Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bubble Skirt Tutu Tutorial

If you have a sewing machine, making a bubble skirt tutu is faster and cheaper than making a no-sew tutu where you tie strips of tulle around the waistband. I haven’t made one, but I saw online it takes 6 yards of tulle!?! I wasn’t about to pay $12 for a dress-up tutu so I made this one up instead.

Your daughter can be a ballerina, butterfly, fairy, or princess with a tutu. Maggie is going to be a “candy corn princess” for Halloween this year so her tutu is orange and yellow. These instructions make a preschooler/toddler sized tutu. For a 4+ year old you’ll need more tulle to make it longer.

Cost: <$3.50
Time: 30 minutes
Resources: sewing machine
1 yard of tulle
– ½ yard each of two different colors if desired ($1-2/yard).
1 inch wide ribbon – long enough to go around child’s waist, plus ¾-1 yard to tie. Grosgrain ribbon is easier to sew on, but is harder to tie around the child’s waist than satin ribbon. My toddler’s waist is about 18 inches. Ribbon is about 50 cents/yard at Wal-mart.
Thread to match ribbon.

1. Lay the tulle out so the 1 yard length is facing you. Cut the tulle into two pieces, one 16 wide and one 20 inches wide (16 + 20 = 1 yard). *note, if you’re using two different colors you may need a little more than ½ yard of one color for a 20 inch width. The different widths are so the tutu can have two layers.

2. Fold each piece of tulle in half lengthwise. Layer pieces of tulle on each other. Pin the open sides together, through all four layers. The two folds of the tulle will be the “bubbles”.

3. Run a gathering stitch along the top of the tulle where you’ve pinned, through all four layers. Just use the longest stitch setting and leave long thread tails.

Length of tulle folded in half with gathering stitches sewn.

4. Pin the tulle to the ribbon. Make sure the shorter piece (the 16” piece, now 8” folded in half) of tulle will be closest to the ribbon so it will be the top and outermost layer. Pin the ends of the tulle to where the ribbon meets around your child’s waist and pin the middle of the tulle to the middle of the ribbon.

Tulle pinned to ribbon.

5. Pull up the gathering stitches until the tulle is the same length as the section of ribbon to go around your child’s waist. The tulle gathers as you pull the bobbin thread of your gathering stitches.

6. Pin the gathered tulle to the ribbon with additional pins every inch or so.

Tulle gathered and pinned to ribbon.

7. Stitch the gathered tulle to the bottom edge of the ribbon.

Gathered tulle stitched to the ribbon. You can also see the gathering stitches.

Finished tutu.