Tulle may have you thinking of girls’ tutus and princess dresses, but it’s coming back to the forefront of fashion in a big way lately. There are tons of ways you can start incorporating it into your everyday wardrobe, but the basic gathered skirt is one of the easiest – both to make and style. Throw it on over some shorts for a whimsical summer look or try it at the beach as a chic cover-up!
1. Determine Your Fabric Yardage
When it comes to a gathered skirt, you generally want to gather three times your desired measurement. So if your waist is 36″, three times that would be three yards.
That said, you can add or subtract fabric depending on how full you want your tulle skirt.
If your waist is less than 36″ and you get three yards anyway, you’ll simply have a fuller skirt! Similarly, if you have a larger waist, you’ll want to tack on some yardage – usually in half-yard increments. Personally, I have a 40″ waist and typically go with 3.5 yards for a gathered skirt.
Additionally, you can also add layers to your skirt!
If you’re looking for more of a tutu vibe, you don’t need to limit yourself to one layer of tulle or fabric. Adding more layers will bring more volume, but you may want to double your yardage unless your fabric is wide enough to accommodate the length of your skirt more than once. In fact, let’s talk skirt lengths!
2. Determine Your Skirt Length
There are tons of skirt length options, but how do you know how long to cut your fabric??
Well, luckily tulle doesn’t fray! So if that’s what you’re using for this project, you won’t need to add any hem allowance into your measurements. However, I would add 1/2″ seam allowance for sewing your waistband.
As you can see from the chart above, no matter which skirt length you choose, you’ll likely have some fabric leftover if you’re working with a typical 54″-60″ width fabric.
Because of this, you can choose to make multiple skirts (such as one maxi and one mini, or maybe two midi lengths), all out of the same yardage of fabric! Alternatively, you could opt for a mini length and cut up to three layers for more fullness.
3. Sew Your Skirt
Once you have all your math figured out, sewing the skirt is actually the easiest part!
- Simply sew up the short edges to create the center back seam. This can be done with a regular stitch, an overlock stitch, or a French seam to keep it clean.
- Cut your waistband elastic to 1″ less than your waist measurement.
- Sew up the short edges to create a center back seam on the waistband as well.
- Pin your tulle to the waistband at the center back and center front, as well as halfway between those two pins (representing the side seams). The raw edge of the tulle should be inside the waistband so it doesn’t show.
- Using a long straight stitch, sew the tulle to the waistband while lightly stretching the elastic.