If you’ve ever wanted to try making a no sew tutu for you wee one then now is the time to try it! It took longer to wait impatiently on my purchases of net and elastic to arrive than it did to make the tutu.
Firstly you need to get your materials. To make a Dance With Me tutu you’ll need:
- 6″ rolls of net/tulle in fuchsia, aqua, green and a yellow/orange
- fold over elastic in shocking pink (you only need about 25cm but depends on their measurement)
- card (any will do, I used the card from the back of a pad of paper but something like a cereal box will work)
- a measuring tape/ruler
1. Decide what size you want your tutu to be
I measured the girls’ waists and made the waistbands that size for each of them, however, I discovered after making them that the elastic gets stretched when making the tutu so you want to make it a couple of inches smaller than their measurement. I say waist but at 1 and 3 they don’t really have waists so I went for just above the chubbiest part of their tummies!
You also need to decide how long you want the net to be. I went for 10″ for Rachel (3) and 8″ for Abigail (1).
2. Make the waistband
So, if you want to not sew at all I recommend cutting the elastic to their waist measurement to allow for tying a knot in the elastic (ie the finished size of elastic once tied will be a couple of inches smaller than their actual measurement).
If you’re happy to whip out your needle and thread (or cheat like me and use your sewing machine) I would cut the elastic so that it’s finished size will be a couple of inches smaller than the waist measurement but with enough allowance for overlapping and sewing. Because these were trial tutus I was really lazy and didn’t even look out colour matching thread. You couldn’t see the sewing when the tutu was finished so, if like me, you like a wee shortcut this is one!
3. Cut the net
I used a bit of card from the cover of a pad of paper. Any card will do. To be honest, this wasn’t even that sturdy so have a look and see what you’ve got, cereal box etc and don’t panic if it’s not delivery box thickness! You want to have a bit of card that is wider than the 6″ net because this makes it easy to hold while winding the net round it. The length of the card needs to be the length of your planned skirt plus half and inch. So for Rachel’s 10″ skirt I had a 10.5″ card length and just left the width of the card as it was.
Choose a top and bottom! This might sound a little unnecessary but it really helps with the next step. If you’ve used a bit card with a pattern this will help you know which is your top and bottom. If it’s plain card I recommend writing “bottom” on it.
Line up the net with the bottom of the card so that it is lying up the 10.5″ (or whatever your measurement is) length of card. Wrap the net around the card. From the bottom at the front to the bottom at the back is once round and then you bring the net to the bottom at the front to start again. Count as you wrap the net (preferably without a toddler “helping” you count!!!). I used 50 lengths (wraps) in total so I did twenty lengths of fuchsia, and ten of each of the other colours.
Once you’ve wrapped the correct number of times cut off the remaining net at the bottom of the card. Then again at the bottom cut through the net across the bottom of the card. This means all the cut ends are at the bottom and the folds at the top of the card.
Look how pretty the net is once cut!!
4. Tying the net onto the waistband
For this multicoloured tutu you’ll want to pick two different colours and put them together. Every so often you’ll want to do two pinks together as this is the main colour.
Find something that’s not too big that it really stretches the waistband but that will hold the elastic in place. I used a little Ikea chair for Rachel’s but it was too big for Abigail’s so I used the back of her ride on car instead!
With two lengths of net together fold them in half to make a loop. Don’t worry about the net lining up perfectly as you’re going to make this a puffy tutu. Place this looped net in front of the waistband. Then take the cut ends of the net behind the elastic and up through the loop at the front.
Then pull this to make a knot. I liked this a not too tight but really the preference is yours as long as you have enough net to fill the waistband. I started this with the net behind the waistband to make the knots but I prefer the way the knot looks when you do it this way. Again the choice is yours but I recommend tying them the same way each time.
5. Making the tutu fluffy!
The tutu at this point looks fab (well I think so!) but its even better when fluffy!
To make the tutu fluffy take one section at a time.
Then pull the individual pieces of net in opposite directions.
This makes the knots a wee bit tighter but shouldn’t change the overall look of them. Repeat for each section.
Its so FLUFFY!!!
6. Your tutu is finished…well yours should be!!
As you know this was my first go at this and I didn’t realise the elastic would stretch so much when tying the net on. So I had to cheat and tie a knot in the elastic to tighten it. This was actually ok because I found that you couldn’t see it for the fluffy tutu once on (spot the knot below)!
7. Trouble shooting
I got quite stressed with the elastic when I made the first tutu because it kept twisting. I tried really hard to keep it flat. As you can see below when I got onto Abigail’s tutu I decided to just let it twist and see how it went. It went fine! So, don’t stress if it twists because you can’t see it under the knots.
This is the knot that I made in the tutu to make it fit after the elastic had stretched. Although you can see it here you couldn’t when the tutu was on and all fluffy.
So! If you want you can make your own tutus or purchase one from the school. Remember our Dance With Me classes don’t have a compulsory uniform because they’re so wee.
I loved making these so much that I think I’ll be buying other colours of net to make the girls tutus for all occasions!!
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