I have a tutu addiction. No seriously. I have just finished making my 7th tutu for Kate. Um, yeah. She’s only 20 months old. I have also bought her no fewer than 4 tutus. Honestly, there may have been more. I’ve kind of blocked that from my memory. 🙂
I love this tutorial and I have modified it over time to make it work as Kate has grown. This is actually only the second time that I have followed it as written. The first was for Kate’s first Halloween when she was just shy of 4 months old. She looked ridiculous. Understandable as the tutorial was for a size 3-4T.
Good lord. Maybe I should rename this post “When tutus attack!” It looks like I just set her down in a giant vat of tule.
Hey, at least it’s tasty. And that sure is one cute baby.
I made my second tutu for her first Christmas and I made a few modifications that made me much happier with the overall look of the tutu on a younger baby.
So cute! I almost can’t stand it.
I’ll walk you through the tutorial and then I can describe the modifications that I made along the way.
First, I bought 2 yards each of 2 colors of tule. I found some really yummy patterned tule at Joannes and I’ve been itching to use it. I left it folded in half as it comes off the bolt, then I folded it in half once more lengthwise and once width wise so I could cut it quicker.
I cut it with my mom’s rotary cutter which I have
stolen borrowed. I love this thing.
Once you have a pile of 3 or 4 inch wide strips, you cut them each in half if you are making a tutu for a toddler. When Kate was 6 months old I cut them in 4ths. When she was 9-14 months old, I cut them in 3rds. Now that she’s 20 months old, I cut them in half. She’s a very tall 20 month old. If you’re cutting them in half, you should just cut them along the crease they already have from being on the bolt. I gather up a few at a time in my hand to speed things along.
The directions call for layering 3 strips of tule for each knot. Up until this tutu, I’ve always tied the knots on in a single layer. Tripling them makes for a fuller tutu which looks great on a toddler but ridiculous on an infant. See above halloween costume.
Either way (layered or not) fold the tule in half. Then smoosh (yes that’s a technical term) the tule together.
Make a loop around some elastic and pull the tail through the loop. Her directions on how to do this are actually probably way clearer than mine. Rest assured that it is much easier than it sounds.
Wrangle your toddler for a “fitting” and add loops as necessary. Don’t freak out if you run out of tule. You can spread it around a fair amount and still have it look good. Once you’ve decided you’re done, cut the elastic 2 or 3 inches from the last knot on either side and sew those puppies together on your sewing machine. Use your zigzag stitch. You can also handstitch it which is what I did when I was still cowering in fear of my sewing machine. Cowering ends today!
Hmm… The victory dance may have been a bit premature. That is one hell of a knot. I have no idea what went wrong there, but never fear! Tule can cover a multitude of sins.
Victory is mine! Now just loosen one or two of the knots and slide them over the part where the elastic is sewn together. Et voila! Raptor is peacefully sleeping at the moment, so pictures of her in her pretty new tutu will have to wait. I have grand plans for it involving a photo shoot in the bluebonnets. Get excited.
For now, here a picture of it on one of her dolls. Doesn’t Bitty Baby look smashing? 🙂 It looks a bit more like a dress than some of my previous tutus, but I think that can be attributed to the patterned tule which is less stiff than regular tule.
Since I used patterned tule, I didn’t add any ribbon trim to this tutu, but that can be quite fun.
Just scootch the tule out of the way, and loop a piece of ribbon over the elastic. I left it as long as the tule on one side and just long enough to be stitched to itself on the other side. Make sure to stitch it to itself and not to the elastic so that you can scootch the tule and ribbon around to make it even.