Adding tulle to ANY pattern can really make it special! Plus, what little girl doesn’t LOVE a puffy tulle skirt??? Best off, it’s simple and tulle is very affordable, yay! It can be a LITTLE tricky to work with, but like anything, practice, and a lot of patience in this case, is all it takes. Here I used this method to add tulle to my Lily pattern, does that not the best little flower girl dress???
So first, when you buy your tulle don’t roll it up, toss it in the bag, and leave scrunched in your car or closet….tulle gets wrinkled easy and fast. You want it to be as flat as possible. So fold it up, sit it in the front seat with you and mostly put it out of little hands when you get home! If it gets wrinkled spray with a little water and lay it flat or hang it on a hanger for a few days to straighten out. Don’t try to iron the tulle, it will just melt! See pile of tulle below….my kids were try to use it as a fort, awesome 😉
Your tulle should be folded selvage to selvage when you bought it, AWESOME leave it like this! I always use the entire WOF, width of fabric, selvage to sevlage for my skirts so this is exactly what you want. One step done for you. Since you are using the full WOF, we just need to cut the length. Look at your pattern and get the length measurment. If you are using my free Cinderella pattern, here, your skirt is 30″ long. So take one end and measure 30″. Now I ALWAYS give myself a few inches to work with when cutting so measure a little longer at 32″. Don’t cut yet.
Ok so that is 1 piece we measured….but we have what 8, 10 yards of tulle! Take the end of the piece you measured, at 32″ pinch in one hand with your pointer and thumb and 0″ in the other hand, again pinching with your pointer and thumb. So you’ll be holding the 32″ length in your hands. Accordion fold your tulle, pinching the pieces with your hands, going slow and keeping the tulle tight in your hands. Grabbing and adding the skirt lengths. This might take you a few minutes. But if your tulle is nice and flat, it goes really fast!! You can see below, how it will look while adding layers. If your only adding a few layers, under 4, this is easy. It gets more difficult the more layers your adding, say 7, 8, it gets more difficult to hold in your hands, so I like to split it in half.
Now once you have all the lengths measured and folded, we need to cut. You want a really sharp rotary blade for this! First go through the layers and make sure they are all as flat as possible! Just use your hand to smooth them out. Now we are going to fold ONE more time, in half width wise, your selvage ends to the fold, hot dog style.
Now smooth our again and use your ruler and rotary cutter to cut your skirt length.
Now carefully unfold all those pretty layers. You will construct your skirt per instructions, stitching the sides seams and gathering the top edge. If I am doing a lot of layers I will sometimes stitch my tulle together at the side seams all together to save time. It takes a few minutes to pin the edges in place but I think it is faster. I will just trim the seam allowance with pinking shears.
I also usually gather my tulle all at once. It’s so thin, I have never had a thread break even when doing 6 layers of tulle at once. I straighten the tulle out and count the layers, making sure I have them all and pin along the top before running the gathering stitches.
That’s it!! It’s that easy! You can go add tulle layers to every patterns now 😉 then show me in my facebook group!!
Thanks for the great tutorial. I want to do this for a 3 year old’s flower girl dress and would really appreciate your thoughts.
How many layers would you recommend I plan for? I want it to be evening couture
The bride prefers to have the toule hemmed and I do have a nice serger. Do you think I should edge finish the toule before I gather and sew it? I was wondering how I would otherwise do the side seams. Should the final length of the netting be shorter or longer to the dress?
Do you think an invisible zipper can handle all those layers or is a regular zipper a better option?
Do you think I would be asking for a lot of trouble if I added netting and a lining underneath?
thank you sooooo verrrry much!