This is probably the coolest thing I've ever made and I've made a whole lot of stuff. I'm so excited to share it with you! It's a tulle skirt. Or a tutu skirt, whichever you prefer. I've been seeing them all over the interweb: Shabby Apple, Anthropologie and Alexander Grecco. It was relatively inexpensive, I didn't need to buy many things, and it took about an hour to make. Let me just say that you probably need to know a few things about sewing before attempting this project, because I got a little frustrated at times (tulle doesn't like to stay where it's supposed to). For more pictures, visit my blog, Liz Makes. Alright here we go!
As you can see, I drew what I wanted it to look like before I started making it. Originally I was going to have a black waistband but opted for the white instead. I think it looks better that way.
Step 1: What You'll Need
You'll need approximately:
Four yards of 180" wide tulle
Two yards lining fabric (I used white satin)
Enough of 3" wide elastic to go around your waist + 1".
Also, you'll need:
A sewing machine
Pins (lots and lots of pins...)
This is not something that can (easily) be sewn by hand. I wouldn't attempt it in a thousand years.
Step 2: Make a Lining
Alright, so you'll need to make the skirt lining. I got lucky and used the bottom of the lining of my sister's old wedding dress. I've been using that dress for so many things, so I'm really glad I have it. You can see where I made other things with her wedding dress here.) I cut the skirt off from the top of the dress, then cut to where I got the length I wanted.
I'm sorry I don't have instructions to make a lining, but here is a Youtube video to do exactly that:
DIY Skirt with Elastic Waistband
Make sure, if you follow the directions to the Youtube video, that you make your skirt WAY too big for you and you don't attach the elastic (just yet). Mine was probably the size of my waist plus 12" or so. You could also use a simple skirt pattern.
Step 3: Cut the Tulle
Now you'll need to lay your tulle out. Mine was folded in half width-ways, so on the floor, it looked like it was 54" x 4 yards, but it's actually 108" x 4 yards. I chopped off 10" of the length, so it was now 54" x 4 yards minus 10" (134") and still folded in half.
Now you'll fold all of the tulle in fourths and cut it so there are four identical pieces of 108" x 33.5". Lie them on top of each other, making sure to match the ends as well as you can. Pin one side (one of the 108" sides) all the way down and then bring it to your sewing machine.
Step 4: Attach Tulle to Lining
Using a long stitch, baste your tulle pieces together. Now grab opposite ends of the skirt (the 33.5" sides) and sew them right sides together. You should now have a bit long tube of tulle. Now it's time to pleat the tulle while pinning it to the lining skirt. It will take awhile, because you don't exactly know how much you can do evenly around the whole skirt. Just start pinning and then fix what doesn't look even. My pleats were about 1/2 wide and a couple of inches apart. When you're done with that, sew all the way around, making to catch everything.
Step 5: Cut and Sew Elastic
Now grab your elastic. Pull it around your waist, stretching it comfortably. Cut enough for a seam allowance (about 1"). Place one 1/2 inch above another 1/2 inch and sew a square around it, using a zig-zag stitch.
Step 6: Sew Elastic to Skirt
Now's the fun part! Pin the elastic to the skirt right sides together. First pin the back to the back of the skirt, then the front to the front of the skirt. Then, the sides to the sides of the skirt. Now pin the fourths of the dress to the fourths of the elastic. And now the eighths. Sew the elastic to the dress using a zig-zag stitch. Make sure to stretch as far as you can stretch while sewing. You'll need one hand in the back and one in the front, pulling both ways. After you're done sewing, flip the elastic band up. (If you have a serger, you can serge the raw edges of the skirt now. It's not really that important.. If I were to wear this skirt often, I would probably care more.)
Step 7: Trim and You're Done
Now all you have left to do is trim the tulle as short as you'd like. I trimmed mine just below the lining. Doesn't it look fantastic?! You're done!