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Advice for working with tulle?

AmyC | Posted in General Discussion on

I am making my daughter’s halloween costume, and it has two tulle skirts.  Are there any tips or tricks I should know?  I’d especially like some advice on how to hem the skirts.  




  1. anneelsberry | | #1

    No hem necessary -- tulle can just be cut to length.

  2. suesew | | #2

    If the tulle feels too pokey unhemmed it can simply be turned under and straight stitched. In fact , a hem will give it a little more stability and poof, but is really unnecessary.

  3. Elisabeth | | #3

    Gathering tulle can be a challenge if there is a lot of it. Sewing a zigzag over a heavy thread or light string and then using the thread/string in this zigzag "casing" to gather works well.

    Yes, hemming is not needed with tulle. Using a rotary cutter makes a nice even edge. You can also do a decorative edge with scallops or anything you like.

    1. SewNancy | | #4

      This is a good place to use fabric glue to hold on any decoration fast and easy


      1. SewTruTerry | | #5

        Just remember that if you are adding decorations with glue that you need to back the tulle with wax paper other wise you will glue all sections together.  Also if you are really using tulle and not netting there should not be alot of pokies that will be uncomfortable.  The zigzag idea over the "strong" string is a great idea but remember to gather it up slowly and if you are attaching it to a waist band some masking tape to hold the tulle down just below the stitching line works wonders in controling the puffiness of the project.  Also it should be attached after the side seam has been added (in other words in the round) if applicable to the project.  A narrow zigzag for the seam is wonderful as it will not get tangled up and will actually look straight if it is narrow enough.

        1. AmyC | | #6

          Thank you for the wonderful advice!  I really appreciate the tip for gathering the tulle.   I plan to use an enclosed baby seam for the sides, but I still haven't decided what to do for the hem.   I like to use my kids halloween projects to stretch my skills, so I may do something with it -- but if I don't have time I'll just cut it with a rotary cutter.   

          1. kjp | | #7

            Depending on the costume, how about edging the hem with satin ribbon?  Otherwise, I think the rotary cutter is the way to go - you could really play with the shape of the hem.  Of course, my son doesn't wear tulle costumes, so it's been a while since I worked with it.  Oh, I wish I had a girl to sew for!!

          2. GALEY | | #8

            Sewing with tulle--I have just discovered to use the old-fashioned u-shape hairpins to hold this stuff in place.  You can pin as many layers as you want, and they will slip out only when you want them to--also, you can see them.  I have always used a safety pin to mark the centers and side seams and when necessary the length marking on a bride's veil.  You are making fond memories for your children. 

          3. louise | | #10


            One last tip, check your sewing area for anything, big or small, that could hook or snag the tulle.  After making a beautiful (if I say so myself) prom gown for my god-daughter, I hooked the very front of the tulle skirt on the knee peddle attachment of my sewing machine and  it ripped a two inch section.  It took some pretty fancy needle skills to hide it to my satisfaction as I had no time to rip out and replace the damaged section. 

            Happy sewing


          4. marijke | | #11

            You wrote: "I like to use my kids halloween projects to stretch my skills"

            I had to chuckle when I read that.  That's what I try to do as well!

            This year, my daughters wanted to be cheerleaders, so I am making a skort (a circle skirt with panties of the same fabric attached) and a shirt with a big M appliqued on it.  I used a technique described in Threads for applique: I stitched the M through paper in a narrow zigzag, then cut away the fabric of the applique beyond the stitching and used a satinstitch to finish it off.  (I forget what issue that was in, it was in the last year or so and had freemotion stitchery flower-type borders in the example.)  I enjoyed using the technique, but need to stabilize it even more the next time (the fabric was a jersey/stretch material, not the greatest choice for a novice at machine applique!)


  4. rjf | | #9

    I hope you will post pictures.  You've gotten some good advice and it should turn out beautifully.           rjf

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