A “Tutu”rial

Little A's Fabric Tutu!

Little A’s Fabric Tutu!

As I shared in the last post, Little A is about all things girly. I really wanted to sew her a “pretty dress” (her words) for Christmas, but I’ve actually never sewn a dress before and waited until too close to Christmas to feel confident enough to risk not having it completed or screwing it up!

So, I decided to make a fabric tutu. I had seen pictures of fabric tutus on Pinterest early on in my pinning days, and I actually made one that Poppy wore in her 9 month photos. I knew it would take some time to complete but that it was pretty simple, so I went for it!

Noelle's nine month photos | renetate.com

Poppy’s nine month photos | renetate.com

For A’s tutu, I chose 5 coordinating fabrics that, to me at least, scream who she is! Her bedroom theme includes butterflies, so I thought it was perfectly fitting for her tutu to, also.

I didn’t want to ruin the surprise, so I had to estimate A’s waist size. She is a tall and skinny little thing, so I wanted to make the fabric strips longer than they were for Poppy’s. I have also found that the waist band should be sewn ever-so-slightly smaller than the waist size so that it fits nice and snug – not too tight, not too loose. I sewed the elastic to form the waistband thinking I was pretty close on the diameter. Turns out, after I had finished the tutu and tried it on Poppy for size, I was way off. Poppy’s waist is bigger than A’s AND Poppy wears cloth diapers, so anything that fits A should be relatively snug on Poppy. In actuality, I think Poppy’s diaper was the only thing keeping the tutu up!

If this happens to you, know that it’s a simple fix. I just slid the fabric out of the way and stitched up part of the band. I guess the plus side to my “mistake” is that perhaps she will be able to wear it ever longer – we can just rip that correction seam out when the time comes.

I was shooting for 45 strips of fabric based on my experience with Poppy’s skirt. And, since I had used 18 inch long strips for Poppy’s tutu, I thought closer to 24 inches would work well for A’s. Others have recommended that I simply not tie the strips of fabric in half but instead tie at one end so that I have more length. I really considered this for this second tutu, but I ultimately decided that I liked the fullness of the extra fabric in the skirt, and I also like the smooth waistband.

I cut each strip about 2 inches wide; but that’s the fun thing about this tutu – imperfections are barely noticed and even somewhat encouraged to help produce the whimsical feel. I cut my fabric with pinking shears, and I actually ended up only making the strips about 22 inches long due to my desire to maximize the fabric I had.

This next step is optional. It does add quite a bit of time to this tutu; and, frankly, I don’t know yet if it’s worth it. I choose to put a stitch in each fabric strip all the way around about a 1/4 to a 1/2 inch from the edge. Again, don’t stress perfection. I sew as quickly as possible, so my stitches are hardly perfectly spaced or 100% straight. Other tutorials I’ve seen don’t have this added step as the fraying that will eventually happen is desired.

This optional step does take some time, but I am happy to do it.

This optional step does take some time, but I am happy to do it.

I also don’t mind the fraying, but I’d like to know that eventually the whole thing won’t just fray away. Hence, the stitch.

Once each fabric strip has been sewn, start tying! Do your best to tie each strip in the middle with the two tails hanging the same direction – what will be “down” once your little sweetie is wearing her tutu. I didn’t think too much about this with Poppy’s tutu, and I sometimes have to wrestle the fabric to get it repositioned to lie down.

Tutu in process.

Tutu in process.

With A’s tutu, I followed a loose pattern with the fabric, but you can tie those strips on however you’d like.

When you’re finished – show it off!

Helping Mommy model her cousin's tutu.

Helping Mommy model her cousin’s tutu.

Little girls in tutus... What could be sweeter?

Little girls in tutus… What could be sweeter?


One thought on “A “Tutu”rial

  1. Pingback: Fabric Gifts | For Good

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