How to make a tutu

It’s that time of year again – trick or treating, fancy dress parties.  Well, the kids anyway – I just get to stay in and make the costumes!

This year Chloe wanted to go to her friend’s party as a “BadFairy” and insisted that bad fairies wear purple and black tutus.  After looking at a few not very inspiring tutus in town I decided I’d have a go at making one myself.

So, armed with a couple of metres of tulle and a bit of elastic and a very vague idea of what I’m doing, here goes ……..

HOW TO MAKE AN 8 LAYER TUTU

1.  Materials

1m each of purple and black tulle (medium weight)

1m of black elastic (approx 5cm wide)

materials

2. Take your first piece of tulle and fold in half along it’s longest edge, then fold in half again.  Pin.  Remember, your tulle should be roughly 1.5 times the length of your elastic to allow for sufficient “ruffle”.

cut

Then cut along top and bottom folds.  Do the same with your next piece of tulle.

3. Now to create your layers – I decided to have alternate black and purple layers.  Separate the tulle and carefully lay each layer one on top of the other, ensuring the top edge of each layer matches the one below.  This can be quite fiddly as the tulle can slip so you may find it helpful to use plenty of pins as you go along.  If you are using only one colour tulle this step will be a lot easier as your tulle will already be pinned and ready to stitch following the cutting stage.

layer

4. Next you need to sew your layers together.  I decided to use my overlocker (serger) for neatness although you could just as easily use a straight stitch on your sewing machine.  Because I used my overlocker I tacked the layers together first (don’t overlock with pins in your fabric – it gets very nasty when your cutting blade hits one!).

tack

Don’t worry about creating ruffles at this stage – this is done when adding the elastic.

overlock

5. Pin the tulle layers evenly across the lower edge of the elastic (about 1cm from the lower edge) leaving approx 3cm overlap at one end.  I added an overlap to make sure the skirt didn’t gape open when worn.

attach

6.  I always find this the scary bit!  Using a medium length stitch sew the tulle on to the elastic.  Because there is a lot more tulle than elastic you will need to stretch the elastic as you sew.  To help avoid snapped needles sew at a medium speed and stretch the elastic either side of the needle.  If you only stretch it at one end you will put too much pressure on the needle.  It’s this stretching process that creates the ruffled look.

stitch

7. Finally, I pinned the tutu around Chloe’s waist and then stitched to secure.  I used a zigzag stitch to allow for “give”.

And here’s the finished result – I was really pleased that it was full enough to be able to stand up on it’s own.

finished

Chloe was thrilled as you can see from the pic

Bad Fairy

I was pleased with my first attempt but would welcome any tips for the next time I make a tutu.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

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  2. 2

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