Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ninth Day of Christmas: 9 Ladies Dancing Tutu

{The Lady's Apron pattern is now available!! Follow the link in THIS tutorial, sorry for the delay}
I knew I had to make something for Evie to dance around in for the 9th day of Christmas and while I know it is 100% unoriginal I thought it would be fun to do a no-sew tutu. I think every mom should know how to make these tutu's. They are crazy easy and almost as cheap as they are easy (seriously, nice tulle is like 99 cents a yard!I use the very fine tulle so they are not itchy) Throw in the fact that you don't have to sew to make them and every girl who wants should have a closet full of tutus! I was worried Evie would try to rip hers off and be annoyed by it (truthfully she is a bit young for dress ups although she wears Superman on a regular basis) but she loved it. We tried to get video to share of her dancing and attempting to jump around the house.
I love the romantic and sophisticated color pallet. I am sure once she can talk she will demand an electric pink and bright purple one, which I am fine with, but for now I get to choose :) My girly friend in Jakarta was kind enough to stand there while the fabric store guy pulled down tons of tulle for us to try and match up and there was just something about this mustard yellow and deep turquoise I liked together, and I love how it looks when she runs:
These easy to make tutus are perfect for photoshoots. In my favorite session EVER my gorgeous subject Mallory was wearing one I threw together the night before:
But if more vibrant and less muted colors are your style and you want it over the top fluffy you can always go that route:
That is what is so great about them, you have complete control! Alright enough gushing about them and lets learn how to make them.
What you will need:
As much tulle as you like to make your tutu your desired level of fluffiness. I used 1 meter of each color and generally try to stick to the rule of 3 and use 3 colors.
A length of wide elastic that will fit comfortably around your dancers belly
Ribbon to hot glue or sew to the ends of the elastic
Any sort of embellishment if you choose.

Once you have all your items together you are going to fold your tulle in the way easiest to cut 2 inch strips. The length of the strips depends on how tall your munchkin is and how dramatic you want the tutu to be. Remember the longer it is the more toile you will need. Be careful and think about this in advance otherwise you will run out of toile and the store won't be open before your shoot and you will end up with something HILARIOUS like this:
We just HAD to get a shot of that at the end it was to funny. ANYWAY.....
I cut mine all up and then put them in 3 piles:
This makes them easy to grab one after the other. I then picked up my length of elastic and my ribbon (which should be cut into 2 pieces).
Now I sewed this part but you can just as easily hot glue... actually it would probably be easier. Anywho, I pinned the ribbon to the end of the elastic and sewed it on.
I then repeated the process on the other side. Now it is time to start attaching the tulle. Decided what pattern you want and if you want to do two every time (I do this for colors that are harder to see) or just one at a times. Once you have that figured out take a length of your toile and slide it under the elastic.
Bring it up over the elastic and tie a knot. Then slide the knot right up agains the edge of the elastic:
Make sure the knot is at the bottom of the elastic. Now continue your pattern and tie all the pieces onto the elastic making sure they are nice and squished together. The more your squish on the fluffier your tutu.
Once you cannot or do not want to fit anymore give the elastic a nice stretch to spread everything out. Tie a little bow and you are done!!!
You can either leave it as is or add a flower or bow etc. to embellish:
Now there is nothing to do but sit back and watch your darling dance:
Evie literally would not stop moving once it was on so of course I got a bagillion blurry pics :)
These really are so fun to make and hello what little girl wouldn't love to open a box christmas morning and find a huge fluffy tutu?


  1. I have my children wear tutus every Christmas, I love it. Trying to make it a tradition in my house, but not sure it will stick once they reach a certain age! Lol

  2. I wish I had a little lady to make a tutu for, I'll just have to work on that. Your photos are fantastic as always, and I love the color choices for Evie's tutu.

  3. OK, funny story - I made a huge fluffy pink tutu for my sister last Christmas - she's 3. She wore it while opening presents, and then when we had friends over later, we tried to get her to put it on - unh-uh. She wouldn't touch it. I think I've only seen her wear it twice since! LOL

  4. beautiful!!! i love the colors you chose! my girls would love those!


  5. Those tutu's are just gorgeous!! So very pretty!
    I do have a queston, though--is that tulle or no-fray chiffon? The strips seem to lay so nicely that I thought maybe it's chiffon. The tulle I've seen seems to be stiffer than that. Anyway, I love it!

  6. I love it. It looks like my alma mater's school colors.

  7. I was actually thinking about doing some projects while I am away for Christmas the only thing is I didn't want to bring my sewing machine. This will be perfect to make for the lil girls in my life.

  8. love the tutus, but also.. where did you find that adorable white onesie with the ruffles on it!?

  9. Absolutely beautiful! And your pictures are perfect! Thank you for the post!

  10. Gorgeous! I will be making one or ten of these! Thank you for the great tutorial! Love the pic of Evie, she is a doll!

  11. OMG! I love this!! My BFF is having a girl in February...I just may have to make it and then have it waiting for her for her 1st bday! One question please...did you ever notice fraying at the ends? thanks and have a great holiday season!

  12. Beautiful!

    I've been thinking about this ever since you posted it ... and picked up about 15m of tulle yesterday .. time to get to work for all the little girls in my life (daughters of cousins ranging in age between 1 and 4 - perfect!)


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