Intro: How to Make a Stylish Crochet Tutu Dress for an 18" Doll
Every little girl dreams of becoming a dancer. June is no exception. She is super excited about her upcoming performance at the Belk Theatre. For the occasion, she wanted me to make her a tutu costume. How could I say no to that?
In doing so, I am pleased to share with you how I made it, step-by-step. I do have to tell you that this my first instructable. My 16-year-old son, who has a few instructables under his belt already, has been encouraging me to do one for the longest time. I finally took the plunge, and I hope you enjoy it! Please, like, comment and share it!!! Constructive criticism is also welcomed.
Note: For this tutorial, you will need to know the basic stitches of crochet and be familiar with crochet terminology. If not, you will be lost. I suggest you go to YouTube and search “Crochet for Beginners” to learn or refresh your memory.
Step 1: Materials and Tools Needed
- Yarn: I used Red Heart Unforgettable in Parrot color, but you can use any other yarn of similar weigh (4 Ply)
- Hook: Size G/ 4.00 mm
- Tulle Roll
- Yarn needle
- Sewing needle
- Needle threader (optional)
- Matching thread
- Sew-on Snaps or small velcro with sticky back
- Embellishments (optional)
- Measuring tape and/or ruler
Step 2: Making the Bodice
To begin, Ch 52 + 3. Rnd 1 will shape the neckline.
Rnd 1: dc in 4th ch from hook and in next 5 ch. *[(dc ch2 dc) in next ch, dc in next 12 ch]* Repeat *…* two more times. Dc in last 6 ch. This is the right side of the bodice. Ch 3 and turn (total of 56 dc and 4 ch2 spaces)
Rnd 2: dc in next 6 dc, dc ch2 dc in ch2 space, *(dc in next 14 dc, dc ch2 dc in ch2 space)* Repeat *…* two more times. Dc in next 6 dc and in top ch of beg ch3 of previous rnd. Ch3 and turn. (Total of 64 dc and 4 ch2 spaces)
Rnd 3: dc in next 7 dc and in ch 2 space, ch8 (this will form the armhole), skip next 14 dc and dc in next ch2 space (armhole formed). Dc in next 16 dc and in next ch2 space, ch8 (for 2nd armhole),skip next 14 dc and dc in next ch2 space (2nd armhole formed), dc in next 7 dc and on top ch of beg ch3 from previous rnd. Ch3 and turn. (Total of 36 dc and 2 ch8 spaces)
Rnd 4: dc in next 8 dc, 8 dc in the armhole space, dc in next 18 dc, 8 dc in the 2nd armhole space, dc in next 8 dc and on top ch of beg ch3 of previous rnd. Ch3 and turn. (Total of 52 dc)
Rnd 5: dc in each stitch around. (Total of 52 dc)
Step 3: The Waistline
In the following round, we will make ch2 spaces all around to weave the ribbon later on.
Rnd 6: Ch4 (count as hdc and ch2 space), skip next 2 dc, (hdc in next 2 dc, ch2) repeat 11 times more, hdc on top ch of beg ch3 of previous rnd. Ch1 and turn. (Total of 26 hdc and 13 ch2 spaces)
Rnd 7: sc in same stitch, (2 sc in ch2 space sc in next 2 hdc) repeat 11 times more, 2 sc in last ch2 space and on top of beg ch3 of previous rnd. Join with a sl st to the first sc of this rnd. Do not turn. (Total of 52 sc)
Rnd 8: Ch3, 6 dc in same st (shell or fan st made) Skip next two sc and sc in next st. *(skip next two sc and dc6 in next sc, skip next two sts and sc in next st)* Repeat from *to* 7 times more. Sl st on top ch of beg ch3. Fasten off. (Total of 9 fan/shell stitches and 9 sc)
Step 4: Making the Loops to Attach the Tulle
Rnd 9: With wrong side and back of the bodice facing you, attach yarn to the stitch right before the fan/shell. Ch4 skip 4 stitches and sl st in next stich. Repeat all the way around. Finish round with a sl st on the first stitch where you attached the yarn to begin the rnd. Fasten off. (Total of 13 loops)
Step 5: Back Closure
With right side and back of the bodice facing you, attach yarn to the top right corner of the back opening. Ch1, work 12 sc evenly spaced along the edge of the first five rnds of the bodice. Ch1 and turn. Sc in each sc. Fasten off. (Total of 12 sc)
At this point, grab your yarn needle and weave all the loose ends. Cut off the extra yearn. I like to sew the snaps too. If you like an easier and faster type of closure, you can attach the sticky Velcro instead. I prefer the snaps because it gives it a more professional look and my girl will feel more secured having snap closures while performing :-)
Step 6: Making the Tutu Skirt
Grab the measuring tape and measure the doll from the loop hole down to figure out how long you want the skirt. I wanted mine to be about 6” long. If you would like a more formal look, measure yours all the way down right below the ankle.
Once you have the length figured out, use a cardboard and cut out a square or rectangle with the same length you want the skirt to be. This is the easiest way I found to cut the tulle. Mine is about 6.5 inches. This will allow a little extra for the knot when attaching the tulle.
Wrap the tulle around the cardboard as many times as you need to depending on how crisp or full you want the skirt. Once you finish wrapping the tulle, cut it and cut along the right side. If I was making a tutu skirt for a child or adult, I will leave my tulle strips with the same width (tulle rolls are 6 inches wide). However, since I am making it for a doll, I am cutting the tulle strips in half lengthwise and make them 3 inches wide. This works better for a doll scale. I like mine to be pretty full so I attach two sets of 2 strips of tulle per loop. I am wrapping it 26 times. It will give me a total of 52 strips. That’s 4 strips per loop.
Step 7: Attaching the Tulle
At this point, you can put the bodice on the doll and start attaching the tulle. For some reason, I always like to start in the back. Put the doll facing down. Grab your first two strips of tulle and fold in half. Pull up the tulle through the first loop (you can use a crochet hook to help you with that) and make a knot. Repeat this process in the same loop. Continue doing that in all the loops. Put as many or as little tulle strips as you would like.
Step 8: Finishing Details
I used a ¾” width ribbon to weave around the waist. I cut it 24” long to have enough to make a bow. Then, I attached a flower on top. I used the lighter to seal the edges of the ribbon to avoid fraying.
Step 9: The Final Result
It turned out lovely. I added pictures of a similar one I made using ribbon for the back closure instead of snaps. It's easier and will save you time but I prefer a cleaner look.
I really hope you enjoyed this tutorial.