Today I thought I’d show you an easy way to how to sew tulle and how to gather tulle to make a pretty tutu skirt. If you have ever sewn tulle before you’ll know that gathering using traditional methods (2 rows of straight stitching with a long stitch length) can be hard work because of the volume of fabric you are often working with. Your threads will often snap as they don’t easily pull through the mesh of the tulle. This easy method will solve these common problems so you can get on with sewing a pretty tutu skirt.
How to sew tulle – 5 TOP TIPS
Tulle seams are a little harder to sew than those in woven fabrics due to the mesh fibers and slight stretch factor, but with a few adjustments, you will be able to get great results.
Here are my top 5 tips for how to sew tulle:
- Use safety pins. Pins will fall out easily so instead, secure seams temporarily with safety pins. This is very useful when you are working with numerous layers.
- Use zig-zag. Sewing tulle seams with a straight stitch will often result in skipped and broken stitches. This can be solved by stitching side seams with a very narrow zig-zag. Test a scrap using a width of 1.0-2.0 and a length of 3.0. Give the tulle seam a pull and see if the stitches pop.
- Replace your foot. If you are finding your tulle is not feeding under your presser foot, try switching to a Teflon non-stick foot or placing a piece of tape under your regular foot.
- Don’t iron tulle. If you need to get wrinkles out, use a clothing steamer or your regular iron with a thick pressing cloth on top.
- Leave hems raw. There is no need to hem tulle as it does not fray.
How to Gather Tulle
- Before you start learning how to gather tulle, rummage through your bathroom cupboard to find your dental floss. Dental floss generally works better than string as it is slippery so pulls through the zig-zag stitches very easily. If you don’t have any floss you could also use crochet thread or other thin but strong thread.
- Cut your dental floss at least 4 inches (10cm) longer than the item to be gathered.
- Put your machine on a very wide zig-zag stitch. I set my width to 6.0 and my length to 3.0.
- Leave a tail of 2 inches (5cm) and then zig-zag over the floss.
- Be careful not to catch the floss in your zig-zag. Also, be careful that you don’t pull the end of the floss too hard so that it pulls through.
- To gather, gently pull the floss and you will easily gather your tulle.
- Secure the ends together by tying a knot. You now have easily gathered your tulle! That much easier than regular methods wasn’t it?
If you have some extra tips or other great ideas for gathering tulle please comment below.
Now you know how to gather tulle try it out on my free tutu skirt sewing pattern. This skirt is ideal for your little princess and comes in girls sizes 2 to 10.