DIY Tutorial: Multi-Layered Tulle Petticoat (Make Your Own Rainbow Petticoat!)

First up, I have to say a huge thank you to everyone that’s emailed me with their DIY ideas. I’ve has a huge response and I’m really looking forward to sharing them with you over these coming weeks. Be sure to keep them coming!

I’m starting with this amazing underskirt tutorial by Alexandra King, an independent designer from Somerset. Alexandra produces fabulous vintage-inspired dresses and accessories.

So without further ado, over to the lady herself…

Our wedding was four years ago now and was mainly DIY, bunting, vintage linens everywhere, pearls, candelabras, bath tub bar, my Mum grew the flowers and I made the dresses. I was so lucky being able to this that I had a couple to wear on the day.

I adore vintage dresses, old movies and obsess over French couture designs and techniques from the fifties. All of this is instilled into my designs which are mainly one of a kind cocktail, prom and party dresses bespoke made for my customers. I have also recently introduced a small bridal range.

This underskirt is the must have piece for that fabulous full skirted fifties look. It also makes twirling all that more exciting!

Supplies Needed

1/2 metre of fabric
3 metres of dress net or tulle (per colour/layer)
thread, elastic
bias binding (optional)
sewing machine
tape measure


Step 1: Take the skirt you plan to wear and measure it’s length. Divide this number by three, one third for the waistband and two thirds for the skirt.

Step 2: Measure and cut your fabric. Cut one piece for the waistband (also measure it to fit around your waist) and six pieces of tulle at the skirt length.

Step 3: Double the the waistband fabric over and sew the short ends together. Then hem it by folding the fabric and stitching it down. Repeat this to make a channel at the top to thread your elastic.

Step 4: Attaching the tulle. Take the tulle and with your fingers gather or bunch it as you sew it to the hem of the waistband. Overlap each piece by an inch or so and continue until you have filled up the waistband with your six pieces of gathered tulle.

Step 5. Thread the elastic through the waist channel using the paperclip and tie in a knot. This creates the elasticated waistband. And there’s your basic underskirt!

Step 6. If you want to sew more, you can trim the hem with ribbon binding. This stops the tulle being scratchy and from catching on your dress.

To make the petticoat a rainbow one, repeat the process and add more layers of different colours!



  1. Nina

    Ok… I want one of these, but I be not got time to learn to sew. How much are they to buy?
    Nina x

  2. Uzumara

    Will it work for chiffon or organza fabric? I’m making a petticoat maybe two layers for my lolita outfits. Maybe i’ll wear a dress like yours for next school’s dance, it’s awesome!.

  3. Danelle

    Did she sew the ends of the waistband and the tulle together? or did she just sew the ends of the waistband and leave the tulle ends alone?

  4. Katrina

    Kat, for the rainbow layers did you sew each layer to the hem of the waist band or?? I want to make one this weekend! Thanks for sharing your tute!

  5. Angela

    Hi Kat,
    Found this post via pinterest after a google search. I had the same question as Katrina about the layer construction but can’t seem to find a link to contact Jen about the semantics of it. Thanks!

  6. Steffi

    Thankyou SO much for this tutorial-I made a goth petticoat for my recent alternative wedding-top layer lilac, next layer burgundy, then deep purple then black. Really finished off my outfit beautifully! S x

  7. Shaleea

    Just thought I’d let you know another easy way is to take an old tiered skirt and cut it at the first tier then sew the tulle to that. Then you don’t even have to sew the top part at all.

  8. Teresa Harrison-Withe

    Wish I could sew, would love this petticoat. Not worth me even thinking of making one, my hubby would go mad. Last time I wanted to sew something …. I, ve still got the material…..10 years ago. I, m afraid sewing is not my fortay, i cant even follow the instructions, they just go over my head. Would love to get one made but don, t know who/where to go or ask. Any offers:-)

  9. Eve Lowry

    Wanted to email the person who posted this to ask if all layers of the colors were attached to the same yoke or were different pettis made and worn together? Tried following the “alex” link and its a dead blog now.

  10. Gabi

    I tried to send Alex an email and the link in the blog doesn’t work anymore. I have the same questions like other before me and need to contact her.
    Thanks for your help.

  11. Lourdes Loque

    What can one attach to the petticoat hemline that it easily opens up with a slight spin around.

  12. Olivia Smith

    Thank you for the design. Made it tonight for my Halloween party tomorrow. Very simple. Steps 3 & 4 I would recommend stitching the tulle along the hem before sewing the short sides of the cloth together. It was much easier to sew in a straight line than a round.

  13. charise

    Love this!! Just wondering when u add more layers,where to ssee them onto?! It’s not specified?! Xxx

  14. Becca

    Thank you for this tutorial, and thank you Olivia for the suggestion, that not only makes it easier but sorts out the question of how to sew multiple levels together.

  15. Chrissy Trammell

    Love this tutorial and the look you created! Definitely keeping this one 😀

  16. Chris M

    Thanks for this. Love that there were photos. I made one tonight for one of my kids. Instructions were very easy to follow.


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