Adventures in Dressmaking: Simple tulle party skirt in shimmery copper

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Simple tulle party skirt in shimmery copper

Pretty, shimmery fabric and a classic full-skirt tutu shape!

I love the tulle skirt look, but it's never seemed super practical and I know from making my wedding dress skirt that sewing layers and layers of tulle is no picnic.

Just a few recent full puffy and/or sparkly skirt inspirations...
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So fun! I love that the longer length, easier to wear, is still cute, and of course the festive fabrics. Cheerful!
So here's my version, and a few instructions.

You will need:


  • At least 4 yards tulle. I used the shimmery stuff--it's extremely cheap, like $0.99/yard or something, so you can buy even more and add more layers. I did two layers of two-paneled skirt on mine (4 panels total, about 36" long each).
  • 1 yard or so lining fabric. I used silk dupioni, but it was a little too stiff, so I recommend something a little lighter weight. But the silk is very nice next to my legs!
  • 1 1/2"-2" wide elastic for the waistband (I hid mine in a casing waistband)
1. Cut all the tulle panels the same length--for me, that was about 36" long each, so I opened the fabric and folded it back on itself so it was 2 yards; then folded and cut again so I had four 1-yard pieces all the same size and stacked on each other.

2. Sew the side seams of each set of panels together. I didn't press my seams open--fabric's too fragile for much but a very low iron, and it's so bouncy anyway, it hardly matters.


3. I gave the lining a proper hem (see below), but of course the tulle needs no hemming. It's nice that way.

4. Stack the tulle panels one inside the other. Since they are identical in size, it should be relatively easy to treat them as one skirt and gather the top edge.

5. Gather the top edge of the lining.

6. Match center front, side seams, and center back and pin tulle layer and lining layer together.

7. Attach the waistband (elastic, self-fabric lining fabric (cut one strip about 2" larger than your hip measurement so you know it will go over your hips!). I did this by sewing my waistband fabric right sides together with the gathered skirt, then pressing and turning it back on itself and topstitching it from the underside. I left a couple inches open at the back, fed the elastic through the casing, and sewed it up.

I thought about giving mine an elastic waistband, since an elastic waist gathered skirt is pretty much the easiest, fastest skirt project there is... but I've never seen an elastic that's exactly the right color, and having the self-fabric makes it a little dressier.

It goes together pretty quickly, aside from stacking all the layers!

Note: I had an issue with the lining fullness and had to cut it apart when it was done and re-do the gathering... so in the end, I took some length off the lining fabric and now it's much shorter than the tulle. There are two solutions to this: 1) cut the tulle shorter (sketch!! It was hard to cut straight) and 2) let the lining hem out and give it a much shorter (1/2" turned under twice) hem. I think I'll do #2 next time I have some extra time on my hands. ;)

So fun!!! Good luck sewing with tulle!!

4 comments :

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  1. I love this! I may be trying this out with my new sewing machine. If not for me, then for my daughter.



    xo, Tracy

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  2. I don't love this. I usually love your sewn garments, but this looks home sewn and not flattering. I really have been dying to make a tulle skirt for a while now, but now, not so much. One tip- maybe doing a circle skirt with 4 layers of tulle. It's just jutting out from your body and not creating a flattering silhouette, like Delmy's.

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  3. Maybe it was the stiff tulle. It's not bad, now that I look at it again.

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  4. Would have been better without the elastic. Perhaps an exposed zipper at the back with a fitted waist. But love the colour, certainly suits you..

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