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Sewing Tulle…

…Or How Everything Can Go Wrong On a Simple Project

Going completely against my last post of only sewing things that I’d wear regularly I made a tulle skirt. It was in preparation for my holiday in north Africa where  I needed a slightly more conservative wardrobe than what I’m used to in such heat. Enter the tulle skirt. I’ve wanted a tulle skirt since I began sewing but I’ve put off doing it because where on earth would I wear a tulle skirt and not feel completely insane? The answer? Where I know nobody.

I’ve delayed making this skirt also because I didn’t want to pay €4 or €5 a meter, when I wanted quite a full skirt, so I waited until I took a trip to the Utrecht fabric market where I found tulle for €1.50 so, logically I bought ten metres.

I’m just going to briefly talk about the Utrecht fabric market, because I don’t think it’s as well known as the shopping district in Paris and it should be, perhaps not for luxury fabrics but certainly otherwise (Also, the weather wasn’t great so I didn’t get enough nice photos to justify a full post!).

It’s this market that runs every Saturday morning from 8-13. The market in called Lapjesmarkt and its on Breedstraat (it takes up the entire street) about a 20 minute walk from the Utrecht Central. A word to the wise, know where you’re going, I asked a man in the train station for “Lapjesmarkt” and he laughed at me saying “I’m a man, I don’t know these things. Ask her, she might know”. Using a friend to translate I learned it means ‘patchmarket’ so I guess that gave away what I wanted! Otherwise, everyone one was lovely and helpful, and of course, being Dutch spoke perfect english. I really recommend this market if you’re in the area, or even within driving distance as I was.

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The only decent photo I could get. It’s one of the stalls at the Lapjesmarkt in Utrecht.

 

Back to the skirt. I used A Beautiful Mess’s tutorial on making  a circle skirt, where you essentially cut the tulle in a circle so there are no side seams, by drafting a pattern from your measurements and cutting on a double fold.

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Here I have my pattern taken from my measurements pinned to my lining piece. This way I only have pattern piece and minimal stitching.

Cutting out the tulle took forever, if I was smart I could have done it all at once, but alas. Once I got the hang of it, it was fine and I cut six layers. I cut out the lining in a light cotton, and hung it overnight because it was bias cut. I was worried that the lining would be to thin and very revealing and it just about was, so I cut another lining.

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You can see how the two layres are not equal. To fix this I trimmed the longer pieces, then again and again until I eventually gave up.

I clearly need to work on my pattern drafting skills as the lining skirt was not a perfect circle! To fix this I trimmed by hand to even it up, I did nothing to the tulle as due to all the layres the mistake wasn’t as clear. The lining was getting shorter and shorter and no more even so I then tried to hem it. Another mistake. I left the lining reasonable even and zig-zaged the raw edges. I’m horrified writing that but I was under time pressure, a lack of patience and I reasoned that you wouldn’t be able to see it anyway.

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The tulle pinned the wrong way to the waistband and lining.

Looking at the photo above you can see where I’m about to make my next mistake, I sewed the tulle to the inside of the skirt. I then had to spend 30 minutes unpicking then what felt like forever sewing it again. It still wasn’t perfect as not all of the tulle had been caught. Dear reader I’d no patience at this point so I simply hacked at the outside layer reasoning that with all the layers you wouldn’t be able to see it. For once I made the right decision that day and that turned out fine. Some of the inner layres also didn’t catch so I hand stitched them in place.

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The finished project. Look at that horrible hem!

What should have been a simple project turned out a nightmare, and what really kills me about this project is not only that I can’t even say I learnt anything but also that it’s too ‘poofy’ and princess like. Actually, that’s not quite true, I’ve learned I need to pay better attention when sewing and that I don’t work well under pressure.

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This is the back view, where the hem looks just as bad!

So, have you ever ruined a simple make? Or made almost exactly what you pictured in your head, only to realise you’re not so sure if you can wear it?

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3 thoughts on “Sewing Tulle…

  1. I found your post very interesting as I’m about to sew some to make an outer skirt for a wedding renewal dress, the bottom half will look similar to this but added to the Anna bodice, I’m going to try less layers as yours is very poofy, and I will baste to check before sewing with little stitches, thank you for sharing

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