Don't be put off because you can't sew or think you aren't creative-this doesn't take sewing skills or creativity!! :) And won't it be great to have something underneath the Christmas tree this year made by YOU!?! This is an easy, everyone can do it project. I realize there are other tutu tutorials out there-this is just one woman's way of doing it.
**This tutorial is for personal use only-please do not sell tutus you make from these instructions.
Since teaching my tutu class I've had quite a few questions from friends who were unable to attend, so I put together this little photo tutu tutorial just in time for Christmas. I've tried to be as thorough as possible, but if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or email me and I'll do my best to answer them. Bear with me as this is my first tutorial ever-hopefully not the last though!!
Supplies for tutu making:
- a pair of scissors
- (if you have one-if you end up using rolls of tulle you will not need this) a rotary cutter.
- A cutting mat (like for quilting-also if you have one and you won't need one if using tulle rolls)
-6 yards of tulle-if you want it to be two toned (like the picture above), then you'll need three yards each of two different colors.
If you want a mix of than get three yards each of the two colors that you want to be predominant and one yard of the accent color. For example, one really pretty three is light pink (3 yards) bright purple (3 yards) and bright turquoise (1 yard).
-package of 1/2 inch elastic. You won't use the whole package, but I'm just generalizing. I'll get to more on elastic in a second.
For a tutu 3T/4T and up
-4 yards of each color tulle, unless you want a third accent color and then it would be 4, 4 and 1 of the accent-see above explanation and again if that doesn't make sense, just write me and ask any questions!!
-1 package of 1/2 inch elastic
A word on elastic-
There are quite a few different kinds of elastic-from ultra stretchy underwear elastic to the stiffer knit elastic. Honestly, I think I've tried every kind and, with the exception of underwear elastic which will make your tutu HUGE, I don't see much of a difference. The key is to get elastic no wider than 1/2 inch-otherwise it will roll when you pull the tulle knots tight.
Where to buy this stuff?
- Joanns-Joann's tulle will be on sale (50% off) AFTER Christmas, but that doesn't help those of you looking to make a tutu as a gift. Check your Sunday newspaper for a Joann's ad and cut the coupon out or print one off here. With coupons, a yard of matte tulle will run you about .75.
- Hobby Lobby-look for tulle in their fabric section. Most of the matte tulle is only 99 cents a yard and the colors that aren't are comparable prices to Joann's. Hobby Lobby also sells rolls of tulle. In the fabric section there are rolls of 25 yards for about $2 (when on sale). Keep in mind though that one of those rolls equals just over one yard of regular off the bolt tulle. So in terms of cost effective, it's really not. If you're all about quick and easy, this may be the way that you want to go. If you decide to go with the rolls, you'll need at least 3 of each color. So if you are making a tutu with two colors, get three rolls of each color (for infant/toddler size). If you are making a three color tutu, 3 rolls of each predominant color and 1 roll of the accent. And here's a coupon for Hobby Lobby as well.
- If you are lucky enough to have a Hobby Lobby in your area, you have one more option. In the wedding section of the store, there are rolls of 100 yards of tulle. When "ribbon on a roll" is 50%, so are the wedding tulle rolls. 100 yards of tulle for $5? Good deal. Only problem is that the colors are extremely limited. My favorite is the fuschia-buy one roll and make a solid colored tutu-fabulous!!
- So you can decide which place you would like to purchase supplies-both will sell elastic, although if you want the best deal on that, go to the sewing department at Walmart!!
- Preemie (under 7 pounds)-14 inches
- 0-3 months: 17/18 inches
- 6-12 months: 18/19inches
- 1-2 years: 20 inches
- 2-3: 21 inches
- 3-4: 22 inches
- 4-5: 23 inches
Preparing the Tulle
- Tulle Rolls If you are using the rolls of tulle, cut the whole roll into 20 inch pieces. Each piece will be 6 inches wide (the width of the roll) and 20 inches long. Do that with all of the colors that you will be using in your tutu
- Full yards Lay your tulle on your cutting mat and using a straight edge (a cheap ruler will do as a straight edge) and a rotary cutter, cut AWAY from yourself every 4-6 inches (I like 4 inches, but there are less cuts when using 6 inches). Again cut all of your tulle colors into 4-6 inch strips. They will be super long----go back and cut each one in half (there should be a faint fold there anyway from being on the bolt at the store)
- If using two colors: layer 3 strips in every other color. For example, if I'm using pink and white, layer 1 white, 1 pink, 1 white.
- With three strips layered, fold in half and put loop in front of elastic
- Take the ends of the strips and go under the elastic and through the loop that you created
- Pull this knot semi tight (now when I said "tight" at the class-some people took me EXTREMELY literally and pulled it so tight that the knot was impossible to move or undo)
- Voila! You are finished with your first tutu knot!
- If you are working with two colors, you will now layer opposite colors than last time-so in my purple/pink example, it would be 1 pink, 1 purple, 1 pink. Now repeat steps 2-4 again. Continue doing this until you get close to the end of your elastic. **Read below if you are using three colors
- ***Three colors-if you have three different colors, you will pattern them like this: color 1, color 2, color 1----next knot: color 2, color 1, color 2---next knot: color 1, color 2, color 3--next knot: color 1, color 2, color 1 and so forth. Obviously, you can mix this up however you want-the trick is to keep some sort of pattern
- Sew the two ends of elastic together using a sewing machine or needle and thread. Cover the sewn ends with a couple more tulle knots.
- Now it's time to even your tutu out-you can totally leave it messy if you want to skip this step. It gives it more of a fairy look rather than a ballerina look. If you want a cleaner "ballet" look, even out all of the ends by cutting them at about 8 inches long (for infant and toddler tutu).
- YOU ARE DONE! If you want to add more froof, the addition of silk flowers, ribbon or sequins can really dress up the tutu. My friend Jen added wings, ribbon and an antennae headband to her plain tutu and transformed her daughter into a bumble bee!The possibilities are endless!
Like I said before, feel free to write and ask me any questions--bethanycr (AT) gmail (DOT) com. And I'd love to see any fabulous creations that you put together from these instructions! Happy tutu making and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!