Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday: a tutu made of tulle.

There's all kinds of crafting going on in my part of the world with an upcoming first birthday party in the works. I'm up to my ankles in fabric scraps, jute, tulle, ribbon and Stella Artois. It's going to be a fabulous day and while I am taking a break from cutting and pasting, I thought I would share a little tutorial on how to make a no-sew tutu! 
Earlier this summer, I made an orange & blue tutu for Baby Ella to wear during Gator Football Season {which kicks off this Saturday!}. It made my heart melt when I saw these newborn photos this morning of her & her tutu on her precious fifth day of life! Go {baby} Gators!! 


Now for the tutorial:
Supplies:
Ten Simple Steps:
1. Take a trip to the fabric store to pick out a lovely palette of tulle. I usually use a yard each of 4 different colours to make it super swirly. 
  
2. Measure waist of your little cinderella. For Ella's tutu, I just compared the length of elastic to an outfit I had bought her because I don't actually own a newborn... but I do have plenty of baby gifts for all my girlfriends and family who keep procreating that just so happen to make perfect measurements!
3. Cut elastic. Take off two or three inches from what you measured because as you tie on the tulle, it stretches the elastic out! Note: If you know how to operate a sewing machine, you can sew the ends of the elastic together.
Helpful Hint: You can also use ribbon in lieu of elastic... Just leave enough ribbon on each end to tie in to a bow to secure it!
***or I like to get real fancy and {sewless} and use BOTH by glueing the elastic to the ribbon & then I tie knots in the ribbon to mark the ends of the elastic!*** Still with me?
You fancy, huh? 
4. Cut strips of tulle. I prefer to have them all cut before I start because it's the most painful part of the no-sew-tutu-making process. If you buy tulle off the bolts like me, the trick to a quick cutting method is to (a.) unfold the tulle (b.) roll it up and then (c.) cut off little sausage rolls every three inches. 
(d.) Unravel each sausage roll and (e.) cut it in half. Ideally, you want 20 inch by 3 inch sections but I'm not one for attention to detail so I just cut where my scissors feel happy and save the evening out of length til the end. 
Another helpful hint: Discard the first sausage roll cut off which is the uneven end!
5. Loop, Swoop and Pull. Fold strip of tulle in half and create a loop in the middle. Swoop the ends of the tulle over the elastic & pull them through the loop. I believe this is called a lark's head knot. But don't tie your L.H.K. too tight so you can adjust them as you go.
6. Continue the L.S.P. method around the entire length of the elastic. The closer the loops are together, the fuller the tutu... and the fuller your heart will become.
7. Trim. Once it's completely full, I trim the edges to make it even & lovely. For a baby, it should be about 8 inches in length.
8. Admire your work from all angles.
9. Wait three months for your girlfriend to have a baby.
10. Swoon.     

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