I wanted to dress as a harlequin jester for a circus themed 21st. Rather than buying an expensive one that would be worn once & then thrown in a cupboard, I found a few pictures & came up with this.
It was a fiddley, time consuming project, but worth it. I love being able to tell people that I've made something myself :)
This is my first tutorial, so if my steps aren't clear let me know & I'll go over them.
Sorry I didn't take photos along the way. I hope these little illustrations help!
I must give credit to my mum, who did most of the bands & sewing onto the bands for me!
Cut 10cm wide pieces of tulle, the full width of your material.
My material was around 1.5metres wide, so I used 3 strips for the collar & 2 for each of the wrist cuffs.
*NOTE: You can vary any of these measurements to get it the size you want. EG: these 10cm pieces will make your ruff stick out 5cm from your neck.
Fold your pieces in half so that they now have a width of 5cm. Pin along the open edges.
Pin ribbon along one closed side, as close as possible.
* I used a 12mm wide ribbon on the collar & a 9mm wide on the cuffs, but only because I ran out & couldn't get anymore 12mm! It doesn't really matter what size you use, but I wouldn't use anything under 8mm.
Sew your ribbon on & edges closed.
Then sew three strips together at the ends for the collar, and two sets of two strips for your cuffs.
* You can always sew the strips together later after you figure out how many you want. More strips will give you fuller ruffs.
Fold your pieces in a concertina-like fashion, gathering as you go.
My folds were around 4cm along each time, which gave my ruff a height of 4cm on my neck (chin to collar bone way). You can make your folds bigger or smaller to achieve the size ruff you want.
Gather through the top and bottom of the back edge (side without ribbon, that will sit against your neck) as shown in the next step picture by the red dots.
Gather through the top first, & then the bottom after you have gone through the entire strip, to make it easier to hold onto the lot.
If you want more fullness (or have larger neck & wrists) add more strips before finishing off your gathering.
Tie off your gathering once you have the fullness & distribution of ruffles you want.
* My mum did these steps for me, so I apologise if my descriptions don't make much sense!
Choose a soft material to use as your neck band so you won't get scratched by the tulle.
I used a satin (or something like it?) & also a cotton inside of it (which ends up covered) just to make it that bit thicker to protect me from scratches!
Cut some rectangles (one for each your neck, L wrist and R wrist):
- A bit longer than your gathered tulle pieces, but slightly smaller than the circumference of your neck/wrist, and
- twice the height of the back edge of your gathered tulle pieces, with a tiny bit extra for seams.
Sew material along the long edge while inside-out. Turn right way out.
Cut two pieces of ribbon to the length you like for your neck tie (one for each side). Cut two pieces of elastic, checking that they will be the right tightness for your wrists.
* You can also use ribbon on your wrist cuffs but I chose a thick elastic so they wouldn't come off as I moved around.
Sew your ribbon just inside the edges of your neck band material.
It will be easier to sew your elastic in after you have gathered your tulle pieces onto your bands.
If you use elastic, don't sew you wrist cuffs too tight!
And just as importantly, don't sew them too loose!
Sew your gathered tulle pieces onto your bands with a box-like stitch, picking up two or so folds at a time (shown by the red line).
Add some face paint & your costume is done! :)
Step 11: Leave me some feedback & add suggestions for other people who try this project! :D