Wow, that was a long and unplanned break between posts – life (and a long lasting cold) came in between. But we’re back. : ) We took these pictures in a forest in The Netherlands a few weeks ago. The aim was not only to run around like a fairy in high heels in the woods (although that was fun too), but actually to give you a tutorial for the tulle skirt I’m wearing. ; ) I love how you can make a tulle skirt look fancy or quite casual depending on what you combine it with, and you don’t actually have to spend that much money on it either if you make one yourself. This is a full circle skirt with four layers of tulle and one layer of lining fabric. I didn’t take any pictures of the process, since you know, it’s hard to make a stack of fabric and a sewing machine look very photogenic. But I’ll explain it to you further down, hope you can follow!
Materials you need:
- Enough tulle to cut out four circles (I’ll explain how below). Choose as soft a tulle as you can find.
- Enough lining fabric to cut out one circle plus a waistband. The lining fabric should match the colour of the tulle.
- Elastic for the waist, 2 cm wide.
To make a circle skirt you need to first do some counting. Decide how long you want your skirt to be (mine is just under 60 cm). Then measure the widest part of your hips (not your waist) and divide this number by 3,14. Then divide the resulting number by 2. For example: Your hips measure 90 cm. Divide this number by 3,14 = 28,6 cm, and then by 2 (28,6/2) = 14,3 cm. This is your hip measurement.
To make things easier, cut out a pattern in craft paper or similar first so you don’t have to do all the measuring over and over again when you cut the fabric. You will only cut out 1/4 of a circle for the pattern (see picture below). To find the dimensions of your pattern, add your hip measurement (in this case rounding it to 14,5 cm) to the desired lenght of the skirt (60 cm) = 74,5 cm in this case. The paper you cut out the pattern in should thus needs to be a square of at least 74,5 cm on both sides. Start measuring your hip measurement out from one corner using a long ruler to make marks along the way and combining these marks to make a rounded edge. So I would mark out 14,5 cm from the corner. Do the same for the bottom of the skirt line – remember to add the hip measurement. If you want a skirt that’s 60 long as in this case, you would mark out 74,5 cm from the corner in the same way as the waist line to get the rounded edge. Cut out the pattern and use it for cutting out all the circles in fabric.
To cut out a circle in fabric you need to fold the fabric two times in half – make sure that it’s big enough to fit your pattern (in this case, for one circle I would need a square that was about 150 cm wide and 150 cm long (two times 74,5 cm, which is your hip measurement + lenght of skirt). Place your pattern on top of the folded fabric, the waist line towards the corner with the middle of the square. Pin the pattern in place and cut out. When you open the fabric, your should have a big circle, or donut, if you wish. Cut out four circles of tulle and one circle of lining fabric.
Assemble all the circles on top of each other, the lining as bottom layer, pin and sew them together along the waist. Make sure you get all the layers to avoid gaps.
Now I know there are several ways to sew the waist and my way is maybe not the easiest to explain in words, but I’ll do my best. ; ) For the waistband you will need to cut out a rectangular piece of your lining fabric that is about 8,5 cm wide and the same lenght as your hips (in this case: 90 cm), and add 2 cm for the sewing allowances to the lenght (W: 8,5 cm x L: 92 cm). Sew this waistband into a circle, pin the circle to the waist of the skirt, right side to right side, and sew along the edge.
Now measure the elastic. Pull it around your natural waist and stretch it as tight as you want your waistband to feel – not too tight of course but so you feel comfortable wearing it. Sew it together to a circle.
Take the elastic, place it around the waistband that you just sew to the skirt, and fold the waistband towards the inside of the skirt so it covers the elastic. Now fold the edge of the waistband again so that the cut edge is on the inside (you thus have three “layers” of the lining fabric to sew together and the elastic in between). Pin in place and sew as close to the previous seam as possible (I sewed from the right side of the skirt so that it was easy to see the previous seam, and kept checking that I got all layers on the wrong side as well). Make sure you don’t sew the elastic, and keep checking that you don’t get any tulle in your seam.
Lastly, hem the lining. This way the bottom layer will be a bit shorter than the tulle layers.
And that was the last step! It took a while to write these instructions so I really hope they can help someone, haha. ; ) Would love to see if you make one/have made one yourself!
– Sandra and Ruben –