Well it only took me a week and a half to get back to the tulle skirt (Part 1 available here). Part of that was probably the intimidation of sewing it in my precious machine. Not gonna lie. It’s my baby. I was scared. BUT…with some research I did manage to gather some tips that made it seem less terrifying. I thought I might share these with you all.
The first thing I did was to grab my handy multitool and switch out my needle for a thinner one. (I had to google needle sizes so I knew which was the smallest. Ha!) Then I threaded my needle and brought up the lower thread. I reduced the tension down to a 3 on my machine.
Next I taped off my dogs. (Did you know that’s what those little grippy teeth things are?? I did not know that until recently. But then again, this is my first REAL sewing machine…so yeah) I taped each side, just barely and then did a piece of tape across the front two. Do this with your lower thread already coming up, so you don’t accidentally tape the hole off and then stab your needle through the tape! It’s really hard to take a picture of tape…by the way.
Then I made sure my stitch was straight and long, which is different on every machine, I know. Even if your machine doesn’t have adjustable stitch lengths, I think you’ll be fine with your regular straight stitch. Once all this was done….time to test it out!!!
From enough trial and error (and stupidity) in my short sewing history I knew I should test a swatch first. So I grabbed some scrap and just folded it over itself twice and sewed a line….
AND IT WORKED!!!
So now to sew the whole, big, fluffy, cantankerous mess. I looked over at my clothespinning and quickly realized that wasn’t going to cut it. I went through and pinned it about every 2 inches. It was NOT perfect, it was NOT in neat lines, it was NOT even and it was NOT pretty. But it worked.
I managed to sew all the way around with the thread only breaking once!! Ha. Another key tip is to not forget to move it with your HANDS. The dogs are taped off…they are still semi-functional, but where the tulle was extra thick from ruffles or folds…it did NOT move easily.
Once it was sewn the whole way around, I was honestly scared to try it on…I was worried it wouldn’t fit over my hips since I had sized most of them to my waist. So without really checking, I sewed it on to the elastic and lining piece I’d made before.
I had to go back and re-check how best to sew it on. It took some more flipping and twisting but I finally got it. Your elastic should have the lining sewn to it with the wrong sides out. I sewed my lining to the elastic about 1/4 the way up from the bottom, to help with the flipping portion later. So with your wrong sides facing out, put the tulle on in the same direction as the lining, with the lining inside the tulle. (REMEMBER TO UN-TAPE YOUR DOGS…you can leave the needle, or at least I did…) Sew the tulle on with a zig-zag stitch, stretching the elastic as you go. I followed the line sewn in the tulle, and stitched that to the line that I had used to sew the lining to the elastic.
Next, I flipped it inside out, with the lining now on the outside, with the seams on the inside. I sewed the lining down to the elastic band, sandwiching the small tulle (itchy) edge between the layers of lining and elastic, so that only the lining would be touching my skin.
Then, you flip the tulle back to the outside, and flip the BAND ONLY so that elastic faces out, and the lining is inside, with the seams facing the tulle (counter-intuitive and maybe I did it wrong, but that’s how it worked out for me).
Throw on a ribbon….red accessories for the holidays…and BAM!!!
And you know what? It REALLY wasn’t that hard.
Former Perfectionist Tip: It doesn’t go perfectly. But it’s really not that hard. When sewing the tulle and the lining, I kind of half laid my arm and left half on the mass of fluff to control it. The tape comes off the dogs a little. No big deal. Your thread will break. No big deal. You will NOT sew in any straight line…just get over that now.
So I really love it. I’m going to make some more, for sure. And some overlays so I can have a multitude of fluffy holiday skirts.
Bonus FPT: Adult females that are roughly 5’3” can fit youth size 14/16 tights….because when 3 separate stores don’t have white tights in adult human size…you get desperate.