My Granddaughter will only be about 6 weeks old for this Halloween, but
this Instructable can be used to make all kinds, and sizes of easy tutus, just change up the colors, and lengths of tulle you use.
Step 1: Supplies and Equipment
I'm using the Stretch Crocheted Ribbon Bands (yardage) that you can find in several colors at fabric stores, or online (where you find ribbon). IF you only need a small size you could use a ready made headband of the same stretchable crochet fabric. I bought some that came in a 3 pack at Wal-Mart for under $3.00 (See picture)
Scissors or Rotary Cutter
Cutting Mat (if using a Rotary Cutter)
Tulle (For this little TuTu I bought 1 yard of each of 3 colors) This was under $1.00/yard. You can also buy Tulle already cut on a roll, but it's much more expensive. I was able to use 2 pieces of tulle for each strip (we'll come to that later in the tutorial) making the TuTu much fuller. IF you are making a TuTu for a bigger child, or adult you will need to buy MORE than 1 yard of tulle (or more than 1 roll of pre-cut tulle). Determine how much you need by how long the TuTu will be, and how many layers you want, and how many holes are around your waistband.
Sewing Machine with matching thread, or needle and thread (IF you're making your own band)
Step 2: Cutting the Tulle Yardage Into Strips....EASY
It's much easier to show you how to fold the tulle by folding paper first.
You will see that the cut edges of your tulle (or ANY fabric you buy) is NOT straight. You need to straighten it up.
#1 Start by opening the fabric putting the cut edges on each side
#2 Keeping the cut edges on each side fold the fabric in half, matching smooth (selvage) edges. Don't worry if the cut edges don't match up.....that's what we'll be fixing.
#3 Fold the fabric in half again......the same way you made the first fold.
#4 Now fold the fabric in half the other way, bringing the cut edge on the left, over to the cut edge on the right side. Take some time to smooth out, and match up all of the long edges.
#5 IF you are using a cutting mat, and rotary cutter, Line the fabric up on the ruler marking on the mat, keeping the ruler lined up.
#6 Move the straight edge of your ruler to expose just the amount of fabric you need to cut
#7 Holding the straight edge firmly, cut off the uneven edges with your rotary cutter
NOTE: IF you are not using cutting mat and rotary cutter, You can fold the fabric as above. Pin or clip the fabric together so it does not slip. Use a straight edge (like a ruler) and a marking pen to mark a straight line. Cut to the left of the marked line (cutting off the mark) with sharp scissors
#8 FINALLY determine how WIDE you want each of your strips of tulle to be. I decided that I wanted each piece to be 3 inches wide. NOTE:Some of the purchased rolls of tulle measure 4 or 6 inches.
#9 Following the same procedure (that you used to straighten up the uneven edge of the tulle) Move your straight edge exposing the amount of tulle for the width you want your strips to be.....in my case it was 3 inches.
#10 Following the same procedure cut your tulle. Repeat until you get to the last piece. I had 3 inches left, so I needed to cut open on the fold giving me the 3 inches rather than 6 inches if I had not cut on the fold.
Step 3: Cut the Tulle Strips to Length
I determined that since my Granddaughter is so small, AND that I want to use 3 different length layers of color (Yellow, Orange, and White), I would make the longest layer (Yellow) ABOUT 4 inches long, the middle layer (Orange) ABOUT 3 inches long, and the shortest layer (White) ABOUT 2 inches long.
#1 Each piece will be folded in half, so I cut scrap pieces of cardboard into strips 8 inches, 6 inches, and 4 inches long. Make your cardboard DOUBLE the length you want your strips to be
#2 wrap the tulle strips around the chosen length of cardboard.....being careful NOT to stretch the tulle. Line the first edge of the tulle up with the top of the cardboard. IF you need to you can use a small piece of tape or a clip (on the side) to hold the tulle in place.....continue wrapping. Cut off any excess you have.
#3 once you have several strips of tulle wrapped around the cardboard. Hold the tulle in place with a clip, and slide the point of your scissors into the end of the cardboard and cut the tulle. Repeat for the other end. You now have your strips cut......It's easy and a fraction of the cost of the pre-cut rolls of tulle.
Once the strips are cut to those lengths and folded in half, you'll have the perfect lengths
Step 4: Make the Waist Band
Measure the waist of the person who will be wearing the TuTu.
IF you are making your own waist band from a purchased headband just make sure the headband will fit comfortably.
IF you are making the band buy enough (usually 1-2" LESS) than the waist measurement.
Line up the cut edges and either sew them together by hand using matching thread, or sew using matching thread in a sewing machine, or I used my serger
Step 5: Adding the Strips of Tulle
I decided I wanted to have the 3 colors of Candy Corn (Yellow, Orange, and White) not only in separate stripes but also separate lengths.
In order to add fullness, I decided to do 2 strips at a time (I started with the yellow, but for this demo the orange shows up better)
Starting with the bottom edge I found 'HOLE' with just an elastic thread across it. I lined up the two (2) strips, then 'scrunched' them together in the middle.
I threaded the strips through the hole, making a hole and ran the ends of the tulle through it, pulling it tight....(is that considered a 'slip knot'?)
Keep repeating all the way around.....Like I said I started with the Yellow for my 'Candy Corn'. My strips were cut 8" long and once folded in half (and knotted in place) they measure ABOUT 4"
Repeat the same method with your second color. (I used 6" strips of Orange for my second color). Use the solid 'block' directly ABOVE your first row. The Orange strips will measure about 3 inches when all tied
NOTE: you can also stretch your waist band around a tube....I used an Oatmeal box. It made tying the knots a bit easier
Step 6: Finishing
I'm beginning to think I MAY have overdone the fullness.....WHAT??? ME over do anything? NEVER! LOL
My final row (White 2") I think I'll only use 1 strip of tulle instead of 2......after all my Granddaughter is still only about 6 weeks old, and I'm afraid the tulle MIGHT just overpower her!
Repeat the previous steps for the final row
Ta-Da you're done!