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。
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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.



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Before & After | Maternity Dress to Peplum Top

DIY Peplum Top (click through for pictures)

Most of you know how much I like quick refashioning – it is a great way to update your wardrobe without putting in much effort. I still like making clothes from scratch but I can’t deny the instant gratification that quick DIY projects provide.

Here is another “old” piece my friend gave me. It was never worn and it is from Max Mara! I’m sure it cost 3-500 dollars. She said it was too potato sack-y for her and I kind of agree that the shape is rather unflattering. Initially my thought was to make a skater dress like this, but I quickly realized that I didn’t have enough fabric. It’s hard to gauge how much fabric I have when it is in an already constructed clothes form. So I had to change the plan mid way and turn it into a peplum top. Considering how much wear I’m getting from this peplum top, I didn’t mind the change of plan 🙂

I forgot that stripes (especially wide stripes) require more fabric…sigh. I made this little peak-a-boo cutout in the back not really on purpose but because of the lack of fabric. But I think it turned out ok!
Before and After of Max Mara Maternity Dress DIY (via vivatveritas back details peplum top DIY peplum top from Max Mara Maternity Dress in processmatching stripes (1)The fabric shed a lot so as soon as I cut, I added the iron-on interface and surged the seam allowances. matching stripes (2)DSC_1752P.S., Check out more Before & After like this here, here and here.

これはMax Maraのワンピース。


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