How To Hem Flowing Tulle Ruffles With Jewelry Wire? {A Sewing Tutorial}

As I mentioned in my last post, I am in the throes of some serious Halloween costume sewing these days. And I do mean serious.

My kitchen table is covered with yards of pink tulle that I push to the side for meals, then break back out when all the crumbs have been wiped away.

And if you’re a self taught seamstress like me, tulle could possibly be the most ‘unfun’ fabric to work with, right? It moves, it pulls, it slips and slides, (pins NEVER stay in it where you put them!!) but it’s pretty much a staple in most Halloween costumes. There’s no getting around it…especially this year, when I’ve been charged with making my five year old daughter into a mermaid queen.

I stumbled upon a great way to finish the edges of your tulle that I thought I had to share.

Not only does the finished edge help keep your tulle from fraying long after Halloween has passed and your finished work of art has found its way into your child’s dress up bin, but it also gives the edge a beautiful flow…no sharp edges or folds here!

Just waves and ripples of beautiful tulle, which really…let’s be honest.

If you’re going to spend the time (and by “time” I mean DAYS) to hand make a great costume, it should have waves and ripples…and also bring you a margarita on the rocks with salt…but hey. At this point, I’d take a room temperature cup of coffee as long as the end of this tulle was in sight.


Nikki, In Stitches


  • Tulle
  • Coordinating Thread 
  • Sewing machine and basic sewing supplies
  • Fishing line (Wait! I know! This is kind of crazy, right? But THIS is what gives the tulle the “ripples” and NOT the “folds” when you gather it! And one more thing! If you’re like me and enjoy one stop shopping, swap out the fishing line for the heaviest monofilament you can find in the jewelry department of your craft store…it will work the same way!)


  1. Fold over and pin about a 1/4″ inch hem along the edge of your tulle, being sure the fishing line or monofilament is INSIDE the hem.
  2. Use a very skinny zig zag stitch to not only hold the hem in place, but keep the fishing line encased! (If you look up at the picture at the top of the post you can see the monofilament “shining” a little bit, trapped inside the hem!)
  3. Gather your tulle just like you normally would on the unfinished edge!

Ta Da! See that? One side is gathered, but the other side has flowing rolls, NOT bunches or folds! Great tick, right? Plus it adds a little more dimension to your fabric…not a margarita, or even a cup of room temperature coffee…but dimension, just what you (and your tulle) need. (Insert sarcastic face here!)


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