Tulle skirt

I realised I was going to a ball in a couple of weeks, and that my ballgowns no longer fit properly, as I had lost a bit of weight. I had seen various tulle circle skirt tutorials online, so I thought I’d give it a go. I bought 4m of anti static navy lining, 4m of light blue tulle, 4m of royal blue glittery tulle, and 8m of navy tulle. I bought a meter of 3 inch wide woven elastic too, for the waistband.

First I washed and pressed it all, then laid the lining out on the floor. I used an online calculator to work out my circle skirt measurements, and I added on an inch to the waist as my waist is much smaller than my hips, and I wanted to make sure I could get it on!

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Once I had marked the fabric out, I started to cut…

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I then used the lining as a template for each bit of tulle. I was cutting two half doughnut shapes, and stitching them together after to make a full round,  so I left an extra centimeter at the top to allow for it.

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Once they were all cut out, I could start stitching them together to make full rounds.

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Once the were all full circles, I layered them together, and stitched them all together at the top, making sure that the inside layers were a little shorter than the outside layers.

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The result was a lovely shimmering effect – first layer was the lining, then a layer if navy tulle, then light blue tulle, then royal blue glitter tulle, and finally another layer of navy tulle. The glitter sparkled through the navy, and the light layer added depth.

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I measured out my elastic to fit my waist, and sewed it together.

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Last step – I pinned the skirt to the elastic, and zig zag stitched the fabric on, stretching the elastic so when it relaxed,  the skirt gathered evenly.

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And here is the final result – apologies, it is a photo of a photo that I will try and change at some point! I teamed it with a navy leotard, and a red shawl, belt and heels. I was rather happy with the effect, and have since worn it with a different top to a wedding!

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And yes, we took our dog to a ball.

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Peacock Arielle

My latest project has been an Arielle skirt from a pattern by Tilly Walnes. I bought the peacock fabric without a plan, then I saw this pattern and thought it would be perfect.

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Just before I started to sew this, we moved house and I got to use one of the bedrooms as a sewing studio! That is about halfway fixed now, but I splashed out on a new cutting mat and a rotary cutter!

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This sped up my cutting no end. The pattern was a joy to follow, really straightforward and quick to make up.

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I picked out a peacock blue lining to line the skirt with. By this point, it was coming together so quickly I decided I was going to wear it when I spoke at the CIDM Best Practices conference in Florida at the end of September.

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I added some purple velvet ribbon to the waist to help stop my top riding up (not on the pattern). The pattern had some beautiful touches, like the understitching above that really took it out of the “quick sew” class, and into a beautifully structured garment.

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There is the finishing on the inside at the bottom – the pattern has no visible stitching on the outside, which is a nice touch.

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And the buttons. I sourced these peacock buttons from the Czech Glass Bead shop on Etsy. I have three different coloured peacocks, and a peacock eye on the skirt.

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Overall, I’m really pleased about this skirt, and I’m planning to make it again soon in a different fabric – it’s so comfortable!