Let’s learn how to make an easy DIY Tulle Skirt!
How to Make a Tulle Skirt
This year, Halloween has stimulated my daughter’s interest in playing dress-up! She considers any and all pretty skirts to be princess skirts, so I thought that it would be fun to add some tulle skirts to her wardrobe. She hasn’t taken it off since I made it, and she even tried to wear it to picture day! The DIY Tulle Skirt is easy to adjust to suit your needs, making it ideal for dress-up, the holiday season, or everyday wear!
The pattern for this skirt will be created using a little bit of easy math. The construction of the Tulle Skirt does not involve any gathering and it is simple enough for the beginner sewist. Do not fear the tulle!
First, you will need to take the following measurements of the person that you are sewing for:
- Waist Measurement: Measure around the natural waist, usually about 1-2 inches above the belly button.
- Hip Measurement: measure around the widest part of the hips. Since we aren’t gathering the skirt and are using non-stretchy material, the opening needs to fit over the widest part of the bottom of the subject, which is usually the hips.
- Length Measurement: Measure from the natural waist (or where you want the waistband to sit) to where you want the skirt to hit. You can always trim if the skirt ends up a little long! I wanted an 18-inch skirt length, which will hit right around her ankle bone.
Collect Materials for the DIY Tulle Skirt:
- Tulle: Not all tulle is the same. There is some incredibly stiff and itchy stuff out there. Adding a liner layer helps if you happen to end up with the not-so-soft stuff. Look for 60” wide soft nylon tulle. If you are making this for an older child and need more length, they make a super wide 108” tulle, but it may be more difficult to find. I find that the most difficult part about sewing with tulle is cutting the tulle since it is a little shifty. Pattern weights, pins and a large open floor or cutting space with help. Basting multiple layers of tulle together before adding the waist band is also extremely helpful. for this skirt, you can add as many layers as you want. I used about 5-6 yards of the pink tulle to make 3 layers of pink underneath and 2 yards of the butterfly tulle for one top layer.
- Elastic: I used 1 ¾” waistband elastic. Depending on the size of the child and how many layers of tulle you are doing, you may want to do a slightly thicker or thinner elastic. You will need the waist measurement plus one inch.
- Lining fabric: I just used regular quilting cotton (or really any woven fabric will be fine), but it is easier if you have at least 60” wide fabric to make a larger skirt. Up to about 4T/5T, ankle-length skirt, 44-inch wide fabric will likely be fine!
Let’s Sew the Tulle Skirt!
Step 1 of the DIY Tulle Skirt: Calculate your measurements. Don’t worry about the theory behind it, just use this little guide and punch it into your calculator.
First, the waist radius:
Hip measurement divided by 6.28
Example: 19” / 6.28 = 3” (Round up to the nearest 1/4 inch)
For the length, take the length of skirt measurement and add it to the waist radius.
Example: 3”+ 18”=21”.
Step 2 of the DIY Tulle Skirt:
Cut your lining fabric first–it’s much less shifty than tulle! Fold the fabric from selvage to selvedge and then from bottom to top so there are two folded sides. Where the folded corners meet, measure the waist radius from the center point along each folded side. As you can see, I tape the measure at the corner and then maneuver it as needed.
Using a disappearing pen, mark dots from one folded side to the other at 3”. This will create the waist curve. From the center point, measure the skirt length (Example: 21”) along the two folded sides. Using the same method, connect, move your ruler or measuring device and draw dots to make the curve. Draw the curve to connect the dots. Keeping the fabric folded, cut the two curves. You should end up with a donut shape! I then use this as a template to cut the tulle after hemming.
Step 3 of the DIY Tulle Skirt:
Hem your lining. I just used my serger to do a rolled hem, which is my favorite way to hem a circle skirt. You could also serge the raw edge, fold it over a ¼ inch using the serged edge as a guide, and then straight stitch on the sewing machine, or just fold the raw edge over twice and top stitch.
Step 4 of the DIY Tulle Skirt:
Stack the layers of tulle. Place the lining fabric donut on top. Use a few pins to keep the layers from shifting (or heavy pattern weights would be great here). (If using an embellished layer, cut that one separately since it will be your top layer. Sometimes the sequins or embroidery can be tough to cut through or around). Cut the tulle. I usually cut it about 2 inches wider than the lining so the tulle will hang a smidge longer while wearing.
Step 5 of the DIY Tulle Skirt:
Clip or pin the layers of fabric together: Lining (wrong side down), then the tulle on top, and the embellished tulle on the very top (wrong side down). Baste the layers together using a serger or sewing machine. DON’T SKIP THIS STEP!
Step 6 of the DIY Tulle Skirt:
Place the short sides of the waistband elastic right sides together. Sew using a ½ inch seam allowance and a zigzag stitch. Stitch down the edges if desired.
Step 7 of the DIY Tulle Skirt:
Using a disappearing marker or clips, mark 4 equal sections of your tulle skirt and your waistband. The skirt opening will be wider than the elastic. Match these quarter points and pin. The wrong side of the elastic will be touching the right side of the skirt.
Step 7 of the DIY Tulle Skirt:
Stretching the elastic between the quarter points as your sew, attach the waistband to the skirt using a stretch stitch. I used a zig-zag stitch on this one. Try to use coordinating thread with your waistband since it will be visible when wearing.
And you’re finished!