Ballet Inspired Tulle Skirt

I have seen ton’s of pretty tulle skirts around lately, here are some examples:


From left to right (click on the picture for origin site): 1.’s Brocade and Tulle Party Frock 2. Fashion is Spinach’s vintage tulle skirt 3. Urban Outfitters’ Pins and Needles Tulle Skirt

For my skirt I used a 1 1/2 yards of cream-colored lining fabric, 5 yards of white nylon tulle, and 1 yard of 2 inch black elastic. As you can see in the picture below I also bought 2 yards of darker beige tulle which I didn’t end up using.

The first thing I did was to make the lining of the skirt. If you wanted to add layer after layer of tulle until the skirt is opaque or wear a slip with the skirt you could skip this step. I reused this pattern, New Look 6004, which I already had and liked, which is a super simple pull on gathered skirt with elastic waistband. I used the skirt panel piece but not the other pieces and created this:

A basic lining skirt un-hemmed on the top and bottom, around 12 inches greater than my waist measurement. You could also draft your own pattern for a lining skirt like on this post on, she also has links on that page to her tutorial on making a tulle skirt.

For my tulle overlay I took all 5 yards of my white tulle and wrapped it over and over in intervals roughly the width of the bottom of my lining skirt. I then sewed a gathering stitch around the top of the tulle. To sew a gathering stitch use the longest stitch setting, and don’t back-stitch or tie off the ends. You can then pull the thread ends  and slid the fabric along to gather it. I gathered the tulle to the width of the top of my lining skirt and pinned:

As you can see I didn’t trim my tulle, it’s still as long as it was originally. The next step is  to sew the two fabric’s together:

To measure for my waistband, I generally hold the elastic tight to my waist, the way I want the skirt to fit and add about an inch for a seam. To sew the elastic use a tight zig-zag stitch:

The best way I know to attach a waistband to fabric is to mark off the center front, center back and both sides on the elastic and the skirt:


Start by pinning the center back elastic to the center back of the skirt and as you stitch, stretch the elastic out so the next pin on the waistband meets the next mark on the skirt. Don’t forget to use a zig-zag stitch so the elastic can still stretch!

Here is my skirt with waistband attached:

I left the lining skirt un-hemmed because I thought I would add lace trim to it, but after seeing it plain I liked it more and hemmed it. I also left the tulle un-trimmed for the same reason and at this point trimmed it to about 1 1/2 inches below the lining. If you attempted this it would be easier to hem the lining before adding the tulle overlay, and trim the tulle before gathering it.

Another thing to keep in mind with this method is that you will have a vertical edge of tulle that is only attached at the waistband where you started wrapping the yards of fabric and where you ended. You can’t really see this edge when wearing the skirt since the tulle sticks together but if it bothers you can stitch the errant edge to the layer below it.

I love how it turned out, but it’s a little more puffy than I wanted. I think that was a problem with the tulle I used. I used the softest tulle I could find, but I think it was still a bit too stiff for the look I was going for. Perhaps with some laundering/steaming I could relax it a bit.



Special thanks to my parent’s for the Joann gift card that financed this project and for the beautiful nail polish I am wearing in the above pictures, also thanks to my husband for taking pictures of me in my finished skirt.

More to Read!


    • Because the tulle yardage is wrapped around the waistline, there will be more layers on one side than the other. On mine, there are 4 individual layer of tulle on the back and 6 on the front. Hope that answers your question!


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