No Sew Tu-Tu Tutorial

Sunday, July 10, 2011
For Emily's first birthday, our chosen theme was: Emily's First BEE-day party. We loved the idea of the play on Craig has creatively come up with her next birthday party's theme. Since she is turning 2...the theme is...(drum roll please)...A TU-TU PARTY!!!! Get it? She's turning it's a TU-TU PARTY!!

The birthday is only a couple of weeks away and I have a lot to do to. So, address the theme...there will be A LOT of tulle being used for the decorations. Obviously a tutu is going to be made for ME!! I have tulle for the table skirt, tulle for wrapping around the chairs, tulle to make a skirt around the cake stand, and tulle to make the lady guests a tulle hair clip...and I'm sure there will be tulle many other places as well.

Today's post is on the tutu that I made for Emily. I have to say that I was pretty proud of how well it came out. I searched the internet, high and low, for a tutorial on making a tutu and also for pictures of how I wanted the tutu to turn out. A lot of the pictures were of tutu's that weren't as full as I wanted them to be, or they were too long so the tutu was droopy looking. So, here's what I did. Since I LOVED Emily's tutu from her first party (made by Strawberrie Rose), I dug it out of her "outgrown clothing bin" and I gave it a close look over...and I wanted to attempt this on me own.

To begin, the biggest push that helped me to do this on my own was a small craft store near my house that had rolls of tulle, in all sorts of colors...ON SALE. So, it was a relief that I didn't have to purchase yards or tulle from the fabric store and cut it into strips myself.

So let's begin with the tutorial ~
3/4 inch elastic
2 rolls of tulle (25 yards each)
     ~Obviously I used three only because I wanted more color, but for the fullness of the tutu, it didn't take more than two full rolls of the tulle
Measuring Tape
Round object to put the waistband around as you place the tulle on

1. I measured Emily's waist and then took away one inch. This will be the length of the elastic band. I used a clothes pin to secure the width and then sewed the elastic together to form a waistband.
2. I rummaged through my cabinets to find something round that I could put the waistband around securely so that my hands would be free to tie the tulle on. The best thing that I could find was an unused cookie jar. It was perfect!!

3. I rolled out the tulle and cut the entire roll into 20'' strips because I wanted the length of the tutu to be 10'' long. I did this to both the white and pastel pink rolls.
4. I wanted mostly pink to show through, so I decided to tie the tulle with the following pattern: pink, pink, white, pink, pink, white. 
5. Take your 20'' strip of tulle and place one end through the back of the waistband and pull it until the two ends are equal. Then tie a double knot.
There is a second way to place the tulle on the waistband. You fold the strip in half, place the folded piece around the waistband and then pull the ends of the strip through the loop. I tried this, but wasn't very happy with the outcome. I felt that it took up too much room on the waistband so the end result of the tutu wouldn't be as full as I would want it.
6. To add fullness (I'm not sure if this made a huge difference or not...I think that it did), I alternated the height of my knots. For example, I started with one know on the bottom on the waistband and then the next knot I would make towards the top of the waistband. 

7. Keep adding tulle!!! As I was about half way finished with the tutu...I stood back to take a look and I felt like there just wasn't enough color. You couldn't tell if it was white or pink. My original plan was to take my bright pink tulle and tie small sections onto the ends of the each of the parts of the skirt, just like in her bumble bee tutu pictured at the top of the post. I tried it out and it didn't look exactly how I wanted to...SO...I decided to squeeze in the bright pink into my pattern. So, my new tulle pattern became: lt pink, bright pink, lt pink, white, lt pink, bright pink, lt pink, white. At first I was afraid that it would look like stripes...but it was PERFECT!!!!!!


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