Archive for the ‘Arts and Crafts’ Category

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tutu dress 101

October 29, 2008

For Princess’ Halloween costume, I decided to make a tutu dress for her to be a little woodlands fairy.  First stop, lots of web sties to see if I could figure out how the heck to make one.  I found some really pretty ones on Etsy.com, but I figured I could make one for cheaper than the $60 they were charging.

Next, I went to the fabric store.  The good news: netting is really cheap.  SO I picked up 1 yard each of the colors I wanted to use.  I also picked up a yard of tulle as an overskirt and some cute green fabric with iridescent dots on it for whatever else I might want it for.  I ended up using it on the wings.  I also got some elastic.  After experimenting, I fount that the thing elastic is easier to tie the netting around, so if you’re going to use the no-sew method, get thinner elastic.  I also picked up ribbon for the neck tie.  

Fabric

Fabric

So, in list form, that’s:

1 yd. each, various colored netting (I used three, you can use however many you want)
1 yd tulle
elastic (measure your child’s waist, cut elastic an inch or 2 shorter, depending on how much it stretches)
ribbon

Other supplies I had at home:

wide sheer metallic ribbon
bias tape (Its used for hems, goes around the edge of the fabric to seal it – looks like ribbon)
various trims
felt and fur for the wings
iron-ons
thread
sequins and small seed beads to match
18 gauge wire

To make a basic no-sew tutu:
cut elastic to desired length.  If you’re making a tutu dress, the band will fit around the waist in the back and go up to the chest in the front, so measure accordingly.

Cut your netting into strips.  You can make these however thick you want, depending on the look you want.  I used approximately 3 inch wide strips.  THe length will depend on how long the tutu or tutu dress will be, but each piece will be doubled over, so keep that in mind when cutting.  The length of each piece will be twice as long as you want the finished length to be, plus an inch for the know.

Next, fold over a piece of netting and slip the loop under the elastic.  Then pull the loose ends over the elastic and through the loop and pull tight.  Warning, I found it difficult to work with the materials because the netting kept getting caught in the elastic, but be patient and you’ll work it out. Continue this for all the strips.  If you just want a simple tutu, you can finish it at this point by simply sewing together the ends of the elastic.  I also put on a few strands of a wide sheer metallic ribbon I had.  Ta Da, a tutu is born.

Net tied around waistband

Net tied around waistband

Princess modeling a basic tutu

Princess modeling a basic tutu

Shit.  I just wrote a whole post and somehow deleted half of it.  Sigh.  Here goes again…

I don’t do simple, so, of course, I had to do a more complicated thing.  I took the tulle and made it into an overskirt by folding it in half lengthwise, then cutting a petal pattern.

Tulle overskirt cut out and hemmed

Tulle overskirt cut out and hemmed

I ended up folding it over the waistband of the dress, so one folded side went below the net (to keep it from being scratchy) and the other went on top of the net for decoration.  THe below side, I just folded over the edges twice and sewed for a hem (There’s a technical term for this, but I have no clue what it is – blind hem, maybe?). The top side I used bias tape along the edges.  THen I folded it over the waistband and, stretching the elastic as I went, sewed it to the dress.  Difficult to do with all that tulle and netting, let me tell you. Then I sewed a ribbon to the waistband to finish it off.  I lost a little elasticity by doing this, since I used such a small elastic, but, I figured it would be okay, since it’s a dress and will be held up by ties around the neck anyway.  I folded a piece of ribbon in half lengthwise (the length depends on your child) and sewed it to the middle to make the tie (like a halter-top).  

halter-top tie sewn onto waistband

halter-top tie sewn onto waistband

THe last major step is to sew together the ends of the elastic and tulle.  For extra decoration, I sewed a flower to the front (it also hides where the tie is sewn on) and put some iron-on flowers and a butterfly on the “petals” of the overskirt.

 

sewn together seams

sewn together seams

Side note: Princess is trying to help mommy type. lmao.  She’s got a hold of my hands as I type this.  I have a feeling we’re going to have to teach her pretty early to leave mommy and daddy’s computers alone (yes, plural.  We have my iMac (Mac’s rule) and  PC, which we don’t really use much, plus Hubby has a laptop and I have a Mac laptop up in the nursery.

Back to the costume:

Wings:
I used some sheer fabric and leftover tulle for the wings.  First, bend and cut the wire into whatever shape you want the wings to be. THen, I glued the fabric  to the wire.  THis was kind of difficult, since the glue didn’t want to stick to the sheer stuff, but I was persistent.  Then I glued on some ribbon and trim.  I took a piece of the tulle I used in the dress and used it as a backing.  I glued this on, then sewed around the edges of each wing to hold everything securely in place.  THen I cut out a diamond/oval shape out of some fur and some felt.  I glued the fur to the front of the wings, in the center, to hold the wings together. I cut four horizontal slits into the felt, two on each side, for the arm bands to go through. I measured on princess the length for each armband, then cut some elastic a little shorter than the measurement, and some wide ribbon twice as long.  I sewed together the long edges of each piece of ribbon (one per armband) and turned it inside out to form a tube.  THen I pulled the elastic through and pinned it.  THen, I slipped each end through a slit and sewed them together and to the felt to help secure the band.  Repeat for the second band.  THen I glued the felt onto the inside of the wings.  As a final touch, I sewed on some sequins. Pull the thread through the fabric, then through the sequin.  String on a bead, pull the thread back through the sequin and back into the thread.  This also helped to hold it all together.

back of wings

back of wings

costume front

costume front

back of custume

back of custume

 

Fairy Princess in mommy-knitted sweater

Fairy Princess in mommy-knitted sweater