Hee hee. I like the alliteration and assonance in that title. 🙂
So, my friend Amanda asked me to run a Color in Motion 5K with her. Even though I was a bit nervous (I tend to be less than brave about crowds), I agreed, because it sounded like fun (and I knew it would be with her!). After seeing some of the promotional photos, we decided that we definitely should wear tutus for the run. (How many times as a non-ballet-dancer-adult do I get to wear a tutu in public?!) A brief look at the retail prices of premade tutus made us decide to make our own! I think they turned out magnificently. We got a number of compliments on them at the race, too! Amanda wrote an awesome race recap on her blog, you can check it out HERE.
There are tons of ways to make a tutu. Without doing any online “research,” I came up with this method and I love how the finished tutu looks. So I thought I’d share my steps.
First, I bought a length of tulle that was about double my waist measurement. I rounded my waist up to a yard, because it made it easier, so I bought two yards of tulle.
I left the tulle folded in half lengthwise (the way it came on the bolt) and then layered it accordian-style as neatly as possible on my cutting mat so that the long folded edge was even. (The long folded edge is to the left in the photo below.)
This allowed me to cut the entire length of tulle in half with my rotary cutter. One strip (on the left) will be two layers with a fold, the other strip (on the right) is now two separate layers.
The next step was sort of unnecessary, since I was wearing this tutu to get dirty on purpose. But there is a good chance of me using it for costumes in the future, so I used my serger to add a rolled hem to the long cut edges of each strip.
I added a drop of Fray Check to each end of the rolled hem to keep it from unraveling (since I knew it would go through the wash at least once!).
Next step: gather! I used a long basting stitch with my regular sewing machine on the opposite side from the rolled hem. For a better (flatter) gather, I should have run two rows of basting stitches, but I was too lazy.
I carefully gathered each layer (there were three total: two individual strips and the two layers on the fold got gathered together) by pulling one thread of the basting. I spaced the gathers evenly once I’d pulled them together to the proper length for my waist.
Aren’t they pretty? I stopped to admire how the rolled hem looked– so frothy!
Okay, enough admiration. On to the next step. I pinned the three gathered layers together with a LOT of pins…
Then clamped my teeth and ran a narrow zig-zag to stitch the layers together. This part was not fun for me. Not sure why… it wasn’t that hard!
Finally, to finish the tutu waistline, I used a 2″-wide satin ribbon as a binding+ties. In retrospect, it probably would have been easier to use a grosgrain ribbon or even a woven cotton fabric binding, since the satin is so slippery. But at least it looks pretty!
I pressed a fold into the satin ribbon (slightly off-center, so it would ensure that I caught the bottom side as I stitched), wrapped it around the zig-zag-ed edge (again, with tons of pins) and stitched it in place. I ended up adding two lines of stitching to make sure that the zig-zags were completely covered.
There was enough ribbon on each end to tie in a pretty bow! (I safety pinned the “knot” part of the bow for the race so it wouldn’t come loose!)
Here’s a photo of the finished tutu:
I will definitely be making another tutu for my little girl, who instinctively knew what to do with mine when she saw it– put it on and twirl 🙂