Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fabric and Tulle Tutu

Last week Thing One was invited to a Princess Birthday Party for 3 of her friends who were born the same week. Princess attire was requested and most of her dress-ups are my old dance costumes so I decided to make her a Princess Tutu for the party. I've already had some questions from the moms at the party about making a tutu so here you go! 

I started with a selection of 8 coordinating fabrics from the Quilters Showcase Fabric Line at Joann's. I went back a day later and added 2 more fabrics from the same line. It's good quality fabric at a good price, which means I don't care too much about how fast the tutu gets destroyed. I got the fabric 60% off so I was even happier. Did I add a few extra yards to the cart for future projects? Perhaps.... 

Thing One's best gal pal was one of the birthday girls so I made her a tutu also. Thing One's will be pink and blue and her friend's will be pink and orange.

I started by cutting the fabric into strips 3 inches wide, the width of the fabric. 

Cut the strips down to the length you want. I did a variety of lengths to give it more visual appeal. My shortest length was about 18 inches and the longest was about 26 inches. Most of the longer ones ended up being orange and going on the friend's tutu (she's taller than my little one). I wanted the tutu's to be a little longer than the ones you buy so that Thing One wouldn't grow out of it too soon.

 I cut the tulle a little longer than the fabric to give it a fairy-like look and more movement. I didn't take pictures because it was about 2 in the morning and things were getting blurry!

I think tutu's are cuter when the ends are pointed instead of cut straight across. Use a rotary cutter and cutting mat to cut the ends into points.

I sewed a simple seam around the outside of the strips to help control the fraying and let me wash the tutu. I am hoping that on a gentle cycle with cold water the fabric and tulle will hold up. We'll see! This was the most time consuming part of the whole process.

I measured Thing One's waist and cut the elastic 2 inches shorter to allow for stretch. She's three and a half and I ended up cutting the elastic just under 18 inches.  
I used 1/2 inch elastic. Overlap the two ends and sew them together using several crisscross stitches for stability.

I used the slipknot method for tying Thing One's tutu and when I use the leftovers to make Thing Two a tutu I will try the double knot method and let you know which I prefer. You can slip the fabric in front or behind the elastic. I found that putting the elastic around my leg helped keep it stable and the elastic from rolling.

Loop the ends through the folded edge of fabric on the top.

Pull it "tight". Not too tight or it will stretch out your elastic, you can always go back and tighten it if needed.

Orange and pink tutu for the best gal pal. I alternated the fabric and tulle doing about 2 strips of fabric per doubled layer of tulle. Once the fabric and tulle were tied the way I wanted I cut and tied ribbons around the top. I used a variety of sparkly, and regular ribbon. I ended up using about 20 fabric strips and 15 doubled tulle strips for a three year old.

Thing One getting a mermaid painted on her face at the Princess Party. 

Thing One and her best bud, rocking the tutu's and princess crowns. You can see that Thing One wasn't satisfied with just being a Princess, she wanted to be a Fairy Princess and wore her wings all day.

I learned SO MUCH from this process and had a great time. I will definitely be making more of these cute tutu's and look forward to different color combinations and techniques. 

What color combinations would you do?

I hope I covered everything! If you have any questions or want more specific measurements, just hit me up!!

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