5 Easy Ways To Make A Tutu That Are En Pointe

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While we are all staying at home, there has never really been a better time for wearing whatever you like, and if your kids are getting a little tired of the dressing up box, this could be the fluffy, twirly, sparkly item needed to jazz it up!

So if you have a prima ballerina currently missing their ballet lessons, or perhaps just some girls and boys who love a tutu (or two!), we have listed some easy ways to make a beautiful tutu at home. Tutu's are not only fun for playing dress up and a million imaginative role-play games, but they also make a lovely prop for a cute at-home photoshoot and a fabulous outfit for a walk around the block!

Don't worry if you are not a keen sewer, most of our methods below require very little if any sewing! You can make a catwalk worthy tutu with just a few materials - the main item being tulle, which you can buy fairly cheaply in rolls (tutus for all!) or by the metre, a lot of haberdasheries and small fabric stores are now offering local delivery or pick up options too.


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This video tutorial shows the 'looping method' used in the tutorials below:

This page has some super helpful charts to assist with measurements and working out how much fabric you will need.

1.Tutu with Elastic Waistband

This no-sew method for making a tutu really could not get much easier, and once you've got the hang of it you could definitely recruit some helpers!

You will need:

Tulle (on a roll is easier to cut into lengths, as many colours as you like)

Scissors

Elastic

Tape measure

Ribbon (optional)

How to make your DIY tutu:

     1. Take the waist measurement of the recipient, subtract 8-9cm from this, measure the elastic with a little extra to tie a knot. You could sew the elastic to make it a bit neater, by hand or with a machine, but if you make the tutu extra fluffy the knot will be hidden anyway.

     2. Measure from the waist down for the length of the tutu, double this measurement and add 2.5cm, this is the length of tulle to cut. Cut multiple lengths of tulle, you can cut more as you go along when you can see how many it will take to fill the elastic to desired poofiness!

     3. If you would like to add ribbon to the tutu, cut this a tiny bit shorter than the tulle and cut quite a few lengths.

     4. The easiest way to add the tulle and ribbon is to now stretch your elastic around the back of a chair. To add the fabric you now take your strip and fold it in half, place this behind the elastic with the loop at the top, bring the loop over the front and then pull the ends of the tulle or ribbon through the loop, and pull to secure! Repeat this step all the way around the elastic. Depending on how full you want the tutu to be you can just keep bunching up and adding more tulle to the skirt.

     5. Once complete do a quick check of the bottom edge, neaten up with scissors for a polished look, or cut more haphazardly for a more boho vibe!

2.Tutu with Ribbon

Very similar to the method above but this no-sew tutu can grow with your child as it is simply tied at the back with a ribbon, if you leave the ribbon long enough you can just add more loops of tulle to the skirt as they grow.

You will need:

Ribbon

Tulle

Scissors

Tape measure

How to make your DIY tutu:

     1)Take the waist measurement and add approximately 122cm, the extra length will be for tying the tutu with a bow. Cut the ribbon. if you snip the ends of the ribbon at an angle, or an inverted triangle shape- so you are left with two points instead of a straight edge, this will stop it fraying.

     2)Decide on the length you want the finished tutu to be and measure/cut the tulle to this length as above instructions.

     3)Fold your waist-ribbon in half, from this midway point measure half the waist measurement and tie a knot on each side at this point.

     4)You could tie the ribbon around a chair to loop the fabric through, or a solid pillow or cushion also works well. Knot all of your tulle along the length of ribbon between the knots, sliding each piece up to make space for the next until the ribbon is full.

     5)Tie the ribbon around the waist with a bow, ta-da!

3.Scrap Fabric Tutu

This is such a cute no-sew way to up-cycle old clothes or use up fabric you may have leftover from other projects, you could even use an old pillowcase or duvet if you like the pattern.

You will need:

Elastic or ribbon

Scrap fabric

Scissors

Tape measure

How to make your DIY tutu:

     1)Gather measurements for waist and length as above and decide if you would prefer an elastic or ribbon waist. Cut your desired waistband option to the right length, adding on approx 122cm for the ribbon and subtracting 8-9 cm for the elastic method.

     2)Cut your scrap fabric into strips the length you would like the finished tutu to be.

     3)As before, secure your ribbon or elastic and begin looping the fabric all the way along/around, until you have the volume of puffiness you would like!

4.No-Knot Tutu

Another very simple method, however, this does include some sewing, which can be done with a needle and thread or on a machine. This tutu uses strips of tulle or fabric like the methods above however if you aren't keen on the slightly more 3D waistband the knotting technique can create, this way results in a smoother finish.

You will need:

Fabric or tulle to cut into strips

Ribbon

Safety pin

Scissors

Tape measure

How to make your DIY tutu:

     1)As with the ribbon method number 2 above, take the waist measurement, add 122cm, cut this length of ribbon, fold in half and mark halfway each side of this to create the waist measurement in the centre of the ribbon, mark the edges of the waist measurement.

     2)Decide the length you want your finished skirt to be and add about 6cm to this, you do not need to double the measurement for this method. The width of the strips can be whatever you like but around 8cm creates a nice volume. Cut the strips of fabric out.

     3)If you want a more polished look you could hem the edges of the strips here, but the boho, festival effect of the raw edge looks great too (and is easier!)

     4)Fold the top of your fabric strip over by the 3cm and sew this down to create a space through which to thread your ribbon.

     5)Attach the safety pin to the end of the ribbon and thread all of the strips of fabric onto the ribbon until it is suitably voluminous.

Top Tip: You could use fabric glue instead of sewing, creating another no-sew tutu! However, check if it can go through the wash- although tutus with raw edges should perhaps only be spot cleaned as they could get a little too frayed in a washing machine.

Simple Sewn Tutu

If you do have a sewing machine then this will be a super quick DIY!

You will need:

90cm to 270cm of tulle (this amount does depend on the waist size and how much gathering you would like the tutu to have, you will be folding the tulle to make the layers, so 270cm seems like a lot but you would fold it up to 4x!)

2.5cm wide elastic, cut to the waist measurement plus around 1cm

Tape measure

Thread

Pins

Sewing machine

How to make your DIY tutu:

     1)Fold the tulle. Depending on how long you want the skirt to be, you can fold it in two, three or four layers. If you need to cut it to change the length, then cut along the bottom edge with it still folded. Cut desired length plus 2.5cm.

     2)Pin one of the long edges and run a gathering stitch (longest stitch setting, also called a basting stitch) about 1.5cm from the edge.

     3)Pin sides and stitch with a 3/8” seam allowance. (Make sure not to catch the gathering thread!)

     4)Gather the skirt by carefully pulling on the ends of the thread you have just stitched, the skirt should start to bunch up!

     5)Take your elastic, stitch the raw edges together at around 1.5cm, zig-zag stitch is great for elastic.

     6)Pin the tulle to the inside of the elastic. Move the gathered fabric along so it is nicely spaced out then attach with a zig-zag stitch.

Top Tip: If the tulle is a little itchy on the inside of the elastic you could enclose it with bias tape, or sew a length of ribbon or soft fabric around the inside.


All of these methods can be made with fabric or tulle, and the strips of fabric could be narrower or wider depending on the look you want. You could also use lots of different pieces of ribbon, which would create more of a Hawaiian skirt effect. The colour combinations are endless, a classic tutu could be pink and white, or various shades of pink. You could create a Halloween costume with pumpkin orange or witchy black and purple. If you could get hold of multiple rolls of tulle how brilliant would a rainbow tutu look?!

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents. 

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Amy Lines
Mum-of-one

Amy lives in Hampshire with her almost 3 year old daughter. They love to visit the local charity shops to search for vintage kidswear and other treasures, forever on the hunt for 70s furniture and old school denim! Big fans of exploring quirky coffee shops, they are babycinno connoisseurs and would never turn down a slice of cake. When they aren’t out exploring in the fresh air they can be found cosying up at home, painting, knitting and dancing!