Tutus are skirts made from tulle, a type of fine netting that has a great deal of loft. It is a floaty, airy fabric that is used on ballet costumes to help emphasise grace and give an ethereal appearance. Tulle is versatile in that it is stiff enough to support many layers of fabric; and it is light, allowing for ease of movement. To make a fluffy tutu, you will need to use twice as much tulle as for a draped tutu.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Measuring tape
- 1-2 inch-wide elastic
- Sewing machine (optional)
Measure the waist. You will need to get an accurate waist measurement for determining how long each tutu ruffle should be. Have your dancer stand in front of you with her arms relaxed at her sides.
Measure the elastic. Stretch the elastic around the dancer's waist and then add an inch for sewing the ends together. Cut at the appropriate length and set aside.
Cut the tulle. When cutting the tulle for ruffles, you will need to cut each ruffle at least three times the circumference of the dancer's waist. This will allow for extra fluff. Cut at least six ruffles of widths between 6 and 10 inches, as you will stagger the ruffle widths to give the tutu a full look.
Gather the tulle. With a sewing machine, make two lines of basting stitches across the top of each ruffle, at least a quarter inch apart. Pull one end of the threads and gather the ruffle together in the middle until it is slightly larger than the waist measurement of the dancer. Repeat for each ruffle.
Pin the gathered ruffles to the elastic and sew. Lay the elastic on a flat surface and pin the ruffles, starting with the widest ruffle at the bottom, layering until the narrowest ruffle is at the top. You may be able to sew more than one ruffle at a time, depending on the thickness of the gathering. Use a zigzag stitch to sew, to ensure the waistband of the tutu will stretch.
Sew the ends of the elastic together. Overlap the elastic and pin. When sewing, make sure both ends of the elastic are fully tacked down for the dancer's comfort.
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