistband (1”-1.5” thick)
– Pins and marking chalk (or something to mark with)
Note: I went on JoAnnFabrics.com before heading to the store and recommend that you do the same. They have tons of great coupons and it cut the price of the materials almost in half!
From here, I’m going to take Laura’s directions and mix in some of my own pictures and thoughts where it might be helpful.
Step 1) To find the dimensions you’ll need for your pattern, first decide on the length you want your skirt to be (let’s say for our example you want it to be 22" long). Then measure the fullest part of your hips (the skirt opening has to be big enough to go over your hips when you put it on), and divide that number by 3.14. Take that resulting number and divide by 2. So, for example, if the widest part of your hips measured 40, the equation would be 40 ÷ 3.14 = 12.73, and then 12.73 ÷ 2 = 6.36. That number would be your hip measurement number for your pattern (just round up to the nearest 1/4" of an inch to make it easier).
Step 2) Use craft paper to cut a large square. Then measure your hip measurement out from one corner (just keep pivoting the ruler to make lots of marks and connect the dots at the end to get your rounded edge). Repeat the process from the same corner to find the bottom of your skirt line, but add the waist measurement to your total skirt length for that number (so if your length is 22" and your waist measurement is 6.5", then measure out 28.5"). Cut out your pattern paper.
Below is what mine looked like, because my JoAnn Fabrics didn’t have craft paper available. I used a fabric instead and it worked just as well.:
Step 3) Cut squares of tulle that are big enough to fit your paper pattern when the the square is folded in half, and then folded in half again to make a smaller square that is 1/4 the original size. Using the example numbers above, you would need a square that was 57" wide (28.5 x 28.5 = 57) when unfolded. The number of squares you have determines the number of layers your skirt will contain, so buy your fabric yardage accordingly. If you can’t find a tulle wide enough to get a square as big as you need, you’ll have to sew two pieces side by side first before cutting your square down to size.
Step 4) Fold your large square in half, and then in half again, and place the pattern so that the corner with the middle of the square is near the waistline of the pattern. Use fabric scissors to cut along the waistline and bottom hemline. Unfold the tulle, and you should have a giant tulle donut!
Make as many tulle donuts (layers) as you want, and cut one extra with your pattern out of a lining material for the bottom. If you are going to hem your lining layer, I would cut it the same size as the tulle so it’s a little shorter on the bottom when hemmed. If you are going to use a serger to finish the edge (or if you bought a fabric that doesn’t need to be hemmed), start out by cutting it a little shorter to begin with. I think these skirts looks best when the lining is a little shorter than the tulle. Stack your layers together (with the lining as the bottom layer) and put a few pins near the waist to secure.
Step 5) To make your waistband, pin the elastic around your natural waist so that it feels snug but not too tight. Wiggle out of the elastic and sew it together at that point. Trim the ends to 1/2" long, fold the ends down, pin in place, and sew those down to flatten them.
Step 6) Use marking chalk to mark 4 equal sections on the waistline of your tulle circle. Do the same with the inside edge of your waistband. Use the marks to line up your waistband with your fabric and pin with 4 straight pins at each mark (you’ll pin the bottom inside edge of the waistband onto the top of the fabric layers.
Since your elastic waistline is probably smaller than your fabric opening (that’s measured to the widest part of your hips), you’ll notice that there is some gapping where the sections of tulle are longer than the elastic. In that case, just pin the middle of each gap to the middle of the elastic section so you now have 8 pins total holding your layers together.
Here’s what mine looked like with the skirt held up as it would be once completed.:
Step 7) To sew your layers together, turn your skirt inside out and sew a few stitches near where a pin is holding the layers together. While the needle is in the down position, pull your elastic towards you until the fabric gap straightens out and sew along the waistband with a 1/2" seam allowance on the fabric layers. Continue this process of pulling the elastic and the fabric straight and sewing until you get all the way around the waistband. Once you’re done sewing, that’s it. You can try on your new skirt!
Note to readers: I don’t have a sewing machine, so I hand sewed my skirt. It worked well, but make sure that you’re getting every layer when you’re making your stitches.
The End! Now you have a beautiful tulle skirt that you can be extra proud of because you made it by hand. 🙂
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