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.
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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.
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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!
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