When Fluff is a Must!


In cruising the web for ideas, I stumbled across these pettiskirts as made famous by Kaiya Eve and thought they’d be good to have in my arsenal of photo-props, but at a whopping $130 a piece for the larger sizes, it was NOT going to happen.  Ebay and Etsy of course have them, but I still don’t want to pay.  So I did what I do best – improvise. In the Birthday Pictures post, Miss Is is wearing a bright red and a soft, baby pink pettiskirt that I had made.  I didn’t use nylon chiffon or crinoline as the Eve/Ebay/Etsy skirts do because I was after the “look” and not so much the softness for constant dress-up wear.  Besides, the chiffon is harder to find and takes more jingle out of your pocket.  Tulle, even the sparkly kind, isn’t more than a buck-fifty a yard.


So far I’ve made (in order) baby pink, ruby red, coffee bean brown with rose fluff, black with hot pink fluff and now this one for the tutorial.  I still have a butter yellow, purple with lime green sparkly fluff, another black and hot pink (I “donated” the other one).  I think they’re fun and can use the same concepts to morph them into different designs.


Here’s how I make’m! 


You’ll need:

  • Approximately 3 yards of tulle plus another 4 yards of the same or contrasting color.
  • 16” of 1” wide elastic
  • 32” of 1” wide ribbon,
  • 8” x 54” satin/sateen or taffeta
  • 1/2 yard of med. weight fusible interfacing
  • Either a 500yrd. spool of thread for a single color skirt or two 250yrd. spool of thread in the main and accent tulle color.


  • Iron
  • Sewing machine
  • Two bobbins
  • Pins
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Cutting mat and circular tool is optional, but it really helps if you have them.
  • Patience


Step 1:  Square up your 8” x 54” satin.  It’s never cut straight at the fabric store no matter how good it looks just eyeballing it.  Go ahead, just give it a trim.


Step 2:  Cut 1 1/2” strips of fusible interfacing.  How many will depend on what width you bought.  Cut enough to line the outside except for the salvaged edge.


Step 3:  Iron on the interfacing as close to the edge as possible  (length wise).  Make sure the bumpy side is down, otherwise you’ll gum up your iron and that’s just not fun.  This helps with fraying and gives the waist extra strength.


Iron on interfacing J 

Step 4:  With the right side of the satin down, fold the salvage (short side) edge back onto the wrong side of the satin and sew to make a nice finished edge.  Do the same to the other side.


Step 5:  With both salvaged ends hemmed, turn the satin over (wrong side down) and fold in half, bringing one hemmed edge to the other.


  • Sew a 1/2” hem.  Lock your stitch at sew 3 1/4” down the length of the hemmed salvage edge.  Lock your stitch again.  (That’s just hitting reverse and then forward again to sew a “knot”.
  • Lift the foot and gently pull the fabric 1 1/2” forward.  (You’re not sewing that section.)  Lower foot and sink the needle.  Start sewing again, locking your stitch and continue to the end.  Approx. 3 1/4”.

You should have a loop of black satin with a “hole” in the middle of the seam.  If you do, GREAT!  If not, keep at it.


Step 6:  Fold the loop in half lengthwise, right-side out, so that the interfacing edges match up on the inside.  Pin all along the edge.  You should still have a loop, just skinnier.  The “hole” should be up at the top.


Step 7:  Sew 1 1/2 “ hem just below the “hole”.  What were doing is making a sleeve for the waistband .


Step 8:  Once the first stitch loop is completed, slide towards the pinned edge another 1 1/2” and repeat.  This step gives the skirt something to hold on to without directly pulling on the waistband sleeve. 


Waistband 2_1 J


Waistband 3 J


Step 9:  Take your 32” length of 1” wide ribbon and cut a diagonal in the middle to create tie ends.


Ribbon Ends J

Step 10:  Sew with a zig-zag stitch the straight edge of one ribbon to the end of the 1” wide elastic.  Repeat.  Make sure to check that the ribbons are right-side up (or down) on either side and that the diagonal ends are “pointing” in opposite directions, peaks either at the top or bottom.  Thread the ribbon/elastic through the waistband sleeve leaving the ribbon ends exposed.  Tie in a cute, little knot so it doesn’t slip back through.


Step 11:   Spread out the interfacing (bottom) edge and set aside.


Waistband Ribbon Split J


Step 12:  Cut your “main” tulle color into SIX, 5” wide strips across the width of the tulle. ( Tip:  I use my circular/quilting set to accomplish this.  Make sure there are no wrinkles and fold over twice so the cutting strokes are shorter that if the tulle came straight off the bolt.)


Step 13:  Since your cutting stuff is out and the tulle lined up, go ahead and cut TWELVE, 8” wide strips and set aside.  Keep them separate from the 5” strips.


Step 14:  Go back to your 5” wide strips.  Sew THREE lengths together, end to end, with a 1/4” hem.  Repeat with the other set of THREE strips so that you end up with two, THREE length long strips.


Attaching strips J


Step 15:  Shirr (gather) each of the strips down their length 1/4” from the top.  I don’t have a shirring foot ($15 at Joann’s) so I use my tension (set to 6) and stitch length ( 5, as long as it goes) to do it.  Make sure the gathers are not too tight, but nice and fluffy. Sometimes I have to “help” the gathers by tugging on the threads from behind the needle just until I get the ruffle I want, then the machine does the rest.


Shirring Strips J


Step 16:  Grab the satin waistband.  Place one back edge (directly opposite of the ribbons) of the bottom, right-side up on your machine.  Slide in the top of one of the shirred strips between the presser foot and the right-side of the satin. We’re sewing the tulle on top of the satin.  (Tip:  Make sure that your hems that attach the THREE lengths together are facing down.)  Sew the shirred strip around the circumference about a 1/4” up from the edge, making sure not to catch the “second” bottom.  (That’s why we split the ends.)  Basically there is a “top” layer and a “bottom” layer to the skirt.


Attaching Shirred Strips 1 Layer JFirst Tier Attached J

(First layer attached)


Step 17:  Repeat step 16 to the other side.  Again checking to make sure the length hems are facing down.  Technically, there is not a “wrong-side” to the skirt if you make it this way.


First Tier Attached Back J (First and second layers attached to waist.)


Step 18:  Sew end to end SIX, 8” wide strips together to make two sets.  Just like Step 14.


Step 19:  Shirr each set along the top; the gathers should be tighter.   You’re basically adding twice as much fabric as you did for the first tier.


Step 20:  Make sure that your hems are facing down.  Only using one tier of tulle, place the top, back bottom edge under your presser foot and then place the shirred 8” wide strip on top, about 1/8” from the edge.  To get the poofy-ness we’re looking for, stitch the shirred second tier to the straightened first tier.  (I know, I’m making up words and not making a whole lot of sense.)  See the picture below; it’s worth more than all the above.  Try to sew along the shirred stitch to minimize lines.  Sew all the way around to the end.  Slightly overlap the end with the beginning and lock your stitch.


Attached Second Tier 1 J


Step 21:  If you have extra 8” shirred strip at the end, cut if off as close to the last stitched point, making sure not to cut off material needed for the skirt.


Remove Extra Length J



Second Tier Front J

(First layer of second tier.)


Step 22:  Repeat Steps 20 and 21 to the “bottom first tier”.  CHECK that your connecting, strip hems are facing down.


Second Tier Both J

(Both tiers and layers completed.)


Step 23:  Now for the fun-fluffy-stuff.  In this skirt I chose an electric blue as my contrasting color.  (Thus the bright blue ribbon.)  Cut up all four yards of tulle into 2 1/2” wide strips.


Cut Fluff Strips 1 J


Step 24:  Don’t be afraid of the monster-like pile of fluff.  It will be your friend if you know how to handle it.  Remember to change out your thread color if needed!


Cut Fluff Strips 2 J


Step 25:  Sew all the strips end to end, keeping the hems on the same side.  (Tip:  I start with one strip laying across my lap, fold the left end back towards itself and place another strip end on top of that and sew.  No need to lock the stitch.  With the newly sewn strip edge under the presser foot, find the end of the top strip, fold it back towards itself and add another strip.  Place under the presser foot and sew.  Repeat… a lot.  This keeps the hems on the same side and keeps you from having to lift the presser foot, cut the thread and place the new connection in three separate steps.  When you have four of five “connections” lined up, go ahead and snip them apart.  If you’re really good, there shouldn’t be any extra thread to trim off either.)  This is the fifth skirt that I’ve made and the above tip was born as the ‘better, faster way of doing things’ from that good ol’ mother of necessity.  Do what you want; this works for me.


Step 26:  Shirr the 2 1/2” wide strips down the middle.  Again, do this with your tension otherwise you’ll want to give up and curse me for even suggesting this tutorial.


Shirr 2

Shirred Fluff 1 J


Step 27:  On the top-side, bottom of the second tier, stretch-out the ruffle and sew the fluff-stuff to the top.  Just like what we did before.  Try to use the shirring stitch as a guide.  As always, make sure your connecting hems are down, though it doesn’t matter too much so if it’s not, don’t start over and please don’t cry. 


Attached to 2nd Tier J

(I help control the fluff by gently pressing it down so it doesn’t catch on the presser foot and wad up.

I can also see what I’m doing, but I can’t imagine why that would help!)


Step 28:  Attach the fluff-stuff all the way around.  Just keep going, just keep going…  and going.  Go some more.  It will be worth it.  I promise.  Lock your stitch at the end/beginning and hack off whatever is left like in Step 21. 


First Tier Fluff J

(First layer of fluffy-stuff attached.)


Step 29:  Repeat steps 27 & 28 with the remaining layer.  The one that isn’t cute.


Step 30:  Commence the happy dance of joy.  You’re finished.


Maddy Post 2RJ


  1. mandbrid said...

    YAY! I tried a fluffy tulle skirt for B and it just didn't look right. This pettiskirt is more work - but I'm excited to try! Miss Is looks too cute modeling it for you!

  2. Connie said...

    That's darling, chick!!! You make it look so easy also. I may try one of those also, just for Miss Iz to play with when she rolls around on th' bed! ;-)

  3. Emma said...

    Oh my gosh!! Maddy looks soooo cute in that skirt! And those skirts are really really really cute! It looks like ALOT of work! I've never heard of Kaiya Eve before, but sounds cool!

  4. Tammy said...

    You didn't mention that you had to repair a brown one that MY KID ripped!!!! I can't believe I am admitting to this on your blog! I'm still SO EMBARRASSED!!!!! I hope you can forgive us! You are so stinking talented!!!

  5. Barney Family Blog said...

    You are amazing. I think I have one girl who would love some fluff, and two more in a couple years. It would probably take me that long to make. I better get crackin. Thanks for sharing your brilliance with us!

  6. The Gooch Family said...

    Way to go! I am so impressed! Love the new banner as well!

  7. young family said...

    Uuuummmm, you make me speachless with your talent and drive!!!!!

    VERY AWESOME!! The pictures are beautiful!

    So when you are a famous photographer are you going to remember the little people (little ole' me?)? :)

    Love your work Stacey!

  8. Stacey said...

    Okay lady, you are making the rest of us look bad. Check out your wild talent. I am so jealous!!! Awesome.
    Good Job

  9. ...for all eternity. said...

    Okay, you lost me at "sewing machine." How about I just pay you to make a bunch for me and I will let the isle of sewing machines rest at ease when I walk by them in the store!?!
    They are WONDERFUL!!

  10. Just Me said...

    I have scoured the internet for "how to" videos or ANYTHING with both visual and written directions! TY TY TY TY!! I'm going to pass your link on to the dozens of other ppl who I've seen asking w/o getting a decent answer. This was absolutely THE BEST one yet, and I appreciate that you put it in layman's terms. How "long" is long? Like a day? 2? 3?

  11. Sherree Padilla said...

    I make these out of chiffon! Check out my blog at http://myrocknrollprincess.blogspot.com/