Oh Em Gee I love TUTUS! I love tutus so much. They’re just absurdly cute and anything the wearer does in a tutu is made infinitely cuter because they’re wearing tutu.
For example – sitting on the couch reading a book becomes sitting on the couch reading a book WEARING A TUTU!
Playing totem tennis becomes playing totem tennis WEARING A TUTU!
Breastfeeding a toddler becomes breastfeeding a toddler WEARING A TUTU!
Climbing on the back of the couch becomes climbing on the back of the couch WEARING A TUTU
… and so on…
So, I went in search of an easy tutorial for a tutu. I was thinking about something full and frothy with a ruffled ribbon around the edge but what I could find was mostly only no-sew tutus – which is fine, I do love a good no-sew tutu, especially for using up left over fabric.
I found THIS one on CookCleanCraft.com which made a very ruffled tutu with 2 meters of organza, but the idea was close enough to what I was thinking, and made so much sense to fold the tulle in half and just sew it a few centimeters out from the fold for room to put an elastic in – too easy!
However, I didn’t have organza, I only have tulle and I still wanted to get some ribbon on it, but this is basically the same idea. But I still want to give credit to the fact that I’ve taken this idea from CookCraftClean.com and adjusted it to suit my materials.
These instructions make an approximately 30cm long skirt that would be suitable for a 2-5 year old. You might want to use more (or less tulle) depending on the size of the child you’re sewing for.
- 1m x 1.2m of stiff tulle (because there’s not a lot of fabric in this tutu it does need to be fairly stiff to hold itself out without lots of layers)
- 5 meters ribbon
- Elastic – at least 2cms wide
- Matching thread and bobbin
- Sewing machine
Cut the tulle in half along the length of the fabric (from salvage edge to salvage edge) to make two pieces 50cm by 1.2 meters long.
Pin the two short ends together, matching up the top and bottom neatly and sew together with the sewing machine using a straight, short stitch. Then turn over and sew together the other ends, together – making a very large loop of tulle.
Pin the ribbon all the way along the bottom edge of the tulle, lining up the end of the ribbon with the sewn edge of the tulle, fold over the overlapping edge of the ribbon and pin securely.
Turn the tulle loop inside out and pin along the other edge. IMPORTANT: one edge must have the ribbon on the inside and one on the outside. Left has the ribbon pinned on the outside, right has it pinned on the inside, so when it’s folded in half the ribbon will be showing on the same side.
Using the sewing machine, with a straight stitch, sew the ribbon onto the tulle as close to the upper edge of the ribbon as you can. Now do the other side. Remove the pins as you go.
Fold the tulle in half with ribbon edges together and facing towards you, with the edges where the tulle is sewn together on the inside of the fold and pin about half way down to secure the two sides together all the way around.
I’ve positioned the ribbon edges with one slightly above the other so when the tutu is finished you can see both lines of ribbon. Place the elastic on the folded edge to work out where you’ll need to sew, allow yourself about 1cm extra width for the elastic to be pulled through. Sew almost all the way around the tulle loop, leave about 2-3 cms gap. Pull out all the pins from the tutu.
I’m sure there’s some kind of fancy way to do this, but what I do is using a metal knitting needle, I stab the elastic and pull the needle through, and using two pins pin the other end of the elastic at the opening, then slide the needle into the space the elastic will go into and push it all the way through.
You probably SHOULD sew this up, but what I do is just tie a knot in the elastic and then tuck the knot in. I don’t even sew up the opening. This way, when she outgrows the waist band all I have to do is fish out the knot, untie it, and either replace the elastic or let a little bit of length out on the knot.
And that’s it! Done!
Then if you’ve made two like I have you can put them both on at the same time and then laying on the couch becomes laying on the couch WEARING TWO TUTUS!!!!
Note: If you are using organza I would recommend following the instructions on CookCleanCraft.com because organza does need to be hemmed as it will fray, so better follow those instructions and not mine.
With my next tutu I’m planning to use 1.5 meters to get a little bit more ruffle – and I’ll need 6 meters of ribbon.
Please let me know if you have any more questions, if I’ve not explained anything properly, or if you make a tutu please share the picture with us!