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DIY Tulle Skirt…with Wide Elastic Waist Band

So excited to have Cami from “Tidbits” back today, sharing her darling Holiday Tulle Skirts that she made for her little girls! The fluff is amazing, the elastic waist band is comfy, and since tulle is so inexpensive…’s the perfect holiday skirt!


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Hey guys, it’s Cami from Tidbits, back again!   It’s that time of year again – and it’s happening just as I had predicted it would.   It is the season of gift giving – and I am writing down lists and lists of all the things I plan and hope and dream of making for the loved ones in my life. Not to mention all the new decorations I want to create, and crafts I have to try with my kids, and parties I should throw . . . and . . . and then reality hits.   And I have an anxiety attack.   And I realize, that if I am lucky, 5% of that list will actually happen.   So I start crossing things off and simplifying.   And I can breathe again.   But some things on that list, I just can’t seem to cross off. Even if I have to stay up until the wee hours of the night, I just have to get it done. These skirts for my daughters was one of those.   They are poof-y, and twirl-y, and spin-y, and quite possibly the perfect festive outfit for when Christmas rolls around. Actually, I am pretty sure your little girl will think they are perfect for any time of the year. Come to think of it, I am also pretty sure you don’t need to be a “little girl” to enjoy a skirt like this.


Though it will probably make you feel like one.
This skirt is held together by a wide elastic waistband. They make such a variety of colors of these elastics, you can really create a fun look by exposing the elastic rather then concealing it.
It also looks so cute to tuck in a nice top to create this fun and youthful silhouette.


I found these lace sweaters at Children’s Place online, if you are curious.
The skirt has 1 layer of lining (so it isn’t see-through or itchy), and 2 layers of fluffy tulle on top.
To create the “poof” of the skirt, yards and yards of tulle are gathered tightly and sewn into the waistband.
It’s a good thing tulle is generally pretty cheap.
If you are going with the most inexpensive kind (like seen in the red) you will be amazed at the price for yards and yards of it. I bought mine at Joann’s with a 50% of coupon. The price of the tulle came down to less than a dollar a yard!

However, I couldn’t resist some crushed tulle, once I ran my hand across it. So soft and it lays so nice.



This white skirt was a little more expensive but I absolutely love the look and feel of the crushed tulle!


And my girls love to prance around in their Christmas skirts. They were so upset when I told them they had to wait until the Sunday before Christmas to wear them out in public. Little do they know, I probably won’t be able to wait that long either!


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If you know me, you know I have another little daughter in the middle of these two. She is getting the same type of skirt to go with it, I am just changing out the design a bit to spice things up. Feel free to check on my blog to see how you can vary the style!


I do hope I have convinced you to add a “tulle skirt” to your unrealistic list of things to make before Christmas comes. (At least I’m hoping I’m not the only one with a list like that.)


If so, go buy yards and yards of tulle and keep reading because I’ll show you just how to make it!


A little note before you begin: There are probably many ways you could make this type of skirt. I show you the method I used which made the most sense in my head. Also, I was going for the easiest way possible to deal with so much fabric and bulk. I’ll try to give you as many tips as I can that helped make it easier along the way. Keep in mind, you can easily make size adjustment to this skirt. I will give you the yardage and measurements I used for my 8 and 3 year old to help guide you with how you can adapt it to your needs. But just know, tulle is very forgiving and adapts well. I wouldn’t fret too much about exactness in yardage. You can just gather it up as tight or as loose as you need, to get the look you are going for.


Before you go and buy your fabric, it is best to measure your child. Get the following measurements:

  • Waist measurement – because it will sit higher than most waistlines, measure your child around their stomach at the belly button.
  • Length measurement – this will be the length of the skirt. Start at the belly button and measure down to where you want the hem to sit. I did it about an inch below the knee.



Wide Elastic – Select the color and width of the elastic you wish to use. Make sure you have the length of the waist measurement plus a 1/2 inch. (The black elastic I used was 2 inch wide). You actually need double that, as you will be using 2 layers of elastic.


Lining Fabric – You will need 2.5 times the waist measurement for the width of the fabric and the length of the fabric will be the length measurement (from up above) plus 1 inch. For example: My 8 year old’s waist measured 23 inches. I added 23 + 23 + 11.5 = 57.5, to figure how much width of the lining fabric I needed. Then her length measurement was 19 inches, so I made sure I had that much length, plus 1 inch to work with.

Tulle Fabric – You need a lot! I used 10 yards of tulle for my 8 year old and 5 yards for my 3 year old. This was what I used by gathering the tulle as tight as I could for the most fullness I could get. It is kind of guess work, but use my yardages to help estimate how much you need. If you get too much, it is easy to cut it down. If you don’t get quite enough you can just make your gathers looser rather than tighter. (quick tip: ask the workers at the cutting table to provide you with an empty bolt and wind your tulle back up onto that bolt, rather then trying to fold up a mess of fabric.)



First make the lining: Cut the lining to the dimensions mentioned above.


Decide which edge will be the bottom of the hem. Turn the raw ends over, 1/4 inch twice, and stitch the hem, enclosing the raw edge inside.

Now you are going to sew a french seam to sew the 2 ends together, so the lining becomes one big circle.
To do this, stitch the ends, WRONG SIDES TOGETHER, an 1/8 inch from the raw edge.


Press this seam open.

Now turn it so right sides are together and press down the folded seam line.
Topstitch 1/4 inch away from the folded edge. This will enclose the raw edges inside that seam.
You can choose to stitch the seam flap down, or leave it be. Either way, it looks really nice.
Now it’s best to either serge or zig-zag the top edge of the lining piece. After you have done that, stitch a gather stitch around the whole top edge of the lining. Leave long thread tails. (A gathering stitch is simply a stitch with a very long stitch length. I prefer to stop and start again halfway through. That way it is easier to pull the threads to gather and prevents breakage of the thread.) (more on gathering here)
On the bobbin side of the thread tails, pull and gather until the top lining is bunched.
You want it gathered the same width as the waist measurement so it fits the elastic waistband. But we’ll get to the waist band next, so set the skirt lining aside for now.
Make the waistband:
Cut the elastic the same as the waist measurement, plus 1/2 inch. Do this twice.
(I know, it is white here. I decided later I wanted black)


Stitch the ends of each elastic piece together, 1/4 inch away from the edge. Insert one elastic piece inside the other with wrong sides touching and matching at the end seams. Pin it together evenly if you need too.


You might be confused by this picture as well. One elastic piece end is sewn together with a french seam and one is not. Do not do the french seam unless you are using only one layer of elastic. I figured out later it would look better with 2 layers of elastic.


With the edges of the elastic lined up, sew a slight zig zag stitch all the way around ONLY ON ONE SIDE. Now set the elastic aside for now.
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Gather the Tulle: I found that sewing the gathering stitch on the tulle to be easier when the tulle was left on
the bolt.

So you have a couple of options for cutting this the length you need —

I chose to leave the full length of the tulle on the bolt, and I cut it to the correct hem while it was on her body after I sewed it all together.   But you could also unwind the tulle and cut it the correct length you need before, and then wind it back up.   Below I show you how I use the pre-folded edge of the tulle (which is at the top of the bolt of fabric) as the top edge of my skirt. This makes it simple to keep the 2 layers of tulle I need together and even. But you can choose to cut 2 layers the same length and width if you want to preserve fabric better. I was going for ease. :)   With the tulle still wound up on the bolt, start sewing a gathering stitch 5/8 inch away from the edge, on the folded edge of the tulle. Leave your thread tails. (more on gathering here)

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Unwind the tulle as you go, giving you enough slack as you sew. Sew for approximately 2 yards of length and stop and pull it all out of the machine, leaving long thread tails. Pull the bobbin thread until you have the desired gather on the top edge. I bunched it as much as I could. Tie tight knots at the beginning and end of the gathers, with your thread tails you left behind. This will make it so your gathering does not move or become un-gathered as you sew more.

Place the top edge back into the machine and stitch on top of your last stitches to secure the gather in place more. Continue your gathering stitch another couple of yards.
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Take it out of your machine and gather and tie just as you did before. Continue doing this to the tulle until you have reached the same measurement as the waist measurement (from up above).

Pin the 2 ends of the gathered tulle together, right sides together. Make a seam along those ends. This seam does not need to be serged or zig zagged as it will not unravel, and doing so may make it more noticeable from behind.
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Now with your lining and tulle prepped, you are ready to sew them together. Insert the lining into the tulle, wrong side of the tulle touching the right side of the lining. Pin them together along the top and then stitch them together along the top. Be sure your seam is past the gathering stitches.

If it is an option, serge the top edge. This will decrease a lot of the bulk of all that gathering and make it much easier to deal with.
Grab the elastic pieces you sewed together. Line the back seam of the elastic up with the back seam of the skirt. Pin the skirt top edge inside the 2 layers of elastic. This takes a little work. It helps to insert your pins at an angle.
Continue inserting pins all the way around, until the bulky seam is completely enclosed inside the elastic.

Use a slight zig-zag stitch to close the elastic layers with the skirt top edge in between, together.

Be very careful to smooth out your lining and tulle so they do not get stitched into places where they shouldn’t be.

At this point, I had my 8 year old (with the mis-matched socks) put the skirt on, and I cut the tulle around where I wanted the hemline to be.

And you’re finished!

Now go watch them dance and prance around! You won’t be able to stop smiling!
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Thanks for reading, and I do hope you enjoy!
Diy tulle skirt…with wide elastic waist band
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  Check out Cami’s blog Tidbits, her Pinterest Boards, and her Facebook Page.

Looking for more easy and cute DIY skirts for your little girls? Check these ones out:

The 10-Minute Skirt (re-purposing old shirts into skirts) --- Make It and Love It
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Diy tulle skirt…with wide elastic waist band
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Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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