The Easiest Way to Hem Tulle Layers Evenly All At Once!

May 15, 2015 in Tips & Tricks

Hello hello! How are we doing? What are you all sewing these days? Any of you in a season of sewing for a wedding?? My sweet 4 year old is a flower girl in 3 weddings this year, so, be on the look out for some fun flower girl dress tutorials!! If you need one in the mean time, here’s a pretty peplum flower girl dress tutorial!

Onto the subject matter! Many of you probably already know that you don’t hem tulle in the traditional sense (stitching a rolled hem or the like). You quite literally cut it off, as it has no raw edges that will fray. But, to “hem” tulle, can be overwhelming when it is many layers, not to mention, keeping it even while you are cutting! So, on a side note, I am consistently brainstorming the most efficient way to accomplish something (even more so since having 2 little kiddos). 🙂 I was about to hem yet another like 25 layer (over exaggeration) tulle prom dress, when a light bulb went on to do the following!


For the first part of this tutorial, I’ll show you how to do this technique if you are cutting the same amount off of the dress around the entire hem circumference. At the end, I’ll give you some ideas for if you need to cut more off of the front than the sides and back (or the like).

1. Mark where the new hem needs to be. Hem the fabric/lining layer. Then, go ahead and pin all of your tulle layers together.

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2. I needed to take 3.5″ off of this little flower girl dress, so, I made a little mark on my machine with a permanent marker (which comes right off with a cotton ball and a small amount of nail polish remover), but, if that is horrifying to you to mark on your machine, maybe try tape? 🙂 Regardless, mark exactly from your needle to your mark. So for example, I needed to cut 3.5″ off of the tulle, I marked that little line exactly 3.5″ over from the right side of the needle. IMG_2397 copy

3. Then, with your sewing machine, baste the tulle layers together, lining up the tulle edges with the mark you made in the last step.IMG_2403 copy

Below is an image of the basting line 3.5″ up from the lower edge of the tulle.IMG_2405 copy

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4. And, finally, you just evenly cut off right above your stitch line (believe it or not, there are 3 layers there in the image below).IMG_2407 copy

It keeps everything so lined up, neat, and clean! 🙂 The only other thing you might do is reinforce the seam ends where you cut so your seams don’t start coming undone.IMG_2409 copy copy

So, that works great for flower girl dresses and dresses that just (luckily) need the same amount cut off around the entire hem. However, in my experience, especially with teens and adult women (where we have more hip and bum than our former child self), often times we need more cut off the front than the back (or the like). When you are marking the hem (dress on the wearer), just use straight pins and mark as much as you can around the entire dress (pinning all of your layers of tulle together at the same time). You might pin all of the seams together first and then, pin in between. Pin horizontally exactly where you will be cutting off. Warn the wearer to be careful taking the dress off! Then, as you are sewing your basting line with your needle in the center, just follow the pins, taking them out as you get close to them. As you take your pins out, draw your eyes to the next pin and keep steering as straight as you can to the next pin. If you want, you could have her try the dress on again to make sure your line matches up with where you want to cut. When you’re confident, cut! 🙂 Reinforce your seam allowances where you cut.

The dress below shows very uneven layers, so, I just went by the top layer.

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8 responses to The Easiest Way to Hem Tulle Layers Evenly All At Once!

  1. Great tip Stephanie. Didnt know tulle will not fray.

  2. Baye said on May 16, 2015

    Great tutorial. How does one reinforce the edges, though?. I also thought tulle wouldn’t fray.

    • Hi Baye! Thanks, glad you liked it! Are you talking about where I said to reinforce the seams where you cut? If not, let me know! 🙂 Because you are cutting off of the lower edge, your seam ends (at the bottom of your side/back seams) will have no back stitch there any longer, so, they could potentially start coming un-done. So, I would recommend to just run the ends through the sewing machine backstitching (or reinforcing) over the current seam ends only to make sure the seams stay. Thank you for asking! If you need more clarification, just let me know! 🙂

  3. Did I understand correctly that your stitching stays on the body of the tulle? I wasn’t sure which direction above the stitching meant, but all the other information was very good. Thanks!

    • Hi Linda! Thank you for asking! You will cut the stitching off along with the length you cut off. Let me know if that still doesn’t make sense! 🙂 Happy stitching!

  4. If you need a bit of ruffled tulle for a headdress, etc, insert your basting stitch 1/4 inch below where you want to cut and leave thread tails. Cut your straight hem, leaving your cut pieces with a basting stitch a quarter inch in from the edge which can then be pulled to gather the tulle.

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