Tulle Skirt Tutorial

Tulle skirts like this one from Anthropologie and this one from Shabby Apple are everywhere right now.
I love that frilly, femine skirts like this are in style – they can be both fun and elegant at once, and can make us feel like little girls again. I never thought I could love a skirt as much as a maxi skirt, but I may be mistaken…
I set out to make a tulle skirt that was easy to make, with an elastic waistband. The trouble is that if you simply stretch the waistband elastic to fit the tulle and lining layers, as with a basic elastic waistband skirt, you’ll end up with a huge poofy skirt, more dress-up-ish than elegant. Pleating the tulle rather than gathering will help the tulle to lie nicer, but then you have to deal with a closure and opening of some sort on the back of the skirt in order to get it on and off.
With this tutorial, I’ll teach you how to combine both methods to get the perfect tulle skirt – it’s easy to make and looks beautiful. The best of both worlds!
Ready to get moving?

*I’ll give the exact tulle measurements that I used for my skirt, but since we’ll be making lots of pleats and gathers, the measurements will probably work for most sizes from small to large. You can of course adjust for a smaller or larger size by adding more or less width of tulle. For the lining and elastic, you’ll want to measure yourself and cut as described below.

Materials:
Tulle – 3.5-4 yards of 108″ wide tulle
Satin for lining – 2 yards (45″ wide)
3″ wide elastic – enough to comfortably fit around your waist plus seam allowance
*Seam allowances are 1/2″.
Directions:
1. We’ll be using the full 108″ of tulle width for the circumference of the skirt. You’ll just need to cut 4 pieces 108″ by the length you’d like. I cut 4 27″x108″ pieces. I’m 5’6″ and this was a perfect below-knee length for me.
2. For the lining, you can cut it the same length as the tulle (I originally cut mine a couple inches longer to be on the safe side), and as wide as your hips plus about 10″.
3. Sew the short sides together of each tulle layer and the lining as well. A serger works great, and if you don’t have a serger, you may want to use a french seam to keep the edges looking nice.
4. Matching up all of the seams and top edges, baste all 4 layers of tulle together. The most taxing part of this tutorial is matching up so much tulle – it’s hard to see when it’s all layered on top of eachother, but be patient and the rest will be a breeze!
5. Now that the tulle is basted into one piece, pleat and pin the top edge until it’s the same width as the lining. I like to continually pin on opposite sides to keep my pleats even. It’ll take some adjusting as you go to get the pleats right, and if they’re not perfect it’s not a huge deal :).
6. Matching top edges (with lining inside of tulle and both right side out), pin and baste the tulle and lining to eachother.
7. Stretch your elastic around your waist and cut a comfortable but snug length (plus 1/2″ for seam allowance). Tulle skirts are usually worn fairly high on the waist so keep that in mind as you measure. Sew the short ends together.
8. Open seam allowance and stitch each side down, 1/4″ from the seam.
9. Use pins to mark half, quarter and eighth marks around top of skirt and around elastic. Making sure elastic waistband seam is in middle back of skirt (you can choose whether to place skirt seams on center back or on one side), pin waistband to skirt, right sides together, at marks. The skirt will of course be larger at this point than the elastic.
10. Stretching the elastic as you go, use a zig zag stitch to join the elastic to the skirt.
11. Remove any basting/pleating stitches that may be visible from the right side.
12. Trim lining hem to same length as tulle or about an inch shorter if needed (it will then be 1-2″ shorter than toole when hemmed). Press bottom raw edge of lining 1/2″ toward wrong side, and 1/2″ toward wrong side again. Stitch in place.
Great job!
Grab your favorite flats and some pretty jewelry…
And enjoy your new skirt!

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I just came across this blog. You are very talented (and beautiful.) Thank you for this tutorial. I hope to make one!

  2. Beautiful skirt Abby. And the photo shoot is fab. Great job friend!

  3. It’s so cute Abby! and yes, I love the photo shoot as well.

  4. I just discover your blog and I love it. Now to make a pretty skirt. Thank you for the great tutorials.

  5. Cute skirt! And I love that you managed to make it less poufy. =)

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Beautiful, and my 15 yo would love something like this. I have a question though-is this at all washable?

  8. Lovely and beautiful!! And that backdrop is gorgeous. I need a skirt like that asap.

  9. Seriously so gorgeous, I still don’t think I can pull it off but I think I may have to make one for my five year old. So dreamy!

  10. Gale – I personally would hand wash the skirt to be safe, but I know a lot of others who machine wash their tulle on delicate with cold water and hang to dry without any troubles :).

  11. Gorgious skirt! Stopping by from the C.R.A.F.T. linky, I love finding new sewing blogs!
    Freya May
    thedressmakingdiaries.blogspot.com

  12. I can see why you moved states- that is a gorgeous backdrop!

    I love this skirt on you- it is absolutely stunning! Awesome job, thanks for the tutorial.

  13. I’m pinning this to make for my daughter. Thanks!

  14. You live in such a beautiful, magical place! And how I love this skirt.I am so making one in gray! Oh and you’re gorgeous!

  15. This is so beautiful! It came out really well and the tutorial is great.

  16. Beautiful skirt Abby. Great photos! Lynaea @ EverydayBloom.com

  17. Lovely and feminine! Thank you for sharing.

  18. My friend and I just saw that Anthro skirt and I about died of the price knowing I could make that for cheaper! Thanks for this beautiful tutorial!

  19. LOVE the skirt! You are just too cute! Thanks for the tutorial! xo Lacey

  20. Beautiful skirt – great tutorial and lovely photos!! :)

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

  21. That is a beautiful skirt! And great idea with the pleats!

  22. so so so pretty! i just pinned it :)

  23. Wow lovely make! Great photos too, well done!

  24. I LOVE this! I love that pretty feminine stuff is in style right now, too! I’m tieing lace into pieces for myself right now and I love it! :)

  25. So cute Abby! I love it. I can’t imagine ever wearing it but I’d want to =)

  26. It’s a new Linky Party to create more buzz for your blog and connect with others! If you haven’t joined Creative Crafts Thursday yet, please share your projects at http://www.creativecraftsthursday.blogspot.com each and every week and check out what other creative divas are up to.

  27. Love the post and am trying to follow it but having a hard time. Any way you could explain step 4 a little more in detail? Thanks.

  28. Anon – The purpose of step 4 is to join all four layers together so that they can be treated like one layer for the rest of the tutorial. If you match the top of each layer and all the side seams, you can baste the four layers together along the top edge :).

  29. So basically you have “one” piece thar is 108″x 27. You want all seams on the same side?

  30. Unknown – Yes, exactly. I like to have all the seams in one spot, but if you’d prefer to do two on each side, you could! It won’t affect the finished skirt :).

  31. Fazela Vohra says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. I couldnt find 108 inch tulle in color, so got 54 inch tulle, twice the yardage and had a fun time aligning everything :)
    I am halfway through with getting all the layers in. Super excited to wear this skirt.

    Thanks again!!
    -FV

  32. Oh my goodness, I adore this on you! I wonder if I could pull it off… I think I’ll try! Thanks so much for the fabulous tutorial!

  33. Anonymous says:

    I still have some questions on the constructino for this lovely project. When you say seam together the short sides of the 4 pieces of tulle, do you mean each of the four pieces to itself? If so, then when you baste them all together do you put one inside the other so that you have a 108″ circle (minus 1″ for the SA) of tulle — one layer inside the next?

  34. Anon – you are exactly right!

  35. Your tutorial gave me inspiration to make my own. I didn’t do it exactly like yours, but I did use an elastic waist band. Here’s a link to mine: http://liz-makes.blogspot.com/2013/04/liz-makes-tulle-skirt.html
    Check it out if you want to.
    Liz

  36. I’m adapting this skirt for a 6 and 4 year old’s flower girl skirts… I didn’t want the poofy ‘tutu’ look, and I loved the sleek and flowy look of yours. My question is, do you think I just cut the 108 inches of tulle down on the width, add to not make it doubly at full as yours? Their waist measurements are only about 20 inches :)

  37. Crystal – I think that would work great to use half of the 108″ width for each skirt. Just purchase 4x the length of the longest skirt :).

  38. Abby,
    I have been all over the web looking for a tulle skirt. I have read and watched more patterns than I can count. I am using yours. I got the fabric today and have everything cut out and serged. I will be pleating and pinning tonight. I did watch a girl who pleats every layer separately. Any thoughts??
    So excited!!
    Susan

  39. Anonymous says:

    I love the look of your skirt, but I’m having a bit of trouble with the steps. It looks as though the lining of the skirt ends up being a simple tube, and doesn’t allow for any room in the hips. This is troublesome for a curvy girl like me. I plan to dance in this skirt, so I ended up making a triangular panel to add to the lining in hopes that it will make it into an a-line sort of shape. Did you find that you had sufficient room to move in your design?

  40. Anon – you’re right, the lining is a tube. I personally won’t likely be dancing in my skirt (if only I had a need for that!), so the 10 or so extra inches of room in the hips is more than enough for me, but you could always add a panel like you mentioned, or even better, make the lining a circle skirt – then you’d have plenty of room!

  41. Anonymous says:

    this is so beautiful! thanks so much for taking time to share this !!

  42. I have been on the search for a good tutorial for a tulle skirt for a long time. I finally found yours and this one actually seems doable. Thank you for the easy instructions with pictures too, sometimes that is harder to find than it seems! :)

  43. That is one lovely tulle! Tulles are not only for the kids, it looks great on matured women too! Thanks for sharing how to make one! I am thinking of having this for my bridesmaids dresses. :) http://www.usadanceshoes.com/

  44. Wow this is fantastic! Thank you for posting this! However, I’m new to sewing…. and I am trying to make a mini skirt out of tulle (almost like a tutu) so what measurements of tulle would I need to get for that??

    My hips measure 33″ at the widest point. I am 5’3″ (If any of that information helps)

    Please let me know! I would really appreciate it!!! My email is listed.

    • sewmuchado says:

      Emily – I would just use the same measurements, but shorten the length of your skirt to as long as you’d like to make it a mini. Since you’re pretty tiny around, it’ll be an extra full skirt, but if you want it more tutu style, it will probably work out perfectly that way! Good luck!

  45. Hi,
    Would this work as a maxi/floor length skirt? What changes would you make to make it work? :)
    Thanks, it’s gorgeous!

  46. You look like a graceful woodland fairy! I have to make a bunch of those in all kinds of colors and lengths. Thanks for the inspiration!

  47. Thank you for your blog post! I was able to make mine, the tulle cutting drove me nuts so I only sewed three onto my skirt. WHew. Happy with the results, and the elastic waistband was a cinch! Appreciate the post so much.

  48. Can you use 54″ tulle as well??

  49. Best tutorial I found! I had so much fun making this. Thanks so much for posting!

  50. Fantastic! Thank you so much for the thorough yet simple explanations. This would be a perfect project for matching outfits, like for a wedding or a family photo. Tulle skirts used to be so popular 50+ years ago, I’m so glad to see the style returning!

  51. I love it. Can you suggest an online store that has all the materials?

Trackbacks

  1. […] Make yourself an easy holiday skirt with Sew Much Ado. […]

  2. sewing machine manual

    Tulle Skirt Tutorial

Leave a Comment

*