Lexington’s annual Beaux Arts Ball was last night and I made my own costume using Simplicity 1427. This is my version of a fairy. Beaux Arts Ball is a big art and music party. There were multiple performances, DJ’s, and bands. There was also a fashion show and a craft market. Costumes are encouraged. I knew I wanted to make a big fluffy tulle skirt. Read more for construction details.
I cut View C from Simplicity 1427 in a size 14. A muslin was not necessary since the skirt is finished with an elastic waistband. I probably could have gotten away with a smaller size. See Mimi G’s beautiful version paired with a chunky winter sweater. She cut a size 6 and used less tulle for more of an everyday look.
The pattern pieces are very basic. It’s a circle skirt underneath and then layers upon layers of large tulle rectangles. Even though the pattern is basic, working with tulle is not. It was my first time working with this material and it’s kind of a nightmare. I had a moment where I said out loud, “I’m giving up.” I’m glad I stuck with it, though. If you’ve never worked with tulle before, let me share a few tips with you:
Tulle is an open-mesh net fabric that was once solely made of silk, but is now most often found in nylon, rayon, and cotton. I picked my lilac tulle up for 88 cents/yard at Hobby Lobby. This particular pattern calls for 14 yards of tulle! When working with tulle you are not supposed to backstitch. This will cause your fabric to get sucked down into your machine. Use a small needle size, either an 8 or 10. Set your stitch length to 2 mm. And if you need to use an iron, set it to very low heat. Tulle is easily damaged by an iron.
I think part of the reason this project was so challenging is because you have to work with so much fabric. You stitch long panels together and then have to stitch all the layers on top of one another. Plus, you have to gather 14 yards of fabric. Here I was thinking working with tulle would be like doing an arts and crafts project. Not true. I have a whole new appreciation for designers that work with this material.
Sadly, I neglected to get any photos from the event itself. I guess I was having too much fun dancing!