Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Purple-icious Tutu

So I went a bit overboard the other day and purchased WAY too much tulle.  I've noticed that I have a bad habit of diving headfirst into things when I get excited about them.

Those are 6" spools of 25 yards of tulle each.  Add it up and it comes to 825 yards of tulle.  Eek!  Time to start making some tutus!

I made my first one yesterday using elastic and was pretty happy with the way that it came out:

That's my daughter, Scarlett... having fun in her new play tutu.

Anyway, I liked the elastic, but it stretched as I worked with it and I ended up having to cut a few more inches off and resewing the band to make it fit the way it should.  I wanted to see if I could make one with a ribbon so that the size wouldn't drastically increase as I was working with it.

Supplies Needed-

Ribbon (I think I used Satin for this one.  The polyester one from Wal-Mart was scratchy and I wanted smooth and soft)
Rotary cutter or other cutting device
Cutting mat (Not a "must", but definitely helpful.)
Something to support your tutu during the crafting.  I used our pickle jar for both tutus and I LOVE my pickle jar.  Just be sure little curious fingers can't pull it off of your work surface or you'll be one sad panda.

Step One- Cut your ribbon to the size you need.  To do this, first measure your child's waist and add what you think the length of the bow should be.  In my case, I had a child waist measurement of 17" with 24" on one side and 24" on another so I'd have a pretty bow with long floaty streamers coming down.  I also added 2" for the space that the knots would take up.  So 17" (waist measurement)+24" (one side of bow plus length for "streamer ribbon")+24" (other side of bow)+2" (allowance for knots)= 67" long ribbon

Step Two- Tie knots in your ribbon, leaving the child's waist measurement empty in the middle.  I measured 24" in and tied a knot there.  Then, measured 24" in on the other side and tied another knot... leaving a gap of 17" (child's waist measurement) in the middle.

Step Three- Cut your strips of tulle.  I usually lay the strips on top of each other while I'm cutting to make it quicker and easier.  Think about how far you want your tutu to fluff out, then multiply that by two and add an inch for the knot you'll need to secure it in place.  I was making this for a younger child and I wanted it to fluff out 7.5" (it's not an exact science, I just eyeballed my cutting board and thought, "That length looks good"), so I cut the strips 16" long.  (7.5" out from the body x 2 +1" for knot)  I guesstimate on cutting and just cut until I'm bored with it.

Step 4-  Tie your ribbon around your holder (pickle jar) loosely but so that it's not going to slide down to the bottom.  Then put two pieces of tulle together, bend in half to form a "U" and slide behind ribbon.  Pull tulle through the "U" to knot onto ribbon.

Continue Step 4 around the ribbon (alternating colors if you are using more than one) to the knot on the other side.

Prettiest pickle jar in all the land!

Step 5- You can stop at step 4, but depending on the type of ribbon you use, it may fray.  To stop this, I used my heat sealer, dragged up from the bowels of my craft closet...

If you don't have one, never fear.  Many fabric stores sell fray stopping products or you an also use clear nail polish.  Some people use indirect heat to seal the ends of their ribbon, but please don't set yourself on fire!  Nail polish doesn't burn down houses, at least not that I've ever heard of...

Trim the very edges of your ribbon nice and smooth.  Tutu complete.  When you remove the tutu from whatever you put it on and retie it onto your child, the tulle gap closes and you're left with a nice, full tutu.  Now you, too, can enjoy a beautiful pickle jar, or make a little girl very happy.  :)


  1. Thats so lovely for all our little princess'. I'm thinking that I might try to make one for my granddaughter. Thank you for the idea.

  2. Great project! I just wanted to let you know that we featured this project on our Facebook page with over 12,000 fans. We’d love it if you’d use our Featured Blogger button, available at: http://www.dailycraft.com/thank-you-for-crafting/. Our audience loved the project and we look forward to sharing more from you. Please let us know if you have any questions or projects you’d love us to feature! Thanks!