Tutu Tutorial


It says something about my age that every time I’ve thought about writing this post (which has been a bunch of times, since I’ve been meaning to do it since last Halloween, as in 2010) I get the song “Sussudio” by Phil Collins stuck in my head (welcome back, 1985!).

Anyway, I’m not much of a girly-girl, but I can’t resist dolling up the Bit every now and then. And one thing I love for her that she seems to love slightly less is tutus.

One reason I love them — besides the fact that they’re adorable — is that they’re really easy to make.

The first one I did was her year 2 Halloween costume, which I’ve shown you before but can’t resist doing again.

halloween tutu
My girl celebrating her second Halloween at the local botanical gardern.

That one had four colors: maroon, purple, blue and beige. My second attempt, which I made earlier this year, was supposed to be for a Razorbacks game, but as our team is red and white you could do the exact same thing for Christmas, or change the colors to your favorite team’s, or just make it whatever colors you like.

tutu tutorial
Well, at least the lion likes my tutu.

The Bit has never worn it. It’s in her dress up clothes, so I hope some day she’ll decide it’s worth slipping on. Because it’s adorable. You can make one, too.

What You’ll Need

  • a yard each of all of the different colors of tulle you want (I used red and white, whatever they had at the fabric store)
  • one 10-yard spool of half-inch wide ribbon in color of your choice (you can match, like I did with the red, or choose another color)
  • scissors
  • a length of half-inch elastic, cut slightly larger than the waist you’re hoping to surround with your tutu (or quarter-inch if that’s all you have, no biggie, we’re about making do here)

What You’ll Do

  1. Tie a knot in your elastic so it makes a circle. At least double knot it.
  2. Cut your tulle into lengths that are about twice as long as you want your finished skirt to be. Mine are about 24 inches, to make a 12-inch long skirt. The width is about 2 inches, but you don’t have to be precise and you can make them as wide or narrow as you like.
  3. Loop the pieces of tulle around the elastic and tie a regular knot. Keep going until the elastic is well covered or you’re out of tulle. You can work in a pattern or randomly. The more colors you use the denser your tutu will end up; I wouldn’t try it with less than two yards total of fabric.
  4. Cut the ribbon into lengths about the same or even slightly longer than the tulle was cut. Tie those in randomly, too.
  5. Comb the ends down with your fingers to give it a more groomed look.
  6. Chase your kiddo down and try to get her to wear it!

I actually somehow ended up with more white pieces than red, so I don’t know if I cut them more narrowly or what. But I just put more white pieces between the red pieces and added the ribbon in the middle of the white sections and I think it turned out just fine. Now, if only the child would try it out…

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