Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Get Crafty: No-Sew Tutu

M in her Yellow Tutu after 5 straight days of wearing it
Mama J here playing the role of our crafty Mama S today! I get asked all the time how I make the tutus that I am always photographing M in, so I figured I would photograph my latest creation from start to finish and share with all of you. Of course I had to make a yellow one, as that is M's favorite color, and she is now obsessed with all things Beauty and the Beast, but unfortunately yellow is a hard color to photograph, so the photos are not the best. I will try to do my best to explain the process step by step...so here goes nothing!

Since this is a "No-Sew" project, there aren't really a lot of supplies needed. For a toddler sized tutu I purchase about six yards of tulle to make an approximately two foot long tutu. You can do six yards of one color, two yards of three colors, etc.. For this one I chose two yellow tulles (one shiny and one matte) and then this tulle-like fabric that they had on sale that M ran over to and said she "needed." It wasn't ideal to work with, as it frays a bit when you cut it, but it worked nonetheless. You also need to choose a ribbon for the waistband. I always purchase two yards, but have a ton left over. You will need enough for the length of your child's waist, plus a foot extra on either side.  

So all you need is 6 yards of tulle, 2 yards of ribbon, scissors.

Unfold your tulle onto your table. As you can see sometimes it comes a little wrinkled, so feel free to steam it before using. I did not do that, so it came out a little crinkled looking, but I like the look. When you purchase material it comes folded in half (there is a term for this I know). Keep it folded in half when you lay it out. 

Next, roll the material up towards the fold so you have this tube of material, like below. Then, cut three inch sections. Each cut doesn't need to be exactly three inches, so you can just eyeball it. 
Once you have cut the three inch tubes of all of your material you can begin to unroll it into piles. Each piece that you unroll should remain folded in half, so they are about two feet long folded. You will need to keep the material this way in order to make it easier to knot onto the ribbon. I like to lay it out so that I have the colors in order of how I will place them on the tutu. 

Next, measure your daughter's (or whomever you are making this for) waist. Tie a knot 12 inches from the end of the ribbon, then tie another knot after you add on your daughter's waist measurement. Cut the ribbon 12 inches after the second knot. 

Now it is time to start knotting the tulle onto the ribbon. Grab the first piece of tulle from your first color pile. Find the fold in the fabric right at the middle of the strip. Put your finger through it and hold behind the ribbon. 

Take the ends of that strip of tulle and pull them through the loop that your fingers are through (does that make sense? I hope so!)

If done correctly, you will have a knot that looks like the photo below - like a neck tie almost. Then you need to pull that as tight as you can, and push it towards the beginning knot. 

If your daughter is standing next to you while you are making this, and saying over and over again "I wanna wear yellow tutu! I wanna wear yellow tutu!" you can take some extra fabric and wrap it around her waist and call it a tutu for the time being...Be patient child!

Continue to add the fabric to the ribbon by knotting it as above, and alternating the colors. Push the knots close together for a full tutu, or leave a little room for a less full tutu. 

The whole process from start to finish will take about 1.5-2 hours the first time you create your masterpiece. Here is a very sleepy M on day one of the Yellow Tutu. It ended up being a little too long for her so I simply gave it a trim with my scissors when she went to bed. 

And below we are on day 2 of the Yellow Tutu. It has been 10 days since I actually constructed this bad boy and most of the time we spend at home she is can be found wearing her Yellow Tutu. We seem to be in a tutu phase, as she also makes my husband and I wear them around the house with her and calls us all princesses. He loves every second of it - such a good sport!