Author Topic: sewing a tulle skirt  (Read 4974 times)

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Offline Mary Todd

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sewing a tulle skirt
« on: October 11, 2011, 11:15:22 PM »
I have succeeded in making my daughter-in-laws dream dress...except for how to join the tulle seams.  I made the skirt as a ballet length tulle skirt on a satin ribbon.  The ten layers are pleated and gathered and now look like an apron.  Can I sew the lining seam and then just tack the tulle layers a few placed to hold them?  Should I do that and then put on another layer of tulle that has the seam in a different place?  I'm afraid if I sew up all the layers in the same spot there will be ten ugly seams in the back.  Help!

Offline Bunnykins

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Re: sewing a tulle skirt
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2011, 05:00:23 AM »
I've never sewn a tulle anything, so this is just an idea.  Since tulle does not ravel, could you overlap the back seam for each of the 10 layers as you would a lace fabric, then trim close to the overlap?   Or, is there any way to get 20 layers of tulle under your presserfoot to make one seam?  I don't like the second idea because it's awkward, and, being one seam, the layers won't float free.

Offline bessiecrocker

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Re: sewing a tulle skirt
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2011, 09:02:41 PM »
I've worked with tulle, but it's been a while. Best place to find out how to do this is to research ballet tutus. For example

You'll find this about half way down:

"The Balanchine/Karinska tutu had six or seven layers of gathered net, each layer a half inch longer than the preceding layer. They were short and the alignment was fluid and inexact. The layers were tacked together to allow the fluffy, loose, ephemeral look to float over the dancer's legs and descend from below the dancer's waist."

I'm pretty sure I just used a big loose zig zag stitch and thread with a good match to tack the sides of each layer together; you don't really need a seam. I wouldn't worry about off setting the layers either. The tulle fluffs up and the edges get offset all by itself.

I'm currently working with four layers of organza. I seamed using my serger with a "narrow three thread seaming stitch"...the bottom knife is disengaged, I think. It makes a real seam, but looks nice, just a line of finished edge that you see just slightly through all the layers. I lined up all the edges, but the layers of organza end up all poufy, so the "seams" look offset.   

Offline Liana

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Re: sewing a tulle skirt
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2011, 05:14:58 PM »
Hi Mary,

I think you've gotten some good ideas here.  The large zigzagging that bessiecrocker mentions was one of my first thoughts.  It wouldn't have to be really wide if you think that might show a lot.  I would test a little bit and see what "disappears" into the layers the best. 

As Bunnykins notes, you don't need to put right sides together as for a 'normal' seam in this case.  Treat it as you would lace, and just lap one edge over the other and stitch that way.  You could lap one skirt layer one way and the next the other, but that might not be necessary either.

I'm reading your post again and I see I missed your actual point.  I guess staggering the seam position might be a good idea, but if you already have them all attached to the ribbon waistband, how are you going to do that?  As for the tacking together of the layers, I don't know that it's necessary, but you get to decide, and if so, I don't think you'd have to do it too often, and maybe not at all for the top couple of layers.  Perhaps you could scatter small embroidered motifs or pearls or ribbon bows or something on the skirt and use those points as your tacking spots?  Are you having a sash on the dress that could have tie ends to camouflage any 'ugly seam' if it seems to be a problem?  I wonder if you could have a very large overlap with your top layer or two and then not seam those at all, and it would cover anything else?

No actual answers, but several ideas anyway, and I hope this helps.  :)

I hope you can attach your photo example so we can see it.  Sounds like it's going to be a lovely dress!

Offline bessiecrocker

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Re: sewing a tulle skirt
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2011, 07:47:13 PM »
I found a tulle petticoat I made a long time ago. I did pretty much everything the opposite of what I advised you to I'll tell you how this turned out.  :)

It's 8 layers of pink tulle. I made real 1/4 inch seams in each layer, all lined up on top of each other. I used white thread (bashed this together quickly and didn't think anyone but me would ever see it!  :-X)
So how does it look? Not too bad, actually. You hardly see the joins. There's a line of stitching on each layer. You see the line mostly because the thread is white rather than pink to match the tulle.  The tulle all blends together and you don't see anything of where it joins or overlaps. So don't worry about offsetting the layers. Do use the right color of thread.


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