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DIY The Look: Anthropologie Tulle Skirt – No Pattern Needed

It seems that tulle skirts are no longer for ballerinas and kids under 5! Knee length tulle skirts are all the rage for adult women, with Anthropologie leading the way of a lust worthy retail version, retailing at $188. A DIY version can cost as little as $20 as tulle is generally very affordable, and he final cost of the skirt will depend on how full you want the end result.

My tutorial and version of the tulle skirt does not require a pattern (YAY) and no cutting of the tulle (double YAY). I am 5’6 and the length lands perfectly at my knees if you follow these instructions. If you want it shorter, you may want to cut the tulle, which can be done easily and does not require hemming to prevent fraying. The basic premise is to pleat the entire length of tulle (I used 15 yards) and then wrap the length around and around, tacking as you go along. Because of the nature of tulle, the raw edge blends into the skirt and is not obvious. The continuous pleating will naturally create an A-line silhouette.

If anyone has worked with tulle, you will know it’s easy to work with because it’s thin and does no fray. But you will also know it’s frustrating because of how volumous it is and how much you need to get the look you want. So this may be a project you assign to a patient day. As you can tell by the photos, it’s also very hard to shoot clearly!

This skirt does not have lining, as I plan on wearing it with a separate nude coloured slip. As tulle is already bulky enough, I didn’t want to add another layer to the waist band.

You will need:

Soft tulle (not the harder crafting tulle) 54″ wide, 15+ yards

Elastic, 2 inches shorter than your waist size. I used a 1inch elastic but you can use a thinner one if you wish.

Needle and thread, and pins for tacking

Sewing Machine

NOTE: It is very important that when you buy the tulle off the bolt, the 54″ width is sold folded in half and is 27″ wide. KEEP the tulle folded. This will create the 27inch length of the skirt.

1) Keeping the tulle folded in half, yo will need to sew along the entire length of your tulle from one end to the next. You will sew at the folded side, using the fold as your guide, and the raw edge will be the bottom of your skirt.

tulle skirt pleating

2) Starting at one end using a straight stitch, sew along the length. Every 4 inches, create a 1 inch pleat by folding the tulle over 1 inch and then folding back over. I used the markers on my sewing machine plate to determine the measurement, but you can mark off your machine with masking tape to help. (See picture below for a better idea of what the pleats look like)

3) Once you have pleated the entire length, you can begin draping it on yourself. Drape loosely around the widest point at your hips so that you can pull the skirt on when finished. I used a mannequin to demonstrate. Every time you make 1/2 loop around your body at each side of your hips, tack it down with a pin. Carefully step out of the skirt. Depending on your size, this should create 4-5 layers of tulle.

tulle skirt draping

4) With a needle and thread, sew 2-3 stitches where the pins were marked off to keep the skirt together. This is optional and you can begin the next step of sewing, but this makes it much easier to work with.

tulle skirt tacking

5) Now you can begin sewing the elastic down, which will also be the stitches that sew all the layers together. Holding the elastic band down, ensure that all the layers are lined up. Using the original pleating seam helps. As it should be, the elastic is shorter than the width of the unfinished waist of the skirt. Sew the elastic around the entire waist of the skirt, tugging gently as you go along to stretch the elastic. You can gauge as you go along and adjust the tension on the elastic, as it is very forgiving. The end of the elastic should just meet the beginning end.

tulle skirt adding elastic

tulle skirt adding elastic2

6) At this point, this is how I finished my skirt. You can add a grosgrain ribbon edging to finish it if you plan on tucking a shirt in. However, I don’t tend to tuck my skirts in.

tulle skirt finishedtulle skirt finished2tulle skirt banner

6 comments on “DIY The Look: Anthropologie Tulle Skirt – No Pattern Needed

  1. Rachel G
    January 25, 2014

    That turned out gorgeous! I’ve never worked much with tulle, but this style of skirt is very lovely!

    • simplystrikingblog
      January 25, 2014

      Thank you for dropping by and commenting! This is an easier way to work with tulle as it is quite cumbersome.

  2. Tljacobs
    September 5, 2014

    I can’t sew to save my life. Would you be willing to make one and sell it? This is exactly what I have been looking for to wear at a wedding 🙂

  3. Nikkie
    February 18, 2015

    Any chance you remember where you got the tulle? I am HIV g terrible luck with it either being too hard to too cheap and tears easily

  4. hohshop
    August 24, 2015

    Its really nice blog… your skirts style is lovely… In this your blog every thing is neat and clean…We have a huge collection of every type of skirts… If any body interested check out here… Head Over Heels

  5. Rebecca
    August 3, 2016

    Any tips on how to sew two pieces of tulle to each other without having a seam showing? Like added one yard of tulle to another yard to tulle to make it look like one piece?

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This entry was posted on January 23, 2014 by in DIY, Fashion, Tutorial and tagged , , , .
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