Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Multi-Hued Tulle Skirt & Wood Bead Necklace

I am a beginner sewer and my expert seamstress mother-in-law says I was a bit crazy to start with this project. But the heart wants what the heart wants, and I love tulle!

So, I thought I would share with you some pics of a skirt I made, with a little trial and error. Here it is, and sewing saga is below, in case anyone else wants to attempt this.
Multi-Hued Tulle Skirt & Wood Bead Necklace by Cicely Ingleside

Last year, I fell in love with the pictures of this Marc Jacobs dress:
And I wanted to make one like it. I even found some flowers I planned to sew on, but the project evolved a bit as I went.

I originally tried to make this using the Burda pattern 7317 view E. First, the fabric I chose for the underskirt had a super-strong perfumey smell, presumably from the fabric dye. Then, this pattern called for cutting and sewing together the tulle in pieces, but what this did was to de-pouf the skirt - pretty much the opposite of what I was going for.  I was frustrated and abandoned the project for a while.

Then, just before Christmas, I saw this gorgeous skirt in Anthropologie:
and was inspired to try again and make the tulle skirt work.

So, I used Butterick pattern B5285, view A (and I skipped the pockets). This was much better, yay!  I found a nice cream taffeta to be the underskirt.

Then I deviated from the pattern by cutting 6 layers of tulle in the same shape as the skirt. (Well, truthfully, my kind mother-in-law cut these and tried to salvage the pieces I had cut in the old pattern's shape. This is why you may see in the pics a seam or two in the tulle - that's from the old pattern.)  I used 4 different colours of tulle, all variants of blue and green, and I love the multi-hued effect this generated. It's not as easy to see in the pictures, but I swear that part looks nice!
Multi-Hued Tulle Skirt & Wood Bead Necklace by Cicely Ingleside
Then, I just followed the pattern and treated the 6 layers of tulle and the taffeta as if it was one piece. No need to hem the taffeta though!

Making the wood bead necklace was super simple. Finding large wood beads was the hard part. I bought these large and small wood beads from Urban Homesteaders on Etsy.  The medium sized ones are from an old necklace of mine.  I simply threaded them onto some string - I used coloured string from the beading section of the craft store - and then I tied a thicker, cream coloured string/ribbon to make it into a necklace. And voilĂ !

 It might be a good idea to paint the beads with a clear coat to increase durability - but I haven't done that yet.

So, it took a year and some persistence, but I have my poufy tulle skirt. I wonder if I could get away with wearing this to work?

P.S. I have since discovered a pattern for a tulle skirt for an adult. The Estelle skirt at Violette Field Threads looks lovely, and if I had seen it before making this skirt, I might have tried it!

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