Girlfriends, you’ve probably seen some members of your LCRACK group in fishnet stockings before, right? Well, it’s not that common because fishnet tights are notorious for being hard to make and easy to ruin. But what if I told you I have the easiest recipe ever and it involves nothing more than cotton candy? Yes, that sounds like a perfect recipe to me!
Fishnet tights are made from two different types of fabrics. The first type is elastic net fabric which is used for the actual panels and ribbing and it’s usually made from acrylic. The second type is non-elastic net fabric which is used for the casing around the elastic net panel or the lace up details on top. These kinds of fabrics can be made from a variety of materials including rayon (which is usually transparent), linen (which has a natural tendency to wrinkle) or even cotton candy!
If this seems very alien to you then don’t worry, weochem has also struggled with making GITD fishnets as well. Luckily our seamstress had access to such an easy-to-use material so making our DIY gaiters was super simple. So let me break down exactly how we did it…

Why You Need a Solid Base for DIY GITD Fishnets

First you need a base garment that will work as the foundation for your fishnets. If you’re going to make a pair of GITD fishnets, then this is the garment you want to use. It needs to be elastic and comfortable which means it needs to be stretchy and thin but also supportive.
Next, you’ll need an elastic net fabric (usually acrylic) which can be purchased at any sewing or fabric store in varying sizes. You’ll also need a non-elastic net fabric (made from rayon, linen, or cotton candy). The size of these fabrics can vary depending on how long the fishnet tights are going to be. For our GITD Fishnets, we used 24″ x 48″ cut pieces of our non-elastic net fabric. Finally, you’ll need lacing details which come in many shapes and sizes so it’s important to pick what best suits your project. So now that this is covered, let’s dig in!

How to Make a Solid Base for GITD Fishnets

The first step in creating your fishnets is fabricating a solid base. To do this, you will need the following materials:
-Cotton candy
-Elastic net fabric
-Non elastic net fabric (or other material)
-Sewing machine, pins and thread
-Sewing pattern for fishnet tights or any other desired pattern
Simply start by cutting a piece of cotton candy, about 2” long and 1/2” wide, from one side. You will also need to cut out two pieces so that the cotton candy can be sewn together with the elastic net fabric. Next, wrap the cotton candy around the elastic net fabric and pin it in place. Sew a few small stitches from one corner to another on each side of the cotton candy so that it won’t unravel when you are inserting your needle into it to sew it on top of the elastic net fabric. If you want to make sure that your casing ends up being even along each side then sew around it with tiny straight stitches before you move onto attaching one casing to the other. Then sew tightly across both casings using running stitch (see below). It should look like something like this:

Finally, make sure those running stitches are tight across both casings by backstitching over them in a row at least 5 times (see below). The final result should look like this:
Once you have finished sewing on both casings,

Sew the Front of the Shorts (Make the Casing)

As you can see from the photos, we had some issues with the elastic not staying in place. So don’t worry about that and just use a little bit of glue to secure the individual panels together.

Sew the Back of the Shorts (Make the Lining)

First, you’re going to want to make the lining for your shorts. This is a pretty standard part of making fishnet tights, so don’t worry if it seems familiar.
First, cut out two rectangles of elastic net fabric (approximately 1-2 inches wider and taller than the size of the shorts) and one rectangle of non-elastic net fabric (larger than the size of the shorts). Then use a zipper foot on your machine to sew your two elastic net panels together along one long side. Sew this panel with right sides together then turn it right side out and press it flat. Next, attach the non-elastic net fabric panel to one end of the elastic net panel. Again, sew this piece with right sides together then turn it right side out and press it flat. Now that both halves are complete, use a straight stitch on top with an overcast stitch length around all four edges for reinforcement. After sewing both halves together, fold them in half lengthwise and align them at their center point so that each bottom edge is touching each other exactly. Sew these two pieces about an inch from their fold with a few stitches close together down each side before moving on to sewing around all four edges again for reinforcement.
Now you need to attach these two pieces together by sewing up either side of the seam where they meet into the middle section where they were originally sewn together using a few stitches just below where they meet

Make a tulle Bottom for your Tights

To start, you’ll need to make a tulle bottom for your GITD fishnets. The first step is making a cotton candy mixture. To do this, mix 1/2 cup (120 g) of sugar with 2/3 cup (130 g) of water in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Once it has, stir in 4 tablespoons (60 g) of cornstarch that has been mixed with 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of cold water to create a slurry. After stirring in the cornstarch slurry, remove from heat so that any excess can be absorbed into the mixture.
Next, add 2 cups (480 mL) of heavy cream and mix well. You should end up with a thick paste-like consistency. Now you can add 2 teaspoons (10 mL) of yellow food coloring and mix it in until desired color is achieved.
Finally, coat your tights or skirt with this mixture using disposable gloves or parchment paper — this will help hold the tights together while they dry! Since these are just stockings, there’s no need to worry about perfect sizing as they’re going on your legs anyway so just make sure they cover your thighs adequately and then attach them around your ankles securely with safety pins or other hardware like eyelets.
Now that your tights are covered, set them on top two layers of cardboard or newspaper for about an hour to let

Add the Top Lace Up Detail

First, you’ll need to add the top lace up detail. This is accomplished by first cutting a piece of elastic net fabric about 3″ wide and about 6″ long for each lace up detail. Place these pieces right sides together and sew them together along their long edges.
Next, pin the two lace up details on top of one another so that they overlap slightly at the point where they were sewn together. Once they are spaced out, take your ribbing fabric and pin it across the bottom of the lace ups so that it covers both layers of lace up details. Sew all around this, leaving a small opening in the center so that you can turn them inside out later. The final step is to sew around this opening before turning them right side out!
Now you have your completed fishnet tights which will look like gaiters!

Get Dipping!

I used a mesh-like cotton candy fabric for the casing on my gaiters. I recommend a cotton candy like Dreamworks or Everlasting. Both of these brands are super soft and this type of cotton is perfect for clothing that can get snagged easily. I started by cutting my casing to the length I wanted it to be and then measured how wide I wanted it to be at the bottom and top.
After measuring out the width, I cut it down to size and gathered it into a pleat with a safety pin. This step was super easy because the fabric was so stretchy!
Next, you need to sew in your elastic net panel. The easiest way is sewing it in using an invisible zipper foot (it’s flat) because you can avoid getting any ladders or bumps while sewing.

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