tulle. and patience.

Alas! the tulle petticoat is still a dream.


After I had successfully cut the eight layers of tulle to the measurements, I reacquainted myself with the unique properties of this fabric. Exactly what I said last time we visited.

Lighter than air and hard to pin down.

Slippery, with a will of its own.

photo of my hands working with the fabricNearly invisible.

I set about adjusting the layers and pinning them together so that they would lie one on top of the next, like a stack of paper.

Paper would have behaved! This is like stacking spider webs.

I basted the layers together, along one long and one short side by hand. Hmmm! Imagine my excitement! I felt on top of the world! Things were going swimmingly.

(Dost thou sense it? To what dark place is the seamstress headed?)

photo of my hands pulling the gathering threads

I used the longest stitch on my machine and sewed two rows of gathering stitches.

So far, so good. The next step was to pull the threads and reduce the length of one long side to mere inches.

photo of gathered tulle

Almost there. Wait for it!

Ahhhh! The gathering held! Ready to pin and baste the skirt to the yoke (that bit of curved fabric to the right of the skirt).

Nope. With the end in sight, I discovered that success was but a dream.

One of the layers of tulle had evaded the basting thread back in step 1. There was nothing to do but take out the gathering stitches and begin again.

This time I have a new plan for the basting. It will take longer. But that is the way with tulle.




‘Life is all about how you handle Plan B.’ (Author Unknown)

xo, Nancy





eight layers of tulle

Tulle. Defined on dictionary.com as thin, fine net made of nylon, rayon, acetate, or silk.

Not included in most definitions is that it feels like whipped egg whites. I find it prone to static electricity, hard to cut straight, turns on itself, sticks to me, sticks to itself (along the cut edge), and needs protection from my iron with a press cloth.

clip art photo of bride

For those of you who recognize the term tulle, you know this frothy fabric from evening dresses, wedding veils, and fancy hats.

Not to be confused with netting. Netting has a coarser weave and stiffer hand.

photo of blue and turquoise ball gownMy commission, to create a replica of a ball gown worn by my client (the ivory and turquoise gown in the photo on the left) for a doll that is one-quarter her size,  requires an eight-layer petticoat to hold its shape. The original had eight layers of netting.

For any replica I’ve made, an important rule stands. As the size of the garment shrinks so must the scale of the fabric used. The scale for this project is 1:4, so netting is not right.

This brings me to my Sunday project, sewing eight layers of tulle to create a replica petticoat to be worn underneath the replica of the lovely, beaded ivory and turquoise gown.

Frothy, mind-of-its-own, white tulle.

My ALL DAY Sunday project!

xo, Nancy