Tips on Sewing Tulle Dress

I recently refashioned a tulle wedding dress to a tulle skirt. The inspiration was Olivia Palermo’s two-piece wedding dress. It was interesting to take the dress apart which was made by someone else to make it into something different, and I picked up a few tips on working with tulle fabric along the way.

1. Don’t serge the seam allowances.

Because tulle is see-through, if you overlock the edges, it will be visible from the right side of the fabric. I found overlocking the tulle edges is unnecessary since tulle does not fray. Instead, use a wide seam allowances like 3 cm and press the allowances to one side without zigzag or serging. From trial and error, this turned out to be the easiest and least noticable way to finish tulle seam allowances.  

2. Be careful with the iron temperature.

If you are using nylon tulle, don’t use the high temperature setting as it might melt the fabric! I’ve done it myself. I would start with the low temperature on a scrap fabric first and then gradually raise the temperature. 

3. When hemming, hem on the dress form first then use rotary cutter to finish the uneven edges. 

First place the dress on a dress form or hang it from the ceiling. I use dress form and place it on a chair so it is easier to work. Then use a tape measure to measure the length and start marking the fabric with using pins. Then I cut the dress and take it to a mat so I can make the hem edges pretty using rotary cutter and ruler.  Dress before refashion above.I used the original dress’s lining fabric to make the waist band. It’s gathered on the side just like the one of Olivia Palermo’s. 

P.S. I’ve written more tips on refashioning wedding dress here and here.お客様の購入されたウェディングドレスをリメイクしました。
イメージはオリヴィア・パレルモ。
ドレスのトップス部分をとって、裾をハイ&ローにしてツーピースとして着れるように。
ウエストバンドは裏地だった生地を使って、少しギャザーを入れて仕上げました。
過去のリメイクの案件はこちらこちらもご覧ください。。
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Why I Make Tablecloths in My Down Time

One of the biggest challenges of being an entrepreneur is to have consistent work coming in every month. Some months might be great and some months might not be so good in terms of the amount of incoming work. When you’re in busy season, you have to manage your work and triage it to get everything done on time. On the other hand when you know it’s not your busiest month, you have to work hard to create more work.

In my recent downtime, I made tablecloths. Many of them. It was commissioned by one company I work with. I pressed the fabric hem and sewed straight lines over and over again. It is not sexy nor Instagram worthy but I take on work like this for several reasons.

One is to keep the client happy and build a trusting relationship. They might not give you the work you absolutely love at all times, but work is work. When you are starting up, you cannot be too picky.

Two, it was surprisingly relaxing to do this simple task. It was a good break from creative work. It felt similar to knitting, where you repeat the simple pattern over and over again. Knit, purl, knit purl….

Lastly, it helps me keep going with my business. The money I earned from making tablecloths can be put elsewhere to grow my actual business. So regardless of its sexiness, I take on work like this sometimes to have healthy finance for my business.

P.S. Other small business tips here and here.

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Refashioned Kimono Dresses

Upcycling kimono into dresses has become a continual project. You can see my past kimono refashion posts here, but these mermaid dresses are by far my favorite. I’ve never tried one-shoulder style dresses in the past, and I’m pleasantly surprised to say these are comfortable to wear. You do not have to worry about dress slipping like you would when wearing a strapless dress. It feels pretty secure.

The more I work with kimono fabrics, the more I feel comfortable working with it. This one came in Kimono shape, as opposed to a roll form of fabric prior to refashioning. Because the dress is long and has some train, I had to take the kimono apart, iron them and lay them all on a ground to figure out how to cut so that I won’t be short of fabric near the end. I am always impressed by the hand sewing that goes in in kimono – corners are perfectly matched and the thread colors coordinated. Sometimes I feel bad to take it all apart.

Navy + Hazel

I completely forgot to take “before” photo of this kimono, but it was originally a furisode, which means “winging sleeves”. It is a style of kimono distinguishable by its long sleeves, and is most commonly worn by unmarried young women. It’s a type of kimono that 20-year-olds wear at the Coming of Age Day (seijinshiki)

Orange + Black
Black Tomesode Upcycle

This one was upcycled from tomesode, which is type of kimono worn by married women for special occasions like wedding. My mother wore it for my wedding. Usually the patterns are less busy than furisode, and they are placed under waistline or lower.

最近作った着物のリメイクドレスたち。
振袖と留袖をフォーマルドレスにお仕立て直しました。
ワンショルダーは初めて作ったのですが、ストラップレスのドレスみたいに落ちてくるのを気にしなくて良いし、フォーマルな場面でもそわそわしないで着れて良いです。

最近京都で着物生地の染める工場を見学させていただく機会があったので、新しい興味をもってリメイクに取り組むことができました。京都旅行の詳細はまた後日書きます♪

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