Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ribbon edged tutu tutorial

This year, T decided she wanted to be a "Princess Ballerina" for Halloween.  Who knew 2-year olds could be so opinionated!?  I've made the no-sew tutus before, but I thought the ribbon edged ones looked just a bit more "princessy". I purchased yellow, pink, and purple tulle, but in the end, just made a purple tutu. 

Materials needed:
1-2 yards of tulle (depending on size and how many layers you want)
1-2 spools of coordinating 1/2 inch satin ribbon
3/4 inch elastic for waistband
scissors/rotary cutting materials
sewing machine (serger not necessary)

First, I took her measurements and figured out what size to cut the tulle. 
Length (waist to knee) 8".
Waist 20"

I planned to fold over the tulle to create a casing for the elastic, with this in mind, I doubled the length measurement and added 2 inches for the casing.

To get a full skirt, you generally double the waist measurement.  I wanted to get the most out of my tulle, and since I bought a yard, I used the 36" as my width.

So, I cut three layers at 18" x 36". Then, cut the ribbon to the width measurement, here 36".

You will be attaching ribbon to both long edges of the tulle such that, when folded in half, the right sides are facing the same way.  Placing the ribbon down first, I sewed the tulle using a straight stitch down the middle of the ribbon.
 Then, making sure when folded in half, the right sides face the same way, attach ribbon to the other long side of the tulle.
With right sides of the ribbon facing in, fold the tulle into a tube (with ribbon at the top and bottom edge) and sew up the side.  I used a serger here (mostly because I love using it and try to find ways to incorporate it any way I can, but don't be like me, use a coordinating thread if you do this), but a straight stitch is perfectly fine since tulle won't unravel.
 (I just love when the trimmed edges collect from my serger.  See, I'm obsessed with it!)
Repeat with all your layers, whether of the same or different colors.  Take all your tubes and insert one into another.  From here, find the middle of the tube and mark the center.  I used pins here, feel free to use those fancy fading markers.  However, tulle loves to shift on you and I found I had to pin like crazy (I hate pinning!), so I definitely recommend pinning the tulle.
 I found that if I rolled up the edges in toward that center, the tulle shifted less and was easier to manage.
 Sew through all layers along that center line, being careful to keep the tube of tulle open.
 Use that sewn center line as a guide and fold the tube into itself so that the right sides of the ribbon are now facing out.  Create a casing by sewing 3/8" from the center sew line all around, and then 1" from that stitched line, leaving a one inch opening to insert your waistband.  This makes a little ruffle around the top of the waistband as an additional detail, very cute over a leotard.
Cut your elastic waistband 2 inches smaller than the waist measurement.  Using a safety pin, feed it through the casing, and using a boxed-X pattern, sew the two ends together.
And you're done!  The proof that my daughter loves it?  She wore it all night (even to sleep), and then the next day!  I'd love to show it to you on her, but that is another post in our Halloween costume wrap-up!

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