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How to sew tulle?

georgegabriellecouture | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I’m going to sew my first tulle fabric next week for my daughter’s fairy costume. Any tips on how to sew the fabric? Is it hard to sew tulle? And how do you make tulle looks fluffy and airy? Thanks in advance 🙂




  1. Susan -homedecsewing | | #1

    I like to cut tulle by neatly folding and use a rotary cutter . sew side seam . I pin a long strand of dental floss wrap around pin to secure , and sew over floss with a zig zag stitch,backstitch to reinforce at beginning and end then pull till its gathered to the waist size.

  2. Ralphetta | | #2

    You might look at the recent discussions about "flowergirl dress."  I believe that is where I read many notes regarding tulle.

  3. User avater
    Becky-book | | #3

    There is a difference between nylon net (stiff) and tulle (soft). Each has its own problems! 

    If you want a tulle skirt to stand out, put some net underneath.

    Straight pins have a tendency to fall out; use a piece of contrasting thread to mark places that need to match up.  If you really need to pin some together use extra long pins piercing the fabric several times (extra friction to hold it in).

    Do you have a pattern? your own design?

    Hope this helps,


  4. georgegabriellecouture | | #4

    I love this gathering discussions. It has many great helpful people, and I learn so much.

    I follow Ralphetta suggestion and looked up toher discussion about tulle. And I learn a lot of stuff from there. I think tulle is going to be a pretty tricky fabric to work with. And I will try Susan-homedecsewing's suggestion using a dental floss.

    To Becky-book, I didn't know there is a difference between net and tulle. I think tulle is what I'm going to use, since it is so soft, and I'm looking for that fluffy and airy look. I am using simplicity pattern, but it doesn't say anything about tips and tricks to sew tulle. Well, I guess there was one thing, the pattern says to spray the tulle with anti static spray to avoid the tulle from sticking together. I don't know where to get it, probably the craft store. I'm getting my tulle from Jo-Ann.

    The fairy skirt I'm going to make is kinda like tutu, only long. It will have several layers of tulle. My concern is, I am afraid the tulle will bunch up when I attach it to the bodice. How to avoid that? I don't have any sergers :( I'm putting one on my christmas list, hopefully Santa will bring it this Christmas :)

    Or maybe instead of bodice, maybe I'll just make the costume like a ballerina outfit. My daughter is only 2 years-old. Maybe I should just get her a onesie and make the skirt like a tutu. I don't know... :( I'll see and try to work it out first with bodice. If it doesn't look good, I will go with onesie as the last source. I sew children's clothes for my kids, but most of the time I just use plain old cotton fabrics or other materials that's pretty easy to sew. I never work with challenging material like tulle before.

    I will post a picture as soon as I finish making the costume. Thank you all for the help, and for others who would like to share their experiences working with tulle, please feel free to post it here. I need all the help I can get :) Thanks again :)

    1. solosmocker | | #5

      Anti static spray is a product called StaticGuard. You can find this at any supermarket in the laundry aisle. It is usually on the top shelf at any market I have been to. It is a dark blue or green bottle with a bright orange cap. Here in the Northeast you couldn't live without it come wintertime. We would all be shocking one another to pieces!LOL!

      1. georgegabriellecouture | | #6

        Thank you so much for the info. I'll find one at the grocery store this weekend. I live in southwest, it's pretty warm here most of the year, so I never really heard of one before. Thank you thank you again for the info, it is very helpful :)

        1. mygaley | | #11

          When basting the layers of tulle together at the waistline, do this before sewing the cb seam. Use a piece of hem tape or something to support this waistline basting seam, then when you sew it to the bodice, the rayon hem tape is on the bottom and the silky bodice is on the top. Attach skirt to bodice, and then sew the cb seam, all together if the same color, or individually if different colors. Fluff this waistline by going under the layers and pulling the gathered part apart as much as you can (have you have ever made tissue flowers?) My real best advice is follow the instructions given using elastic for the waistline :) Galey

    2. User avater
      Becky-book | | #8

      Speaking of ballet costumes! My girls took lessons for years!

      For  a 2 yr old fairy I would buy a pink onesie, some pink tulle and some pink net. Make an elastic (1'' wide elastic) band that fit snug around her waist. Gather the net (8'' wide folded to 4'' by a couple yds long) and stitch to the elastic (zig zag) near one edge, gather the tulle and stitch it to the other edge of the elastic so it hangs over the net.  The net will help hold the tulle out and up or else the tulle will just hang limp. Twist some silk flowers into a wreath for her hair and your done!  You do not need to sew the skirt to the onesie.

      Happy sewing,


      1. kayrosie | | #9

        Sounds easy I would opt for this.

      2. Ralphetta | | #10

        when you store your tutu be sure to hang it upside down, otherwise it will lose some of its perkiness.

  5. kayrosie | | #7

    The tulle is kinda tricky to use and gather.  I have done one practice flower girl dress and I am going to do one more before I do the real thing. It did turn out pretty good. When I get it all done I will post some pic.  Just take your time and work slow with it.  I ended up using a string and zig zag over it but I would recommend the dental floss instead or fish line.  Hope this helps.

  6. georgegabriellecouture | | #12

    Well, everybody, I finally sew my first tule. I followed the directions on the pattern, combined with everybody's advices here (thank you :)).

    Just one more thing though, my 2 year-old daughter hates the tule! :( I tried to put it on her and she just refused it. And I've tried it for couple of days, and she still refuses to wear the fairy costume. Somehow the tutu scares her. Wow, is my sewing really that bad? LOL. It broke my heart a little bit, since I spent a lot of time doing the details and stuff :(

    I will try to post the pic of the fairy costumes in the picture gallery. Thank you so much for all the help ladies :) I really appreciate it. I'm going to auction the whole thing on ebay tonight, and see if it can go to a good home :)


    1. Ralphetta | | #13

      How about putting a ruffle of tulle around her doll or stuffed toy and calling it a matching fairy costume?  Would that make her more interested?

      1. georgegabriellecouture | | #14

        I did :( And I've tried anything I could think of :( Oh well, maybe I will just make her as a carrot or banana, that's her favorite fruit and veggie. Or maybe just put a white sheet with two holes over her head and make her as a ghost just like Charlie Brown :)


        1. tweediebe | | #15

          HI ALL... liked this discussion and thought if your little girl does not like the tulle then you could make a skirt using petal shaped pieces - finish the edges with a zig-zag - attach to a ribbon belt or 1" elastic - overlap and use velcro to secure the belt.  This type of skirt does not puff out like the tulle but if you use a sheer and stiffen the edges you will get a fairy like look without the tulle.  I would use a leotard and tights under the skirt. Maybe use a collar that ties at the neck and embelish with glittery things. 

          My experience with tulle was worth mentioning, I sewed for the costume industry in LA - Hollywood, and for a Las Vegas show I made (with lots of help of course) 36 "southern belle" skirts... each skirt had 9 tiers of GATHERED tulle !!!  the tiers were between 8" wide and down to 15" wide at the hem of the skirt.  We figured that we hemmed and sewed about 4 miles of irridescent tulle !!!  I am the Queen of TULLE !  LOL


          1. georgegabriellecouture | | #17

            Hi Pamm, I really love your idea of using petal shaped pieces. I never really thought about that. That's a brilliant idea! Thank you so much.

            I decided to sew my kids' costumes because I hate those costumes they sell at the store. They are so cheaply made, and look so cheap. I saw a princess or a fairy costume once, and the tulle skirt was probably only made out of 2 yards of tulle. LOL. With the same money or less, I can make good quality costume with good quality materials.

            To Galey, I will try again next year, and follow your advice. The tutu and the wings is already in auction on ebay. But I won't give up, next year I will try again. :)

            Thank you so much everybody. Wow, what a wonderful people we have here. Thank you all so much for helping me, I really appreciate it :)



    2. mygaley | | #16

      One never can anticipate what a little child will accept or reject. Here are some tips. One, I'd just leave the skirt lying around (in the way) for a few days and see if it gains her interest; she might even sit on it or use it as a blanket for her baby. If you have access to an older child that she admires, let her see that child try on the tulle with no adult comments. My children were always afraid to put on their masks, so they wore them on top of their heads like a hat; perhaps you could pin your tulle on the back of her shorts at the waist level to be a "train". God bless you, Galey

      1. Teaf5 | | #18

        Delightful tips! Most young children either love dressing up or hate it, and not much can be done to change their minds. Sometimes, all you need for a costume is a little makeup or a hat or something the child loves, plus a good story, "This is a bunny princess."

  7. Shannon Taylor | | #19

    Sewing tulle

    If I might add, I have a way easier time trying to sew any materials like tulle with my walking foot!!

  8. Pattiann42 | | #20

    Child dislikes wearing tulle

    I never replied to this discussion when it was originally posted because I do not sew anything that is constructed of tulle or netting.  No daughters or granddaughters.  

    But I do have a thought about the outcome that was posted regarding the child's reluctance to wear the garment.....maybe it is too scratchy.  Ribbon encased edges and seams would be one thought, but that would take a mile or two of ribbon and a week of work (joking).

    If that is not the issue, perhaps having another child wear the garment would spike the interest of the child with her own sense of style!

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