Easy Little Girl’s Tutu: A Sewing Project for Beginners
Sewing a little girl’s tutu is actually a lot easier than you might think and is a perfect sewing project for beginners. This simple elastic waist skirt can be adjusted for a variety of ages and you can fill the skirt with fun embellishments like faux flower petals as I did.
This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.
Begin with tulle (pronounced ‘tool’, not ‘too-lee’). I happen to own a bolt of it but if you are not a fabric hoarder like yours truly, grab some at your local fabric store or by clicking the photo below from my online fave Amazon.
You could use any non-slippery, sort of see-through sheer. I’d recommend tulle because it is so inexpensive, readily available, and pretty easy to sew on. You will need about 3 times more than your desired circumference. That means if you want your skirt to be about 90 inches around the bottom (nice and full), then you’ll need about 270 inches which equals about 7 and a half feet, which also equals 2 ½ yards.
If you are thinking, gee, I have no idea what I need, here you go.
I used 2 ½ yards of tulle for a tutu for an average sized 4-year-old. I pulled it up on my waist and thought that I’d want maybe one more yard for a grown-up tutu.
I resist giving exact measurements for things that really don’t require them because I’d hate for a reader to think, shoot, all I have is 2 yards of tulle so I can’t make this tutu. Yes, you can. Go with what you have, Wildflowers.
You also need elastic. I used the skinnier variety only because it is very stretchy and good for the constant changing I imagine happening when the wearer is playing dress up. Measure around the child’s waist and add 1 inch.
Lay the fabric flat on the floor or on a big table. It will come folded in half. For a child’s skirt, you will be folding it in half hot dog style again. If you want to fill the skirt with handfuls of faux flower petals like I did, here’s when you’d do that. I saved my flower petals from my sister in law’s wedding 5 years ago. For real. I swear to you, I thought to myself that they’d be darling in a girl’s skirt someday. My whole life has been one sewing blog post idea after another, Wildflowers. I hope you are getting a kick out of them.
With the help of a friend or with your own dextrous fingers, move the tulle to your sewing machine. Sew using matching thread (regular ol’ Coats and Clark will do just fine) along the long side, being sure to sew through all four layers of tulle.
Want to learn to sew? This is the course that I recommend and love!
Fold over the edge creating a casing for the elastic. Here’s where you can make a big casing and thus a shorter skirt without the hassle of trimming a few inches off the tulle. For example, if you have a short 2-year-old recipient, make the casing 4 inches or more. I made mine a bit more than 2 inches. Sew the casing as you did the first seam.
Use a large safety pin to thread the elastic through the casing. Sew the elastic to one end of the casing and then the other, creating a full, ruffled curtain.
Sew the long ‘curtain’ into a skirt, starting at the elastic waist and sewing to the bottom of the skirt. If you determine at this point that the skirt is too big, you can just sew again, an inch or more in from the edge, and trim off the excess.
Impress your friends and relatives with your inexpensive, homemade and totally adorable skirt!
So what else could you fill the skirt with, Wildflowers? Did coin size sequins? A length of ribbon? Share your ideas in the comment section below; I can’t wait to read what you come up with!
If you want to learn how to sew, check out the courses HERE!
Easy DIY Moth Halloween Costume
This easy, DIY Halloween costume can be done fast, easy, with very little or no sewing and is way better and different from the standard Princess Whomever costume or storebought fare (yawn!). These wings are car seat and small child-friendly and because they have painted fun colors, no one is missing the standout, wired wing variety.
I am actually not as festive as most people seem to think I am. I’m not into doing a lot of decorating for holidays, so whatever I do, it is going to be simple, easy, and likely multi-purpose.
I made this moth costume to fit my nearly-four year old’s request. She loves moths, and wanted to be a “scary, purple and green moth.” You got it, Babe. I can do that, and you can too and modify it to fit whatever your darlings desire.
This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.
Here’s what you need:
- You need a shirt that you can sew some fabric wings to (you can remove them later). I used a long sleeved black tee shirt.
- Fabric or poster or acrylic paint.
- About half a yard of fabric for the wings. If you go to a fabric store and buy fabric off the bolt, it will be a piece that is 18 inches x 45 inches. If you rustle up an old sheet, tablecloth, curtain, etc, you will simply cut a rectangle that is as wide as your child’s wingspan (I measured wrist to wrist with arms outstretched) and as tall as from the child’s shoulders to waist. Don’t get fancy and cut out wing shapes yet. You just need a rectangle.
I used unbleached muslin which comes in a wide variety of widths, so if you are buying new fabric, I’d recommend it. If you are paint-phobic, you could score some beautiful batik print (which is what I originally had in mind when planning this costume) that would mimic a moth’s pattern fairly.
- A piece of cardboard to use as a template. I cut open a cereal box and was sure to put the printed side down. The shiny printed side would have let excess paint drip off the edge (rather than absorb it nicely). Depending on the design/flying thing your child wishes to be, you might be free handing. You can do it; it hasn’t been that long since high school art class!
- Pipe cleaners for antennae + headband. I used 5 black pipe cleaners folded in half and twisted together to make a distinctly “moth” look. Do not underestimate the humble pipe cleaner; they are so versatile!
I used a large salad bowl as a template for a curve at the bottom edge of the wing. I folded the wings in half and made a matching curve on the folded edge so it created a wing-ish shape, kind of like a wide, fat, letter W.
You can choose to zigzag around your wings at this point but I didn’t.
Alternatively, you could attach velcro to the wings and the shirt. These adhesive circles of velcro are perfect for those Wildflowers who are in the rather-die-than-sew camp.
Headband: I used 5 black pipe cleaners and folded them in half around the black knit headband and then twisted them together. Hello, Easy!