Friday, October 23, 2009

Fabricate It Friday!

I wanted to sew yesterday, and after the yard work and some house cleaning, okay...very little house cleaning :o), I did sew. I'm working on my daughter's costume. We're building on a dress we already have to create Sparkle Girl, someone from my daughter's imagination. The skirt is made with strips of tulle that are cinched around a piece of ribbon. This is an easy and very forgiving project that goes together quickly. Here's what you'll need:

Scissors or Rotary Cutter
I highly recommend the rotary cutter. Save up and invest in one!
Ribbon (2-3 yds)We chose sparkly purple. You'll use more or less depending on your child's waist circumference. Tulle (2-4 yds)
We chose 4 colors of sparkly tulle...purple, teal, lime green, and yellow. You'll have enough for two skirts: 1 long, 1 short.OptionalFray check or something to seal the edges of your ribbon.


  1. Take the ribbon and wrap a length of it around the child's waist. Hold/mark that length and add 24 inches. This will give you 12" tails to tie into a pretty bow.
  2. If you like, you can seal the edges of your ribbon with fray check. If you're not a pyromaniac and can handle it, use the flame from a lighter to melt the edges and hot seal the ends. Let it cool before you touch it!
  3. Find the center point of your ribbon by matching up the ends and folding in half. Tie an overhand knot (crisscross right over left, pull together) to mark the middle. Set this aside for later.

  4. Get ready to cut those strips! I used my rotary cutter. Fold your tulle in half, matching the selvage edges. Fold in half again. You don't have to fold so many times if you don't want. I find it just makes the cutting easier, though your strips may not be as precise.
  5. Cut 4-inch strips (6 strips). Use the remaining yardage to cut 3-inch strips. You should get about 5 of the 3-inch strips.
  6. Repeat this step with all your tulle.

Let's Tie It Together!
This is where you choose to be impetuous and tie on different colors of tulle at random, or be a little me...and opt for a pattern. Seriously, I made myself a little nutty deciding which colors should go beside one another. I ended up going for an analogous (beside one another on the color wheel) pattern. I may need medication or libation before I attempt another skirt :o)
  1. Fold your tulle strip in half and lay it on your flat surface.
  2. Place the waist ribbon you measured and knotted earlier over the tulle strip a few inches down from the fold. You may want to place a book or something to weigh down the ends of the ribbon. It helps to keep it from twisting as you tie on the tulle strips.
  3. Take the tulle in hand at the fold line and lay it over the waist ribbon.
  4. Bring the two "tails" up through the hole, and secure by pulling down. Don't pull too hard, or you'll stretch the tulle.
  5. Slide tulle strip toward center knot.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 on both sides of center knot until you've reached the last 12-inches of ribbon. I alternated my 3" and 4" strips...i.e., 4" Purple, 3" green, 4" yellow, 3" teal.
  7. If some of your strips became uneven while tying, you can trim them; however, I like the uneveness of the strips. I think it adds to the whimsy of the skirt.

That's it! Wasn't that easy? It took me about 1¼ hours to finish two skirts. The second skirt, for my little neighbor who is three years old, I added strips of sparkly fabric and ribbon. I believe that the more contrasting ribbons and fabric you add, the better these look I actually like the shorter skirt more than the one I created for my daughter. SHH! Don't tell her!

Feel free to comment or ask questions. Happy Friday!


  1. emphasize the use of TULLE as opposed to nylon net, which is too stiff and coarse for this use. Skinny ribbons work great, too.

  2. TheaM - I agree! Definitely use Tulle and NOT NYLON NETTING, else you'll have a Scrubby Skirt that will only be good for washing dishes. :o)


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