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Topic: Tulle Pettiskirt - now with tutorial  (Read 93422 times)
Tags for this thread: craftster_best_of_2009 , tulle , petticoat , tutorial  Add new tag
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« on: March 28, 2009 12:12:55 AM »


I love pettiskirts.  I don't love the boutique price tag.  I also really love the soft, floaty chiffon but when your little princess would rather be out slaying the dragon herself than waiting around for some prince on a horse, you need something a little hardier.  More stain resistant.  With an el-cheapo price tag.  Yeay tulle!

I only made this skirt one layer.  Extra fancy pettiskirts have two, but I'm ridiculously pregnant (i.e. impatient) and one day sitting at a sewing machine is quite enough for this mama.  As you can see, it didn't diminish the explosion of fluff.


The girl-monster herself...

(I really hope this makes sense...)

*It's not hard, just time consuming.  Though if you're like me, math = ouchies.
*Read through the entire tutorial first!
*Theres a shopping list at the end.  Fill it out as you do your calculations.
*Finish your seams as you go especially if youre using chiffon.  Its not written in the tutorial, but you know how it goes.  Use a serger / overlocker / sewing machine with an overedge or zigzag stitch so the whole thing is neat and fray-proof.
*When selecting chiffon, buy nylon.  If using tulle, pick the softer stuff.
*If you use satin for the yoke, you may wish to iron down strips of fusible interfacing to the inside edges to prevent fraying.
*I didnt add extra seam allowances to the yoke or tiers; if you wish, add an extra few cms [an inch].  Its not necessary on the hem ruffle.
1. Measure

Waist: ___________________
Length of desired skirt: ________________
All the bounce makes the finished skirt appear shorter; consider adding extra length.

2. Work out how much fabric youll need.

Divide length by three_________________ = (a)
This is the width of the yoke and tiers.  Are you adding extra seam allowance?  Add it now.

2 rectangles of satin, (a) wide and (waist + 4 inches) long.__________________

1st Tier
Strip of chiffon/tulle, (a) wide and (waist x 6) long._____________________

2nd Tier
Strip of chiffon/tulle, (a) wide and (waist x 18) long._____________________

Hem Ruffle
Strip of chiffon/tulle, 5 cms/2 inches wide and (waist x 36) long.  _____________________

Total amount of chiffon/tulle to buy

Answer: A LOT.

Chiffon or tulle will come in widths of anywhere from 91.5cm [36 inches] to 162cm [70 inches].  How much you need will depend on that width.

E.g.    I am making a SINGLE layer, little girls tulle pettiskirt for a 51cm [20inch] waist. 

Adding up the length of the tiers, I need a strip of tulle 12.5cm [5 inches] wide and 1219.2cm, or 12.20 metres [480 inches] long!  The ruffle is going to be 5cm [2 inches] wide and 1828.8cm or, 18.29 metres [720 inches] long.  Thats INSANE!

The store has 132cm [52inch] wide tulle.  How much do I need to purchase?

132cm [52 inches] divided by the largest width I need 12.5cm [5inches]

= 10.56 (or 10.4 if youre using inches)

That means Ill get 10 and a bit strips out of any length of that tulle.

Take the total length of tulle needed the tiers and the ruffle.  For me, thats 3048cm [1200 inches].  Divide that by the number of strips Ill get out of the fabric - 10.56.  Answer?  288.63. Round it up.

I need to purchase 289cm [2.89m, 113 inches] of 132cm [52inch] wide tulle!

If I were making a DOUBLE layer pettiskirt Id obviously double that.
Got all that?  Go you!
Now have a little lie down.  Treat yourself to a hot chocolate and a Tim Tam or six.

3. Cut out strips and yoke.

What to have handy:
Pieces of cardboard, an old box will do
scissors or rotary cutter
nice big pins
ruler or tape measure, chalk

The fabric youre using is nice and thin so you can cut several layers at once.  Fold your fabric over itself a few times.  Pin at the edges so it wont move while you cut.   Measure out your strip widths according to your earlier calculations.  Mark a cutting line with chalk.  Pin occasionally to prevent movement.

Take pieces of that cardboard box and wind your strips around to prevent twisting/tangling.  Use one piece of cardboard for each section i.e. 1st tier, 2nd tier, hem ruffle. 

Sew as you go joining strips together to make up your total length.  Make sure your seams all face the same way!

Cut out your yoke pieces as calculated earlier.

4. Get the yoke ready.

Put your two rectangles wrong sides together and sew the long, top edge.
Make a casing for your elastic: press down the top edge about 1cm [1/2 inch], then another 5cm [2 inches].  Stitch that down.  Give it a press.  Youll have a tube casing with two layers of extra fabric on the bottom.  Set aside.

Constructing the skirt working from the bottom up

5. The Hem Ruffle

Ruffle the entire strip of your hem ruffle, right up the middle.  It needs to end up about half the size it is now. 

You can do this several ways:
*By hand with a needle and thread.  (Good luck, ye brave and faithful)
*By machine, with hand wound elastic thread in the bobbin or a gathering foot.
*With a ruffler tool.
*By machine, just scrunching up the strip as it goes under the presser foot (worked fine for me!  SEE PICS.)

Attach the hem ruffle to the bottom edge of your 2nd tier.  Lay the ruffle on the 2nd tier strip and sew right over the top of your gathering stitch.

6.  The 2nd Tier

Your 2nd tier strip will now have a ruffle attached to one end.  Yeay you! 

Gather the top edge of the strip.  Use whatever technique you used before.

Lay the 1st tier over the 2nd, right sides together, matching edges.  Sew.  Lay out, right sides up.

7. The 1st Tier & Yoke

The bottom of your 1st tier strip now has a very fluffy and ruffled attachment.  Hurrah!

Gather the top edge of your 1st tier strip.  This will attach to the yoke, so be precise.  You may need to switch from machine gathering to hand work. 

Work in sections to ensure accuracy
Mark out the halfway points on the yoke and the strip so you have a guide to match up to. 

Sew the top edge of the gathered tier to the bottom edge of the yoke

If you want a SINGLE layer skirt, you can sew both layers of the yoke, then move on to the next step.

If you want a DOUBLE layer skirt, sew only to one yoke layer.  Then, repeat steps 6-8 with your second lot of strips and sew that to the second yoke layer.  Make sure your seams are all facing the same way!

Simply lay the yoke over the rest of the skirt, right sides together, and sew the appropriate edge.

8. Finishing the Skirt

Turn your whole pettiskirt right sides in.  Join up the back seam and sew, leaving the elastic casing open.

Cut your elastic to fit, thread through the casing.  Stitch the elastic together securely.  Neatly hand stitch the opening.

Cut the satin ribbon (twice the waist length works if youre not sure).  Heat seal the edges (melt with a candle flame, lighter etc) to prevent fraying.  Make a big pretty bow, sew to the centre front of the skirt.

Congratulations, you bundle of gorgeous twirliness!
Youve made yourself a pettiskirt!

Shopping List:

Satin for yoke.............................................
Pettiskirt fabric (tulle or nylon chiffon).............
Fusible interfacing (optional)..........................
Satin preg_replace('/(.{49})/', '$1 ', 'ribbon................................................')
preg_replace('/(.{49})/', '$1 ', 'Elastic.......................................................')
preg_replace('/(.{49})/', '$1 ', 'Thread......................................................')

« Last Edit: April 26, 2009 02:10:11 AM by rossie » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2009 12:22:01 AM »

to darn cute. my little princess is a bit of a tom boy so I always have to be carefull with the outfits too.

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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2009 04:44:01 AM »

poofy goodness all around.  The contrast is just right  Smiley

« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2009 05:10:44 AM »

that is only one layer?
i need some petticoat/skirt lessons, because i'm obviously doing something wrong!

« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2009 05:12:59 AM »

i LOVE it!  my little girl would love to have one.... it would look great at the local rock and metal concerts we go to =) but i've never worked with tule before.... how hard is it to work with?Huh

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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2009 05:56:02 AM »

That is too cute. I have some tulle on hand, but now my project idea is taking on new direction....
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2009 08:36:33 AM »

Very cool. It looks really great.
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2009 09:22:15 AM »

I think it looks awesome even without a second layer.  I love the poofiness of it (and really, everything else about it and really want to make one)
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2009 10:02:24 AM »

awh that is too cute. I wanna make one for myself hehe : D

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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2009 04:19:54 PM »

Thanks for the positive feedback, guys!

MissyMafia: Even soft tule is stiffer than chiffon, so it puffs out a lot more.  I think two layers would have swallowed my kid!

craftygem: Tule is easy as pie.  It doesn't fray, barely needs pinning, and doesn't slip around when you're sewing.  I'm kind of a lazy sewer and it worked well for me.   

craftylittlemonkey: I'm working on a tutorial (just gotta add pics) but in the meantime...

*Work from the bottom up (i.e., hem ruffle, then 2nd tier, 1st tier, yoke) and then sew up the back seam.  It's less stressful to sew in straight lines than gigantic circles.

*When you cut out your fabric strips to make each tier, wind them around a piece of cardboard to stop tangles/twists.  So much easier to keep track of, and as you join pieces together it's easier to make sure your seams all point the same way. 

*Also, all that fluffiness makes the skirt look shorter than you might think so consider adding extra length right at the beginning when you're measuring...especially if you're making one for an adult!

I'll update the post once that pesky tutorial is finished Smiley   

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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2009 05:24:27 PM »


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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2009 09:14:09 PM »

AHHH I'm definitely NOT little, but I want one of these sooooo badly! The color is cute, and on your daughter it is simply adorable!
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« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2009 02:43:54 PM »

so cute! i love the different pinks together!
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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2009 11:59:41 AM »

I am definitely waiting for that tutorial!! I want to make one soo bad for my little one Smiley

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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2009 03:27:19 PM »

I too cannot wait for the tute!!! Cheesy

Advice and suggestions always welcome
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2009 04:31:07 AM »

wow, cute! My daughter needs one of those!
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2009 04:43:27 PM »

iv'e been thinking about making one lately and i think you just gave me the push i needed to do it. great job.
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2009 07:46:38 PM »

WOW! what a awsome tute. it must have taken you a while to put it together. i am going to use your shopping list and head for the shops this week hopefully( thats if my twins playball and let up on destroying the house for 5min so i can get out the door, lol!). thank you for taking the time to share your cute pettiskirt with us Smiley
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2009 09:26:53 AM »

I CANNOT try this fast enough!

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« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2009 03:32:03 AM »

I love it. I want to make one for myself.

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The attention just encourages her
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2009 03:07:21 PM »

this is so cute!
i've been looking for a cute way to make a pettiskirt/tutu and this is perfect!
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« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2010 10:12:22 AM »


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« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2010 09:08:42 AM »

thank you for posting, its adorable

« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2010 09:59:40 PM »

I've been looking everywhere for a underskirt that would give the needed amount of fluff and poof, thank you so much for this tutorial. Apparently it isnt as hard as I thought it was lol (how many times do we say that in the end?  Cheesy)
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2010 12:51:07 AM »

Love your tutorial, I am planning on making one for myself with a few more layers for a dress I am making.  When you mentioned to add some more length....I was just wondering aproximatly how much length you actually lose in the "puffiness" of the petticoat. 
Should I add maybe 10 percent?  (Sorry I have no idea..lol)

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« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2010 03:33:31 PM »

I was just wondering aproximatly how much length you actually lose in the "puffiness" of the petticoat. 
Should I add maybe 10 percent?  (Sorry I have no idea..lol)

A couple of inches (about 5cm) would probably cover it.  I measured the pettiskirt to finish at my daughter's knee, but because the skirt is so full it falls out, not straight down - all finished, it sat about an inch and a half above her knee. 


Blog of fairy tale pretties:  http://summerfaire.com/
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2010 12:42:04 AM »

Thank you so much for taking the time to post this tutorial! Having never attempted a pettiskirt, I was searching for a good tutorial to attach a built-in petticoat to a full circle skirt I'm making. I might double it next time (when I have more time and tulle), but otherwise it turned out great! Now I just need to finish the rest of the dress and I'm good to go Smiley
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2011 11:35:03 PM »

Absolutely adorable!! I got annoyed with it after all of a half hour and decided to free-verb the rest XD

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« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2011 03:22:14 AM »

Fantastic, thank you! DD has hitherto been almost exclusively a jeans-and-T-shirt kind of girl but I've seen her eyeing up the frou-frou in the stores recently so I suspect this will be on my to-do list very soon...
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