Happy Valentine’s Day!
To celebrate this day of red and hearts, I sewed up a dramatic red tulle skirt as a part of the Shades of Me series, hosted by Celina and Hayley. Of course I had to be on the red day and after the compliments I received for the tulle skirt I made and wore at Alt (not to mention how much I loved the skirt myself), I knew a voluminous tulle skirt was what I should sew.
The idea to sew a tulle skirt came first followed quickly by ‘how do I do it?’ I had the basic shape down but needed guidance on getting it right so I reached out to my inspiration for some help. Danielle, my cousin’s wife, is a master with fabric. Someday, I will orchestrate it so I get to sit in a room with her and just watch her work. Her abilities astound me. I did a post on her a while back and while she isn’t actively creating for business, her work stands for itself.
The picture below is a lot more serious/seductress-looking than I intended. The wind was strong and my hair kept getting stuck in my mouth. And my neck was probably cold as it was a balmy 6 degrees with a steady frigid wind.
Sewing is not my strong suit although I am slowly gaining more and more confidence. I do a lot of worrying when I sew because I am certain I am doing something wrong. However, I will keep doing it because I love it. So, even if your skills are intermediate at best (more like the range between beginner to intermediate – “begindiate”), this skirt will be a breeze for you.
I sewed my skirt to sit at what I think it called my ‘natural waist’. I think I own one item (a pencil skirt) besides these two tulle skirts that sit at my natural waist. It’s just not how I wear my clothes. However, my vision for the skirt had it sitting higher, at the narrower part of my body, to give the outfit the shape I desired.
This is what the finished skirt looks like from above. Two ends overlap to cover the backside (notice the inner end is where the ribbon band begins), two snaps are used to hold the weighty skirt in place and the ribbon band includes one continuous piece and one piece attached on the left hip. I’m showing it now for reference on where everything goes.
There are two parts to this skirt: the under skirt and the outer skirt. The outer skirt is the tulle. The under skirt is basic cotton and serves to cover the hiney. :) For the gray tulle skirt I used about 20 yards of tulle. For this red skirt, I used around 40 yards. I left the gray tulle folded in half (the way it was folded and wound on the bolt in the store) and I unfolded the red tulle for length.
Start with the under skirt. Cut out a simple circle skirt. I accomplished this by folding over a length of cotton fabric and then folding it again, like the image below. Two things this skirt has to accomplish: fit around your waist and be long enough to cover your behind plus some for overlap. The length of it will depend on the width of your fabric. Try to get the wide stuff.
Hem the unfinished edges before moving on.
Begin to gather and pin the tulle to the under skirt around the small circle that will encase your waist. I pinned the tulle on the side with the turned in hems leaving the clean side to be on the inside of the skirt, though it really doesn’t matter. The more tucks and gathers you have, the more poufy the skirt. Less tucks and gathers, less poufy.
Sew the tulle to the under skirt. I sewed it about an inch from the edge of the under skirt. To make it easier for myself, I pinned and sewed the tulle in a couple of layers.
Once you have attached your desired amount of tulle, it’s time to add the ribbon. I used 3 inch wide satin but it’s totally up to you. First, turn in and sew the end of the ribbon to finish it off. Then, line the finished edge up to the end of skirt that will be tucked inside. For me, that edge was the right side if I’m holding the skirt in my hands. Continue to line it up and pin all the way around. I used the line of stitching to attach the tulle as my guide to line up the ribbon. Sew. The length of the ribbon is up to you.
Then, taking another length of ribbon, fold and sew one end to finish it off. Pin it to the skirt on your left hip/waist. Sew in place. To keep the skirt up (seriously), hand sew on two sets of snaps: one on the inner end (with its corresponding partner) and one on the outside end (with its corresponding partner).
And that’s it. Now the skirt should look like this.
To wear, wrap around the waist, securing it with the two snaps. Then adjust the ribbons to be straight and tie a nice bow.
With Danielle’s suggestion, I added a little extra to this red skirt. Because of its volume and to keep it from all just hanging there, I did a bit of sculpture work. If you look at the shot below, you will notice some tucks and gathers in the skirt. This was all done subjectively. Some tucking here, a gather there and I kept them in place with a couple of hand stitches. It’s not necessary but I really enjoyed sculpting it, despite not knowing what I was doing. :)
As I said, it was very cold day for modeling a tulle skirt. I can assure you 40 yards of tulle does right above nothing to provide protection from the elements. I tossed my coat out of frame and after a handful of shots, I would put it on just to give me a small bit of warmth. I ran back the running car often too. So cold.
You can check out the rest of the color series here. Lots of really cool, color-filled clothing. Thanks Celina and Hayley for including me. Now to find more places to wear this skirt. I’m thinking school drop off would be perfect. Haha!
I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and weekend. I’ll see you back here on Monday.