I’ve always loved a tulle skirt with lots of volume and pizzaz! The cinched waist and fluffy layers of tulle just spark joy (thank you Marie Kondo for this term). Whether you pair them with a leather jacket and baggy t-shirt for an edgier look or go down the more flirtatious route, I can’t get enough of tutu skirts.
However, my love for the garments I see when scrolling through my various online clothes shopping haunts does not stretch further than my hatred for overspending. So, I decided to make a tulle skirt from scratch.
To tell you the truth, I thought it would be easier than it was (oops). I ended up spending hours upon hours trying to get my tutu skirt to look just right. Eventually, I created a tulle circle skirt that I adore.
Now, I want to offload all the information I’ve learned through my trials and tribulations in easy-to-follow steps so you don’t have to suffer through the same DIY struggles as I did. I’ll cover everything from how much tulle you need to make a skirt, the supplies you need, the type of tulle fabric, and so much more.
Right, without further ado, let’s get into how to make a tulle skirt, shall we?
DIY Tulle Skirt: Here’s What You’ll Need
- Soft tulle fabric (the most commonly used tulle type)
- Satin or taffeta (for the skirt lining, make sure it matches the color of your tulle)
- Craft paper (for the pattern)
- Fabric scissors or a rotary cutter
- 1-inch to 1.5-inch wide elastic (for the waistband)
- Fabric marking pencil
- Thread (it should match the color of your tulle fabric)
- Sewing pins
- Sewing machine
If you have been sewing for a while, you likely already know which lining you want to use for your DIY tulle skirt, the definition of soft tulle, and the rest.
However, if you’re new to the craft (like I was!), here’s a bit of advice that I’ve picked up along the way.
Lining Layer: Satin or Taffeta?
When choosing a lining for your tulle skirt, personal preference does come into play. However, certain fabrics are easier to work with than others (trust me!) so that might change how you make your decision.
Taffeta is a very fine, crisp fabric that is used in ultra-luxurious dresses and corsets. It holds its shape exceptionally well and there are plenty of types of taffeta to choose from. You might recognize it by that irresistible “swishing” sound it makes when you walk.
For your DIY tulle skirt, you should opt for a lightweight taffeta as you don’t want it to weigh the garment down, nor do you want to overheat!
Satin displays a glossy front with a matte back and is typically heavier than other lining fabrics. It offers a fabulous drape and is, again, used for lining garments like a wedding dress and waistcoats.
In my opinion, taffeta is the best option for your tulle skirt because the crispness allows the tulle to truly stand out and make a statement.
Fabric Scissors or a Rotary Cutter?
Fabric scissors are the go-to straight out of the box. However, if you want supreme accuracy when cutting your tulle pieces, a rotary cutter is the way to go. Just make sure that you have a cutting mat if you opt for the latter. I’ve found it to be a massive help in all my sewing projects.
Okay, now that you have all of your equipment together, let’s move onto the tulle skirt tutorial simple steps!
Tulle Skirt Tutorial: A Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1. Find Your Hip Measurement, Waist Measurement, and Skirt Length
The first step to making your tulle tutu skirt is to take the measurements of your waist and hips.
To do this, use a measuring tape (the ones they use in the doctor’s office) and wrap it around the widest part of your hips. Even though you might not want to know the measurement, you need it for making tulle skirts, otherwise, they won’t fit!
Take this number and divide it by 3.14. Then, divide that number by 2. This will give you your hip measurement for your pattern.
To find your waist radius, use the same measuring tape and wrap it around the smallest part of your torso, above your hips. This ensures the tulle tutu will fit flatteringly.
After that, decide how long you want your tutu skirt to be. I made mine about 22 inches long.
Step 2. Cut Your Pattern Piece
Now, using craft paper, cut out a big square piece for your pattern. You’ll then use your hip measurement to mark out from one corner of the square, pivoting your ruler as you go to get the rounded edge.
Then, add your waist radius number to the length of the skirt. For instance, if your skirt is 20 inches long and your waist measurement is 7 inches, you’ll use 27 inches.
Use this number to measure from the same corner. This gives you the bottom line of your skirt.
Once all the measuring is done, use non-fabric scissors to cut out your pattern. The best part is, you only have to make one of these to make as many tulle skirts as you please!
Step 3. Cut the Tulle Strips for Your Tutu
Grab your fabric scissors or rotary cutter and tulle. It’s time to cut tulle pieces!
Fold your tulle fabric in half lengthwise, then fold it in half again so you have 8 layers. Use sewing pins to attach your pattern piece on top. Then, use the scissors or rotary cutter to cut the tulle according to your pattern size.
Unfold the tulle you have just cut. It should look like a huge donut! The number of tulle donuts you have is the number of layers your finished skirt will have so cut more for increased volume.
Step 4. Cut the Lining Layer Fabric For Your Tutu Skirt
With a pin or four, attach the same pattern to the lining fabric but wait — there are two ways you can cut it.
If you need (or want) to hem your lining fabric, you need seam allowance. Tulle skirts tend to look the best when the lining is a touch shorter than the tulle itself. So, if your skirt is 20 inches in length, cut the taffeta (or satin) the same length, allowing for a ½ hem.
However, if you don’t want (or need) to hem your fabric, cut your lining ½ an inch shorter in length than your tulle initially. You don’t need a seam allowance here.
Step 5. Stack Your Circle Skirt Fabric Layers Together and Pin
This is one of the best parts of this tutorial since you can see the skirt really taking shape!
With the cut and hemmed lining on the bottom, stack your tulle donuts on top of each other. Insert a few pins (I suggest 4) at the waist to keep everything in place. One of the biggest tips I can give you here is to just double-check that all the things are in place. There’s nothing worse than it falling apart when you take it over to your sewing machine.
Step 6. Make The Elastic Band for Your Waist
For the waistband, you can either take the waist measurement you found earlier or you can simply pin the elastic band itself around your waist. I’ve found the latter method is far more accurate. Try to make the waistband fit well but not be too tight.
Carefully step out of the elastic and sew it together. After that, you can cut the ends to 1/2 an inch, fold them down, pin, and sew to flatten them.
Step 7. Mark Sections on Your Tulle Skirt Layers and Pin
Go back to your pinned tulle and mark out 4 equal sections on the waistline. Repeat this process on the inside of the waistband.
Use the marks you’ve just created to line up the waistband to the waistline on your tulle. Insert straight pins into the bottom edge of the waistband and the top of the tulle to pin them together.
The elastic is likely smaller than your fabric opening, so you may need to attach extra pins to close any gaps.
Step 8. Sew Your DIY Skirt
Now we’re onto the final (and most fun) part of the tutorial — sewing your skirt.
Turn the skirt inside out and start sewing near one of the pins with a ½ inch seam allowance. As you near each one, pull the fabric straight while you remove it and carry on sewing. Repeat this process until you’ve sewn around the entire waistband.
All you need to do now is try on your new DIY tutu skirt!
I hope you enjoyed making your skirts! I’d love to see your creations in the comments below and don’t forget to share this tutorial with your friends if you think they’d enjoy it.
For more DIY projects, check out the rest of my site. I can’t wait to see you there!