Gathering net and frustrated
Okay I am working on a protype of a Flower Girl dress that I have to make. I had a horrible day yesterday. I wanted the fold of the toule on the bottom and when I did that I I folded it wrong sewed it wrong and then when I went to put the skirt on the bodice the skirt ended up inside the toulle. Was I frustrated. Well think I hve that figured out but I have another problem. Does he anyone know how to gather netting real easy. I used single basting and that didn’t work, thread got caught in the net holes and stuck, then I used a piece of string and zig zaged over that same thing. I guess maybe by hand if nobody else has any answers for me.
Bless your heart! I believe it's Murphy's Law, especially when I am sewing; anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Did you loosen the tension when you zig zagged over the thread? I zig zag over dental floss. Good luck.
I will try that. Maybe that would be easier since it is got a film on it. Thanks. I never thought of that. Tension I did loosen but maybe not enough. I have two of these flower girl dresses to make, it calls for 6 outside layers of toule. Needless to say we have cut that to two. I am thinking that will be plenty, then I have two junior bridesemaid dresses to make and five bridesmaid. All different except the junior and flower girls. The wedding is not until March 31, it is our son. but I don't want to wait and have to hurry so just playing around now.
Hang in there! We ALL have days like this. (Here's a funny one, if you feel like reading about someone else's bad sewing day: http://www.ericas.com/projects/bstickskirt.htm ) Now that all the frustration is out of the way, you'll be humming along, I'm sure.
About that gathering - I'm assuming you don't have a serger, or that would be a good option. If threads keep getting stuck in the netting, try adding a layer of wash away stabilizer above and below as you stitch over that dental floss. Seam, gather and secure as usual, then trim away the stabilizer. The bits that are left in the seam can be rinsed away when it's convenient. Another thing you could try, which is a tip from the latest issue of Threads, is to cut plastic shopping bags into strips and use these strips as stabilizers above and below your netting, then tear away after sewing. I haven't tried this yet, so can't say how easy it is to remove, but it did win best tip, I believe. Worth a try on a test scrap, anyway!
Hope you'll let us know how it goes.
I do have a serger but have not ever conquered the gathering on it. Is it easy. I might have to give that a try again.
It is very easy - just set the differential feed so you get gathering (not stretching,) and serge away! I wouldn't try that plastic bag idea on the serger, though, because picking anything out of a serged edge is beastly! If you want full gathers, set the differential as high as it will go, and you'll end up with about a 2:1 ratio. To be honest, I've never serged tulle (not yet, anyway!) - you might even get away without any stabilizer - try it on a sample and see. Oh, wait, I have some tulle...I'll go run a sample through mine and see if I can gather it without stabilizer, hold on...
It worked fine without any stabilizer, no feeding problems. After it was serged, I wanted to see it much more gathered, so I pulled the needle thread on the sample to gather and adjust it even more, no problems, and it looks great. Try it! (If you're not sure which one is the needle thread, you can use a slightly different color in the needle to make it more visible; it won't be an issue once the garment is sewn.)
Hmm, now I'm going to have to go add a tulle ruffle to the edge of something... ;) Sooo pretty! Thanks for bringing it to mind. :)
I will try that tonight because I certaintly have a bunch of left over toulle that I am not going to be using right now. Might be a good time to practice. Thanks for the advise.
You have probably completed your tulle project by now-but I wanted to add in my two cents as I went through a very similar situation years ago-14 layers of tulle for a graduation gown!!! I tried everything (including serging which didn't leave me with a tidy seam allowance)and ended up with uneven gathers, uneven seamallowances and struggled to avoid pockets of missed stitches.
I found a long upholstery needle (about 10" long). I threaded the needle with button thread which was cut at the desired finished length, then secured the thread to the tulle at side waist. I weaved in and out of the tulle every 1/2" pulling the thread along as I went. When the gathers pulled the fabric to the desired length of the cut thread (I was after three times fullness) I stitched TWO rows on either side of the button thread line-creating a channel in which to stitch to the lining (or in my case the other 13 layers of tulle!) Turned out beautiful and I will never do that by machine again-delicate or difficult fabrics can be diva's and must be treated as such!
Hope everything turned out amazing!!
NO I am just starting. I have two flower girl dresses to make. I will try that. I had almost decided I needed to do it by hand. Thanks for your informaiton
You all make me laugh. The "wait, I believe I have some tulle". That struck me as funny. You go above and beyond to help us. There are some of the best girls, or should I say, ladies, in these discussions. SherryV, MaryInColorado, Kiley, and Becky-Book. I'm sure there are many more. Very smart and sometimes, very comical. Keep it up ladies!Marcy
LOL, Marcy, I really did get up in the middle of composing that note to go play with the tulle! (Like I need my arm twisted to go play in the sewing room!) [LOL some more] And you're right - many great folks here. Thanks for saying nice things :)
Why thank you, it was so sweet of you to think of us...sometimes I worry about being too "cornY", especially when I am tired....or having a "power surge" (hotflash), not near as fun as power serging though...
I appreciate and enjoy the many wonderful, knowledgeable, helpful folks here too. I learn so much from all of you, thank you all for being willing to share your expertise!And thank you for lifting my spirits with the comraderie. Mary
You might try zigzag over nylon fishing line, should be smoother than string and if you can leave it in the final construction it will add a little extra stiffness and 'pouf' to the skirt.
You are very wise to be experimenting now instead of getting frantic in February!
Best wishes to the Bride and Groom,
I didn't have to much trouble with the toulee gathering but I did with the net that I was attaching to slip to make it stand out. Net is not easy to garther. It kept breaking my stitches and getting stuck. I will try the fishing line on it. I bet that would work.
The trouble with the toulee was it was supposed to be cut on the fold with the fold being the center front. Well, I wanted the fold on the bottom. so it was folded up and you could put flowers around the bottom and they float in there. I had seen a dresss like this in the store. So I attached the toulle skirt to the bodice, went ahead and made the slip, and the skirt and then proceeded to attach this under the toulle so toulee would be on top, it all ended up being in the inside of the toulle. Now what did I do wrong. Would not work. I evidently folded something wrong, did something. My brain and my friend with me, both tried to figure it out. So started over. Still did not work. I am thinking my toulle I was working with was not wide enough. I have gone back to the fabric store, bought 108 inch wide toulle. Going to start over and see if we can do this. Any ideas. I want the fold on the bottom of skirt. Has anyone seen this before. Frustration. Yes it is a good thing I have started early.
The flower girl dresses that I have seen like that--with petals in the tulle--all the skirt pieces were sewn together before sewing the skirt to the bodice. Gather the skirt lining, the satin underlayer, and the folded tulle separately. Then layer them up with the lining on the inside and sew them all together. Last, sew the completed skirt to the completed bodice. That way, you will be sure that the folded tulle with the petals are on the outside of the dress.
You mean I should sew the underslip (with the net) and then the skirt and attach that to the bodice before I attach the toulee and then the toulle would be the last thing added instead of the first like the directions tell you to do. I was gathering them all separately and attaching them sept. I must be dense today. Sometimes you just can't imagine it until you do it. I have the wider toulee so think it will be easier to work with then the other.
Sew the slip, gathering the waist and sewing the back seam up to the zipper openning. Sew the skirt, gathering and sewing the back seam. Sew the tulle with the petals in the fold, gathering and sewing the back seam same as the others. Then sew/baste those together at the waist and down the back at the zipper. You will have to clip the center back seam allowance below the zipper openning. Then sew the completed skirt to the bodice and insert the zipper. Go to a bridal shop and check out how the dress is made to give you a visual of how it is all put together.
Yes I am thinking the way you told me will alot easier than the way the pattern says.
Actually the pattern has you doing 6 pieces of toulle, and then the skirt, and then the slip with the net. I went to the store, the store one has the slip and net, and then the skirt and one piece doubled for the toulle. That is the reason I came up with having the fold on the bottom and doubled. So when I actually put the whole thing together I was messing up because they were giving me directions for the toulle not folded on the bottom. I am thinking the way you told me will be alot easier and get the same affect. Thank you. Yes I will try and send a picture.
I have two junior bridesmaid dresses to tackle and 5 bridesmaid. So I am going to be very busy. I have boughten material do them all a practice one first. The five bridesmaid's are all different too. Would have been easier for me if they would have all been alike. Oh well. so much for sanity.
Sewchris has it right.You don't need wider tulle, you need *longer* tulle. Your tulle needs to be cut twice its finished length. fold it in half along the equator. Stitch the edges together and gather them. Apply it to the skirt as the top layer. (I can't believe there are no patterns for this.) I work in a bridal shop. I haven't seen any of these dresses for alterations, but there is a display there. The dresses are plain white or ivory, and one can buy a box of big fake petals (available in colors to co-ordinate with the popular 'maids colors) to place in the hem. There must be a seam allowance left open somewhere, to allow you to place them in the fold of the tulle.
Now I understand the dress better and, oh my, does that ever sound pretty!! Chris' excellent suggestions will no doubt help you get it together - sometimes the pattern directions aren't the most helpful and common sense construction is the better way.
I'm afraid mistook your net for tulle;) and didn't realize the separate issues. That net does sound like a bugger, but lots of folks here have great suggestions to try. Maybe some old-fashioned handwork is the best option, as you mentioned? Perhaps using the fishing line/heavy thread/floss in a hand needle? Hand-stitcing really doesn't take long (especially on a child's size,) and you could avoid all those issues with control, feeding, stabilizing, broken threads, etc.
This is going to be so spectacular, please DO post a picture of the dress, won't you? Best wishes,
Edited 9/18/2006 1:53 pm ET by SherryV
Hi Kayrosie,I don't know how to do this, but my grand daughter's Easter dress was made this way and had flowers floating all on the skirt part.Marcy
Sorry I did not get your post earlier, could not get to the computer till now.
I thought I had a pattern for a dress like this but I guess it was one of the ones my daughter thought about but did not pick for her wedding 1 1/2 yrs ago; so maybe the pattern is not in the books any more. It is a very lovely dress.
I think one of the other posts has it right, but sometimes you just have to get your hands on some cloth and try it out!!
Keep on asking for help if you get stuck.
If sewing over the fish line doesn't work; try using the end of the fish-line like a needle and work the line through the holes in the net and gather it up by hand like that.
Glad to help,
The pattern number is Simplicity 9147. It is very pretty, and when I master it and I will it will be pretty. I have to keep working at . At least I have a lot of time to practice. Thanks for all your help. I will be back on I am sure.
Thanks for the pattern number, I looked it up; but that is not the one we were looking at for Abi's wedding. I am guessing that the directions say to applique those flowers to the tulle?
How important is the length of the dress (to the Bride)? If the tulle has a folded edge at the hem you won't be able to adjust the length after completing the dress.
1. measure total back length of child, subtract bodice to get skirt length for this girl, double it for folded skirt (don't forget seam allow.) or
2. figure out the approx length of the finished dress and make sure the tulle skirt is shorter (I have seen them several inches shorter) or
3. Only gather one edge of the tulle into the skirt/bodice seam, Wait for child to grow, just before wedding - hem slip, skirt, and everything but the tulle (which is hanging down twice as long as everything else!), adjust the length of the tulle (folded up) to match the hem line,sew (gathered) the other edge of the tulle to a ribbon or fabric waist band (with long ties for the back) bring this up to the waist and tie around her thus creating the tulle 'pocket' for the flower petals. If the tie won't stay where it should, you could put some snaps between it and the dress at the waist seam.
That last idea is probably over-kill but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway!
Actually the pattern says to make sure the length is right before you cut and all. I am thinking if I save these two dresses until last to make measure them good and make the right length I will be fine. They should not grow to much in a month and if I do them the first of March, the end of Feb. I should be fine. The petals are just loose in the bottom. I am thinking I make end up someway getting them not to float so much. The one we looked at in the store they just float and they have a bunch in the bottom of the dress. Not really sure what we are going to do yet. Will have to play around with it. Maybe fabric glue. But might be able to see it.
When I sewed a similar dress, I used white craft glue to suspend some of the flowers so they would not all sink to the hem. Remember, when you're gluing on net or tulle, the glue will come through to whatever it's lying on. Galey
So did you have the fold at the bottom of the dress or did you put two pieces together and have a seam in it at the bottom. I would like to fold the toulle so the fold is on the bottom.
How did you end up glueing the flowers. have it hanging up somewhere or what.
We knew you'd get this. The instructions from Chris look good to me. I do use a fold not a seam for the hemline. One of the things I do when working with multiple layers and no pattern instructions is make a tiny sample so I can get right sides, folds, etc. in the correct order. Sometimes I use gift wrap paper (so you will have a right and wrong side) and sometimes I use scraps of the fabric. Just cut some rectangles, they don't have to be big--for this tulle skirt 6"x6" would be plenty--and usually I just pin them together. In this case, you could even glue one tiny or scrap flower just to see how that works out. By the way, last year I sewed what we called the dress from ---- for a mardi gras costume, so I know how you are feeling. God bless you Galey
Yes, that is why I am making a practice one of these flower girl dresses so I will know just exactly how to put it together, how to cut it and how to clue the flowers and all. I am making this one out of blue satin, and then the toule and the slip and all. Then my granddaughter is going to have it play in. Like a dressup princess dress. Not exactly like it but enough that she will think she is a princess in it. I want to get it done enough so I can take it and let the bride to be seeit this weekend. We are meeting all of our kids for supper on Sunday night since it is our 40th wedding anniversary. So thought it would be good to show her.
I am going to make practice ones of the Junior bridesmaid and muslin ones of the bridesmaid. I do not want any surprises where this is concerned. I want everything to look like they were done professionaly. I am sometimes my own worse critic. Do you do that to yourself also.
Okay I am going to post a pictures of the dress I finished. The one that is going to be a protype of the dress. Or real dress will be white. I don't like the white around the middle but she wants a sash of some kind around it but it will be choc. brown so have to figure that out yet. My granddaughter calls it her Cinderella dress.
Great work! I'm so happy you posted pics - thank you. Hope you'll also post pics of the final version. It's been wonderful to see the process coming together. How did you end up handling all the construction issues? The gown will be brown? What a lovely idea for a Fall wedding. Yum.
Thanks again - this is hugely inspiring!
No the flower girl dress is going to be white. Sorry if I said it was going to be brown. There will be petals of brown flowers floating in the overskirt of tulle.
It actually went together really easy after I got the right width of tulle. To have it so the fold can be on the bottom you have to have 108 inch wide tulle. It work beautifully when I got the right size. I put the slip, underskirt (blue) and the tulle all on at that the same time. Instead of using net on the slip I am using crinilion. It works alot better. I am happy with it, just so I can do the next two as well as this one came out.
I'm with SherryV. I would love to see the finished dress. A friend of mine is getting married in June. She showed me a picture of the bridesmaids dresses and they are unusual color, but beautiful. The top is white sleeveless. The skirt is lime green raw silk with a magenta sash around it. How bout that for different?Marcy
Wow that is different. So far all I have done is the protype for the Flower Girl. It is in blue but the real one will be in White Satin.
I am making the bridesmaid dresses, and junior flower girl dresses. I will post a pic. of the dress on here. I have it on a couple other sites but will put it here also.
I also sent you
Very nice dress, and the purses too!
One question, do you put a zipper in the purse, or some other method of closure?
If zipper, how do you do it? I like to make tote bags and sometimes wish they would stay closed!!
I actually put velcro on them for closures. I know there are lots of closures things out there. Somewhere I saw an article on that. Could have been in Threads or Sew News.
I also sent a pic of the purses I make. They are made out of placemats. They turned out real good. I have sold a bunch of them.
I guess I did not read good enough and have posted this pic. twice. Sorry about that girls. I will read better next time.
I've heard about placemat purses recently, very cute. Thanks for posting - we love pics here!
I am cutting out one of the tops out of muslin today of the bridesmaid dresses. I want to see if it fits or if I have to make some changes.
I am with SherryV. We love pictures of your sewing. Please post!Marcy
I have seen your dress and it is adorable. The purse doesn't look like it is made out of a placemat. Very awesome job. I bet you do sell a lot of them.Marcy
This may send you screaming out the door, but as you haven't started the "real" dresses yet I wanted to give you a finishing tip that works for me. Even though the fabrics are beautiful and the children are angelic, the collarless, sleeveless dresses did not look finished to my eye until I started inserting self piping in the armhole and neckline seams. I like to make piping and so it is not a chore for me. If it's the thing you least like to do, just forget I ever mentioned it! :) Galey
I am like you I was unhappy with the finishing on the neck and sleeves. Tell me how you did the piping. Is it inside the seems or does it show on the outside. Not sure I want anything to show on the outside. If you have a pic. I would sure like to see what it looks like.
Sorry, I don't have a picture, but you can go to http://www.lindahalpin.com/tips.html and she has directions for accent piping. Also, many machines come with feet that apply piping, so check your owner's manual. Look at a pillow on your couch to see an example of piping: you are doing the same thing but so small it is almost insignificant and of course the color matches. Some more tips: I use satin rattail cord (approx 1/8") and cover that, it's just an agreeable easy size to work with. I keep black and white on hand. There is ready-made piping available in stores, but then you would have the problem of matching. Use self-fabric to cover your cord, or matching satin (or silky lining) fabric if you are using a heavy fabric like velvet. The directions say to use bias fabric, but if you're using scraps this is not always possible and it will still work. This application does show but it's so tiny that no one has ever mentioned it. If it's for a customer, I just do it. Do some snoop-shopping in better girl's shops and smocking and french hand sewing shops and you will see lots of it. Perhaps one of our gatherings pals can give you a better site. God bless you Galey
Thanks for the tip. I am not sure piping would work on these dresses since they are self lined. I assume I could put the piping on before I attach the lining is that what you would do. I went to that site but I didn't find anything. I sent her an email so maybe she will get back to me about it.
The way I put on piping is to take the piping and baste it to the outside neck edge, raw edges matching. Baste by hand or machine on the stitching line on the piping (this line will be on top of your seam allowance). Use a buttonhole foot or a piping foot if you have one. At this time plan how you will finish off the ends of the piping by turning under, enclosing in a seam, running off the seam all., etc. I usually finish sleeveless items by catching it in the underarm seam. Put the lining on top of the piping, fabric right sides together, all raw edges matching. Stitch on top of the line you basted and turn to the right side. As far as pictures, your big fat sewing book (maybe Vogue?) will have them or maybe even go to their web site. If you make up a sample using maybe 2 4"squares of fabric and a piece of yarn or string in your piping, you will see how it works out. Sometimes I even use paper for my samples just to get everything turned around the right way. Galey
Thanks for the information, I might try that. I made another practice dress today and tried something different. It didn't turn out right so know I won't be doing that. I just do not like working with that crinilion, but it makes it puffy and stand out. I made it completely to the top of the skirt and sewed in with the skirt, bodice, tulle and slip. Way to much bulk at the waist. Will be elimating that. Will have to attach to 3/4 up the slip and that is so hard to do. DO not like to do it but will have to. Thanks for all your advise.
Could you make a yoke some soft/silky fabric and attach your crinoline to it after adjusting the crinoline length? It would only need to be a rectangle. Then it could be attached in waistline seam. I just despise trying to sew a shorter skirt layer onto a longer one. Galey
Thanks for that tip. I wonder if I could not do that. It was so hard to attach down 3/4 I had such a horrible time. Thanks for that tip. I will try that. I would have to gather the crinilion and put it on though or it would not work out. SO I would have to make the piece littlier wouldn't I.
I did go to the shop where the dress is. It doesn't have any piping on it and the band at the waist is not attached. I am thinking we are going to have a detached band and have the end long enough to drape down. I am thinkiing that will look better. I don't like the way the band do not lay flat against the dress and I hate to topstitch them down. Since there is no other top stitching on the dress.
I love that piping idea, thank you so much! Can't wait to try it! By the way, I often use a zipper foot for piping too. Mary
I have not tried the piping yet. I should try it on something and see if I can do it.
We measure the flower girl from waist to floor with her shoes on. Then substract 2" for the finished hem. The measurement can be taken with the girl barefooted if she is wearing ballet slippers up to a 1/4" heel. Her regular shoes will work if her shoes will be 1/2"-1" high. Adult hems are 1" off the floor but little girls don't remember to walk and act like little ladies so their hems are shorter.
As for glueing the petals to the tulle, use any fabric/craft glue that will dry clear. And place the single layer of tulle on plastic because the glue will bleed through. We use the garment bags that the gowns come in. Dry cleaner garment bags will also work and so does plastic grocery bags. And only glue the petals to the back side of the tulle near the fold.
Yes I think I have this figured out now. With the help of all of you. I am going to work on it tomm. so Friday morning I will let you know how it went. It is going to be fun to see if I finally got it right. I have a bridesmaid dress stuck away somewhere that we call the dress from Hell. So will see if this does where that one went too. Nice costumes.
did you try to double over the edge and then I just did a running stich by hand then I could tack it at in a given length and make it fuller or not just a thought
No I had not thought of that. I think actually I am going to try putting apiece of material on top of the crinilion and then attached the crinilion to the bottom of that and have the top attach to the skirt. I am thinking that would be alot easier.
What I have done for several flower girl dresses (and haven't seen anyone mention) is use clear elastic to gather it. Stretch and sew it down with a zig zag. I just played until I had the right amount of fullness and gathered a length until I had what I needed for the dresses. But you could figure out the ratio of elastic to tulle and then pin it at each end to gather the specific length to its required dimension. Too much work for me, LOL!
Tulle can be an exasperating fabric--yet nothing else does what it does.
I have gathered tulle using a long medium-wide stitch length and zig-zag over buttonhole twist. I think this thread is coated; anyway it pulls beautifully to make gathers and it is so heavy you can see it, even white on white. That's the way I've made all DGD and flower girl dresses. Having said that, I'll say that I've made many bridal veils and for that I hand gather, using stitches about 1 to 1 1/2in long and the same buttonhole twist. It gathers beautifully and avoids all problems of sewing on tulle. It takes less time to gather 120" by hand than it does to cut a new skirt piece. LOL I noticed a lot of suggestions for stabilizers. Consider using something that would not have to be removed or can be cut off after the seam is sewn, such as seams great or any sheer bias strips. Even a narrow strip of tissue paper could stay in until the seam is sewn. Galey
I've never had a problem with gathering tulle. I do have to really keep it taut both in front of the machine and behind the machine. Just make sure that you don't pull the tulle through the machine faster than the feed dogs. I've used an Athena 2000, a Featherweight, and several Kenmores when sewing tulle. For netting, I've used a gathering foot but for tulle, I just sew 2 lines and pull. I've zigzagged over a cord when making veils but for gowns, I prefer pulling threads. The fullness is more controllable.
gathering tulle:I have zigzagged over fishline: I think I used the six-pound-test because it was tinted and easier to see. This is how lazy I am: last time I did this, I was having a hard time keeping the fishline lined up. I cut a piece of plastic from an ammonia bottle, and poked a hole about a quarter inch from one end. I threaded the fish line through it, lined it up to the presser foot, and taped it in place on my machine. (I don't have a foot with a hole to feed stuff through)I wonder: since i was taught to "pull the bobbin thread" to gather, I wonder if using fishline in the bobbin would work?
Or a heavier thread such as Guttermann quilting thread? I wouldn't think that fishing line, if it's anything like nylon thread, would pull and gather. I've had good results taping a coffee stirring straw, cut to size, to my pressure foot to help guide the thread that I'm sewing over. It works on the serger as well. For finer threads, I use my cording foot.
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