Friday, June 3, 2016

Tu-tu-tu-torial part I

Actually today I am not going to make a tutu but a tulle underskirt. If i would make it shorter and wider it would be a tutu.
I never did this before, not this way, so it is an experiment. If you see this post it means it's been successful.

What you need:

+ Tulle - 2 X desired lenght + 2 cm. The width will be the one of the fabric but for a fuller result it can be made double or even triple. You have to buy the desired lenght plus a reserve of at least 20 cm because in some shops they tend to not cut the tulle very carefully so you might have to remove quite a lot when you straighten it.

+ Elastic band for the waist. the elastic will be visible so it should be a bit showy. You have to measure the lenght of the waist of the girl and cut exactly that lenght of elastic (no seam allowance).

+ A ribbon of very stretchy and supple fabric, as long as the elastic and the width of the elastic plus  1,5 cm. It has to be cut so that it stretches the most.

+ Double needle

+ Scissors, sewing machine, thread, a washable thin felt pen..

First I straightened the horizontal edges:

Next, i removed the loom edge. It's optional but I find it ugly.

I folded the tulle along the center fold and stitched the 2 edges opposed to the middle fold together. I got a cilinder double the final lenght of the skirt. The seam can be ironed open with the ironing machine on nylon setting.

I set the stitch lenght on 3.5 and the thread tension on 5 and sew, without turning back at the ends, the double edge that will be attached to the elastic 2 times: once on at 1/8 and once with the first stitch at foot distance (between 3/8 and 5/8 from the edge). the point is that one line has to be a bit less than foot distance and the other one, a bit more.  Don't cut the ends of the thread! 

When you are done, you should get this:

Don't forget to bring the settings of the machine back to the default ones.

I cut a piece of elastic the exact lenght of the waist (56 cm in our case) and a ribbon of very soft, thin and stretchy viscose tricot. The elastic is 2,5 cm wide and the ribbon of viscose is 2,5+ 1,5 cm = 4cm.

With a washable pen (thin felt pens for kids are great for drawing on fabric and wash out completely even on cold wash) I drew a line along one of the edges of the ribbon at 0,75 mm distance from the edge.

Time to switch to the tread in the colour of the elastic.

I sew together the ends of the elastic and the ends of the ribbon respectively, and got 2 circles:
For the elastic: let the ends overlap a few mm and sew over, on the good side, with a wide zig-zag stitch a buttonhole stitch lenght. Trim on the back if needed.

The ribbon  has to be stitched together in a circle.

Time to install the double needle.
With the double needle, I stitched the ribbon on the elastic, elastic a bit overlaping the ribbon, on the pen line.

I locked with knots all the thread ends excepting 2, one next to the edge and its pair. I pulled those 2 together gently until the tulle skirt got as wide as the elastic band.

I locked the ends of thread with a pin and spread the folds evenly.

The tulle skirt has to be carefully pinned all around against the good side of the ribbon edge and stitched together with a single needle. Remove all the stitches which were meant to keep the ruffles in place by cutting the threads from place to place and pulling on it. It should look like this now:

Fold the elastic over the raw edge, pin it and stitch it closed with a double needle or with a stretch stitch.

It should look like this:

All the inside soft waist band thing can be skipped, and that would save a lot of work, but I wanted to do it to avoid the scratchy tulle edge coming in contact with the skin. I think it's worth the effort. Now it's soft and nice to wear.
This is how it looks under a dress:

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