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by pennifold ( edited 04 Feb 2017 ) 03 Feb 2017


Hi Cuties, I am requesting some help. I'm making our grand-daughter's flowergirl dresses for Amy's upcoming wedding in May.

I have the pattern as shown below - but Amy wants the skirt made in Tulle. She wants 6 layers - eg. say 3 pieces between 12 - 15 inches deep (folded in half) to give it fullness.

So my question is how much fabric should I cut for the waist measurement (which for Ophelie's size on the pattern is about a 24inch - it's then gathered onto the bodice) For Delphi she is only 3, so it will be smaller.

I hope you understand what I'm trying to say. Basically I need to know how wide should I cut the tulle to give it a lot of fullness. I know when I used to make curtains it always said to do them double and then a half to give it fullness.

Any help gratefully accepted. Love Chris

Picture 1 is the Pattern I'm using
Picture 2 is the skirt pattern pieces
Picture 3 is the practice dress I made for Delphi in 2015

The bodice is going to be Lace lined with a soft stretchy fabric. The Ruffle and the Bow/Sash is Raw Silk and of course the skirt is Tulle.

UPDATED: I've put up what we've done so far. I haven't finished it, but you get the idea. I have to hand stitch the raw silk ruffle down and put a button on the back and finish up the end of the sash etc. It looks gorgeous on Delphi. Tomorrow we are doing invitations! I'll see how we feel tomorrow with regards to making Ophelies.


by designgirl 06 Feb 2017

Beautiful dress, she will look really cute in it.

by baydreamer 06 Feb 2017

How adorable she will be in this, both are stunning . Thanks for sharing and I love this pattern.

by raels011 06 Feb 2017

I will be in Bali in May

by pacmp 05 Feb 2017

Darling dress and see you have worked out all the issues, besides the final petticoat that is needed for Delphi. I am so glad you are now doing well enough to be able to take care of the details you were wanting to be able to help with, and I am grateful that you are now able to enjoy the process instead of the excruciating pain that you had been in back before the wedding date was moved and you had surgery. What a relief!! What joy that all is coming together smoothly and with time to spare! Thankful that the DVD Frozen was able to help make the process of wedding preparation not a difficult one for our cute model Ophelie! Continue to enjoy all the preparation time together and hope that Delphi's petticoat won't be difficult to acquire. Looking forward to May's wedding photo's and praying all will go smoothly and as planned throughout. Pam

1 comment
pennifold by pennifold 05 Feb 2017

Thanks Pam, we are all praying that it will be not too hot! Bali is a rather warm country even in May! Love Chris

by parkermom 04 Feb 2017


1 comment
pennifold by pennifold 05 Feb 2017

Thanks so much, love Chris

by haleymax 04 Feb 2017

Love the dress.

1 comment
pennifold by pennifold 05 Feb 2017

Thanks Haley, love Chris

by sandralane 04 Feb 2017

Great work Chris, I look forward to seeing your photos of the wedding party. Sandra.

1 comment
pennifold by pennifold 05 Feb 2017

Thanks Sandra, me too! Love Chris

by graceandham 04 Feb 2017

Oh, Chris, it's darling. Good job Momma!

1 comment
pennifold by pennifold 05 Feb 2017

Thanks Betsey, love Chris

by mops Moderator 04 Feb 2017

Usually you get fullness if you take twice the width, but with tulle taking three times is better. You could decide to stitch 3 double layers on a lining at slightly different levels - just one or two inch apart - so you don't get all 6 layers at the waist.
The dress looks lovely, the girls will look fabulous!

1 comment
pennifold by pennifold 04 Feb 2017

Thanks Martine, the dress has already been made unfortunately, but I like your idea. Love Chris

by kingmar 04 Feb 2017

Those girls will "steal the show". Great job. mk

1 comment
pennifold by pennifold 04 Feb 2017

Thanks so much, and I know the whole wedding party will be beautiful. Love Chris

by dididwiar 04 Feb 2017

It's Beautiful Chris! Would love to see a pic of her in it when you finish.

1 comment
pennifold by pennifold 04 Feb 2017

Thanks Didi, I'll post some when they are all dressed up. Love Chris

by cfidl 04 Feb 2017

I it totally awesome. I usually do not like tulle, however this looks very elegant. You can adjust the fullness with the slip by adding tulle to the lower half only. That way you have protection of the legs from the tulle.

1 comment
pennifold by pennifold 04 Feb 2017

Thanks Chris, good idea! Love Chris

by dragonflyer 04 Feb 2017

Gorgeous job, Chris...and I see you have already gotten your answer!

1 comment
pennifold by pennifold 04 Feb 2017

Thanks Kim, yes, Cuties to the rescue once again, love Chris

by gerryvb 04 Feb 2017

I cannot help you with your question, I can only say the dress looks gorgeous already, And I would suggest a petticoat too.
But it's lovely to see the floral dress in white as flowergirl dress now. Great job !!

1 comment
pennifold by pennifold 04 Feb 2017

Thanks Gerry, yes, it's looking good. Just need more petticoats! Love Chris

by maisiebo 04 Feb 2017

Looking lovely I'm sure the Bride and her attendants / Bridesmaids will all look beautiful don't for get I'm sure we would all love to see wedding photos

1 comment
pennifold by pennifold 04 Feb 2017

Thanks Maisie, yes, I'll post them after the wedding. Love Chris

by asterixsew Moderator 04 Feb 2017

Looks like your having fun AND have had plenty of useful answers. Remembering you posting the picture of the trial dress I followed the links you gave as to where you bought it and plan to make a similar for my two grand daughters. So thanks for that info

asterixsew by asterixsew 04 Feb 2017

PS are you making Amys dress or your outfit too?

pennifold by pennifold 04 Feb 2017

Hi Caroline, no I'm not making Amy's dress. We have 2 wedding dresses at the moment. As we are going to Bali the original dress will be too heavy and hot. She bought another one on line which is much more suitable. I've bought my outfit which is silver/grey 3 piece pantsuit. It goes with my silver hair!!!! Love Chris

by marianb 04 Feb 2017

Hi Chris, do you by chance know anyone up there who does Square Dancing? A petticoat like the ones my daughters used, would do the trick just need to add a few layers of full length for the top.

1 comment
pennifold by pennifold 04 Feb 2017

Hi Marian, I've got a gorgeous petticoat already for Ophelie which will push out the tulle. Can't wait to make hers. Thanks for your help.

Sorry I don't know anyone in the square dancing crowd. Love Chris

by spendlove Moderator 04 Feb 2017

Good luck with this, Chris. The trick will be to reduce bulk at the waist without losing it overall. I like Sewmum1's suggestion.
Do you remember paper nylon? That was very stiff fabric used for petticoats in the 1950's. I had it as part of a bridesmaids dress for my sisters' wedding.

1 comment
pennifold by pennifold 04 Feb 2017

Thanks Sue, no I don't know Paper nylon. I hope that what we've done will suffice. Love Chris

by killiecrankie 04 Feb 2017

The dress is beautiful.
Can't remember how much tulle I used, but I remember the young teenage bridesmaid not being very happy with the scratching of the tulle.
I'm sure you will come up with a solution to stop the scratching & have the right amount of fullness..

1 comment
pennifold by pennifold 04 Feb 2017

Thanks Judy, we've used a very soft bridal tulle and it's worked out perfectly. Love Chris

by Sewmum1 04 Feb 2017

Tulle can be quite scratchy even bridal tulle if you use lots of layers gathered at the waist. I would probably only do one or 2 layers gathered separately the sewn to the waist. I would also gather several long strips about 20-30cm wide, then sew them to the lower portion of the skirt to give the illusion of more layers without the bulk at the waist. You can add as many of these layers as you like. It will be easier to construct if you add the shorter gathered frill first. Line the whole skirt then with a soft fabric to keep the tulle away from the skin. It is a bit like sewing a layered petticoat but it is sewn to the dress.
Is that as clear as mud? Let me know if you need more help. I will have a look and see if I have something here I can take photos of for you.

pennifold by pennifold 04 Feb 2017

Thanks Sewmum I'll put up a picture of what we've done so far. Love Chris

Sewmum1 by Sewmum1 04 Feb 2017

I love your update photos. It looks gorgeous. The fabric is beautiful. Your grand daughter will look precious

by katydid 04 Feb 2017

I can not get beyond the beautiful pattern. I will have to think on the rest. Kay

1 comment
pennifold by pennifold 04 Feb 2017

Thanks Kay, me too. I'ts turned out gorgeous. Our alternative is to go for the raw silk skirt like the ruffle and sash. Expensive but it will look gorgeous. Love Chris

by vickiannette 03 Feb 2017

hi Chris, yes you will need lots. But my tip is to more with putting a layer of fine fabric between the child's skin and the tulle. It is very rough and will likely burn skin, and also it makes holes in nylon stocking etc. I used organza under a frilly skirt bottom once and seemed to do the trick. xx Vicki

1 comment
pennifold by pennifold 04 Feb 2017

Hi Vicki, thanks - yes we used 6 layers and it still wasn't enough. Amy is now going to get a large fluffy petticoat to go underneath it. Ophelie already has one, but Delphi doesn't. Because we've used a soft stretchy lining the dress is quite comfy. Love Chris

by hightechgrammy 03 Feb 2017

What a beautiful dress. I think the 2.5 times what is given would do it. That is what i use for curtains to make them full and cute. Any more and I think you might get too much of a wave.
We'd love to see them finished. how old are your girls now?

1 comment
pennifold by pennifold 03 Feb 2017

Hi Jan, thanks for your input. Ophelie will be 7 on the 15th April a couple of weeks before the wedding.

Delphi turned 3 last October 17th - they are growing up so fast.

I'm in the middle of sewing out Delphi's dress. Amy has just arrived and it's midday here as I write this. Wish me luck.

Love Chris

by stork 03 Feb 2017

I love your practice piece!!! I would suggest that you cut the Tulle at least 1 1/2 times to 2 times larger than the piece. If it were for my granddaugther, I would probably only go with the 1 1/2 times due to the fact that you are doubling it and it will be full with that. I would want to have it too overwhelming for a little. You could cut it x2 and stitch it, gather and place it around her waist before you do the actual garment. If it looks too full you can still cut it and resew. Sorry if this is confusing.

carolpountney by carolpountney 03 Feb 2017

I think you are correct double plus a half again should do it love your trial dress

pennifold by pennifold 03 Feb 2017

Thanks Wendy and Carol. Amy is bringing the girls out today and tomorrow. Amy wants me to address the envelopes for the invitations, she loves my handwriting (old school style!).

I'll try the 1 and a half to 2 times for Delphi but maybe more for Ophelie. It at least gives me an idea of where to begin! Thanks once again. Love Chris