How to Make a Tea Length Tutu Dress

Written by helen harvey
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How to Make a Tea Length Tutu Dress
Tea length tutus have become fashionable with girls and women alike. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Dresses with tea-length tutus are used commonly in ballet performances. They also have a place in the dressing-up clothes of young girls and have risen to fashion status, appearing in the collections of top fashion designers and on fashionistas walking the red carpet. Providing that you can read a pattern, have basic sewing skills and have a little time and patience to spare, you should be able to make a dress with a tea length tutu, which you can embellish with silk flowers, ribbons and jewels to create a unique and eye-catching frothy confection of tulle.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pattern
  • Fabrics
  • Sewing pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • 1/4-inch elastic
  • Darning needle

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  1. 1

    Find a pattern for a tea-length tutu in your size. Jalie Patterns offers a multi-size pattern for girls through women's size 14. Its pattern number is 2915. Also check out tutu patterns and sewing patterns websites for bridal and evening dress patterns that would be suitable.

  2. 2

    Read the pattern instructions carefully before starting this sewing project. Do not start cutting the pattern or fabric until you are clear on what you need to do.

  3. 3

    Unfold the pattern pieces and gently flatten them out. They will be made of tissue-like paper and will tear easily. Cut out the pattern pieces by cutting along the lines for your size.

  4. 4

    Lay the fabric that you are using for the top of your dress right-side down on a flat surface. Pin your pattern pieces in place. Before you start cutting pieces out, make sure that all the pattern pieces fit. Do not stretch the fabric to fit the pieces.

  5. 5

    Pin your fabric together, making sure that the right sides are facing each other. Use enough pins to hold the fabric firmly together while you are sewing it.

  6. 6

    Select the correct tension on your sewing machine for the type of fabric you are sewing. Carefully guide the fabric under the sewing foot so that it does not stretch as you are sewing it.


  1. 1

    Cut rectangles of tulle that are at least triple your waist measurement in length to allow for fullness. To achieve the tea-length, the rectangles should be as deep as the measurement from your waist to 2-inches above your knee. The number of rectangles you cut will depend on how many layers and how full you want your tutu to be.

  2. 2

    Thread a darning needle with a piece of 1/4-inch elastic, which should be the length of your waist measurement.

  3. 3

    Lay the pieces of tulle on top of each other. Join them together, using a running stitch, from one end to the other of one of the longest sides of the layers. Tie the ends of the elastic together and evenly arrange the tulle around the length of the elastic. The tulle tutu will be stiff and full, and you need not sew the ends of the tulle together as you would with the seams of a regular skirt or dress.

  4. 4

    Pin the top that you have made to the tulle skirt. Before sewing them together, ensure that the tulle is evenly arranged around the waist.

  5. 5

    Add decorative embellishments such as silk flowers and jewels to the waist, neckline or hem of your tea-length tutu dress to express your own unique style.

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