#sewfestive3 week1 : Tulle Skirt

how to sew a tulle skirt

Welcome to my DIY festive sewing challenge.  As the festive season approaches, it’s time to sew up, dress up and have some fun.  Who doesn’t like a good excuse to frock up? And, there’s no better reason than when celebrating with friends and family in the lead-up to Christmas.

#sewfestive3 is a challenge I’ve created for the month of December to sew up 1, 2 or all 3 of the DIY festive outfits from the projects I’ve chosen and simply wear them (to a festive event) and share them. Wear them to a Christmas party, drinks with your girlfriends, work party, Christmas lunch or New Years Eve! The DIY projects are simple, are quick and easy to sew up and the results look fabulous!

All you have to do is sew it, wear it and share it. Tag it #sewfestive3 and @sewthispattern so I can see your fabulous creations.

“When you get the opportunity to dress up, take it”!

To give you and idea on whats coming up, the 3 projects I have chosen are  a Tulle Skirt, a Chiffon/Lace Wrap and a Sequinned pull on pencil skirt. I will give you instructions for each one over the next 3 weeks.

For the first week I have chosen the Tulle Skirt. Think Fashionista Carrie Bradshaw. If you need some inspiration there is plenty on Pinterest. Absolutely perfect festive skirt and a great time of the year to pull this one out.

You will need:

  • Tulle, 150cm wide:  Approx 1.5 mtrs for each layer.
  • Lining, 150cm wide 1.5mtrs
  • Wide waistband elastic to match skirt. (Your waist measurement plus 2.5cm.)
  • Thread to match
  • 2m of paper to make pattern and your essentials, measuring tape, ruler, scissors and pencil.

Most tulle only comes in 150cm wide so the longest you can make this skirt this method is approx 60cm depending on your hip radius.

If you would like to make a maxi you will need to try and  source wider tulle which is available at some stores like Joanns in the USA. Unfortunately I live in Australia and they don’t ship here. I have found some wider tulles online here but the colour choice is restricted.

Lets get started.

Hip Radius: Measure your hips at the fullest part of your hips. Then work out your hip radius. The formula is your hip measurement divided by pi (3.14) divided by 2. This will ensure the circle cut out will fit over your hips. For example 92cm/3.14 (29.29)  /2 = 14.6cm radius.

Length: Now work out what length you would like your skirt. For a Mini approx 50cm, for a Midi approx 60cm.

I would go longer rather than shorter to start with as you can always trim off more if you think it’s too long.

The Pattern: 

Grab your paper, I’m just using brown paper as that’s all I have at the moment. You can also use a heavy interfacing which will store forever or just butchers paper. Fold your paper in half making sure the edges are lined up nice and even.

With the fold on you left hand side, hold the measuring tape or ruler at the top left corner, start marking your hip radius all the way around from the edges to the folded paper edge. Join your markings to make a semi circle. This is your waist seam.

make tulle skirt

make tulle skirt

Now mark your length in the same way.  Add the skirt length you want plus hip radius together to get your total length measurement. For example 60cm length + 14.60 hip radius = 74.6cm total length measurement for the pattern. Starting at the top left hand corner mark your total length all the way around to the folded paper. Join your markings and this will be your hem line.

make tulle skirt

Cut the pattern out along your waist line and hem line.

Unfold the paper and you have your tulle skirt half circle pattern. You might want to write on your pattern the measurements so that when you make another one you know what size it is.

Cutting your fabric:

Lay your pattern out with the side seams or your pattern lined up on the fold of the fabric. Cut one layer out at a time. Cut as many layers as you would like. The more layers, the puffier your skirt will be.

Cut out your lining in the same way.

make tulle skirt

Sewing time:

Stay stitch the lining waist to prevent stretching as it is cut on the bias. Stay stitch means stitching a regular length stitch about 1.25cm from the cut edge. Just inside the seam allowance. Unlike basting, these stitches won’t be removed.

Hem the lining: Stitch 1cm from lower edge of skirt lining, using long machine stitches. Press up along stitching line making a narrow hem, pulling threads to ease fullness. Press over again and pin in place. Stitch close the the folded edge.

This will require a lot of patience as the circumference of the circle skirt is long, so hemming will take a while. Put on some good festive tunes! Give the hem and skirt a good press.

make tulle skirt

With right sides up , pin tulle skirt sections together having raw edges of waist even. Baste in place.

make tulle skirt

With right sides up , pin the lining to the inside of the tulle skirt section at waist. Stitch in place.

make tulle skirt

Measure your elastic waist band by putting it around your waist. Make sure it feels comfy and add an extra 2..5cm. Sew the ends of the elastic band together with a 1.25cm seam and then fold those down and stitch in place.

make tulle skirt

Divide your skirt and waistband into 4 equal sections with pins and line up your waistband with your fabric. Pin in place.

make tulle skirt

make tulle skirt

From the inside of your skirt start stitching, do a few back stitches and keep your needle down. Pull from the back and front and stretch as you sew to the next pin. Make sue you keep your needle down whenever you stop to stretch.

make tulle skirt

First diy festive fashion piece done. Time to find a party and a glass of champagne. Make sure you hashtag it #sewfestive3 @sewthispattern so I can see it!

Whats up next?

2nd Project: Bolero/Wrap. Add a bit of glamour to your frocks with a glitzy Wrap. Perfect to cover up those shoulders over the top of a bustier or shoestring strap dress. You can choose chiffon or lace just make sure it’s lightweight. You will need about 50cm and thread to match.

3rd Project: Sequinned pencil skirt. This skirt just screams “festive”. Just dazzling! So easy to dress up with a plain cami. If you can find stretch sequin fabric you will need to buy the length you want the skirt to be. If you can’t find stretch then you will need a bit more as the skirt will need to be cut on the bias. I’m guessing about 2mtrs depending on the length required.

tulle skirt

tulle skirt


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