Lolita petticoat tutorial

18.8.09 - 20:58
Okay, as promised here is a simple petticoat tutorial. This is how I made my organza petti the other week and also how I've made previous ones out of plain net. You can use what ever you like to make yours but it's best to avoid bridal tulle as it's usually quite soft and doesn't stand out as much.

You will need:
A small-ish piece of cotton fabric
net or organza around 3 metres / 3.5 - 4 yrds
A piece of elastic or ribbon - enough to fit over your hips easily

First of all you need to decide on a few things -
1. How many layers do you want to make?
2. How long do you want it to be?

I'll be showing you how to make a one or two layered petti. The two layered one has a layer with two tiers like in this picture.

Once you have decided it's time to start on the yolk. To make this you need two rectangles of fabric the measurement 'W' on the diagram should be your hip measurement plus 5inches(15cm) the one marked 'L' should be around 8in( 20cm).
You'll need to sew these two together at the ends to make a band and create a simple channel at the top by folding it over twice and sewing it down. Leave a small gap in this line of sewing - this is where you will insert your elastic or ribbon to make your petti fit your waist.

Next - cutting your net. When I buy net it is usually folded over (like in the picture above) from being on the card in the shop. I suggest you leave it like that for now, it's easier to measure and cut.

The petticoat that I made was 18in (46cm) long. The yolk accounts for about 5inches of that once the top has been folded to form the waist band and the bottom is hemmed. Therefore on an 18in petti, 13in is net + seam allowance. I cut the pieces for the top layer 15inches long and as wide as the whole net - 44in (112cm)
Check out my chart for a one and two layer petticoats (click to enlarge)

For one layer cut 8 'A' slices from the folded net. For two layer cut 6 'A' slices for the top layer and then three 'B' and six 'C' for the under layer. I made 'B' 10in and 'C' 5 in to match the 15inch top layer 'A'. (the complete length of piece 2 was 3 metres probably closer to 3.5-4 yards)

You should end up with lots of 44inch long strips. You need to join the ends together in a big loop. So for a single layer petti you are now looking at 9-10 yrds of net! You'll have to hem it if you use organza, but I don't hem the net as it doesn't fray.

Now you need to start ruffling. I find it easiest to
do it in sections. Make sure to pin the half way joins to the seams of the yolk - then half way between that and half way between that. These sections are then a bit more manageable and you know they will be even.
The edge of the net should be on the inside so you can't see it when its done.

For two layers there is even more ruffling as you need to attach the line of 'C' pieces to the line of 'B' pieces then also ruffle the top of the 'B' pieces to the yolk under the 'A' pieces!

Lastly you need to insert your elastic or ribbon using a large safety pin to thread it through the top. If you use elastic secure the ends together and sew up the gap. With ribbon you may want to create some button holes on the outside of the band for the end of the ribbon to come out through? I personally prefer elastic.

Then that's it. Until it becomes sooo flat you can't even tell it's a petti any more and then you add more layers or make a new one!

Here are a couple of other petticoat tutorials you might find useful too:
Chrissy's tutorial - three tiers, sewn directly to the elastic
Sugardale tutorial - very detailed, uses hook and eye for fastening


  1. Hi Ra, I made a similar petti last year for a friend's shirololi outfit. I left the raw edges of the net, because as you say, it doesn't ravel. However her tights were snagged and ruined by the end of a day of wear. Unless one is going to edge all the net with lace (ugh, big job) I'd suggest a layer of cotton muslin underneath the net, to lay against the body and legs of the wearer, for comfort and anti-snagging. Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. Thanks Lynne, that's a good point actually. I usually wear thick tights or an underskirt so I've never really had that trouble myself.

  3. Super-great tutorial! Very detailed and awesome.
    Hehe, I'm wearing that petticoat I made right now and it is SO DEAD it's like I'm not wearing anything under this skirt. But like Lynne said, at least it doesn't shred my tights any more. I'm ashamed to say that I've given in and bought a commercial one online... because gathering is probably my least favourite thing to do.

  4. Thanks. Yeah, the gathering is a total pain. I haven't tried net with the ruffler yet, but I'm hoping that will make it easier.

  5. Thank you for posting this! ^^ Your tutorials are always good, and I want to give it a go.
    I want to try organza, but is it really strong enough to support the skirts or dresses? It looks so weak and thin...

  6. Thanks. I think it depends what kind you use? I used silk organza which was quite crisp and worked really nicely, but was a bit expensive.

    I've seen some fabric called 'crinkle organza' which may or may not be the correct term, but it seemed to have a bit more structure than the floaty kind.

  7. you know... I have bought organza last year at a fabric event to make a petticoat out of it but I didn't kew if that would work but as you say that you made one from organza, I'm not that scared to try anymore, so thankyou!!!!

  8. This is great! I have netting and muslin for a net-skirt that I never made. I can't wait to try this out! Maybe I won't get too frustrated with the netting this time around.

  9. Excuse, I know this is old, but is this petti A-shaped or bell-shaped? Thank you very much!