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)
Materials you will need for infant to toddler size tutu:
-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 three colors 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 color combination 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.
Waist Size-these are very general
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
-Cut your elastic 2 inches smaller than the waist size. This will be the waistband for your tutu.
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!