Monday, October 18, 2010

Lovely Ladybug Tutu

I posted our fall photos the other day. I don't know if I mentioned that I made the tutu for Jocelyn's costume. Josie knew that she wanted to be a ladybug for our church's fall festival. We had seen a photo of a costume and she decided that she wanted one like that. I had been contemplating making a tutu for her for a while, she loves to dress up. I had seen several homemade ones online, but I could not find any good directions for one! I had seen a how-to in an issue of Family Fun. The directions that I followed for the most part are found online here.

I started with tulle from Hobby Lobby. I purchased 2 rolls of red tulle and one of glitter black. That gave me 50 yards of red! I thought that would be far more than I needed but I was wrong! If you add in the red and black ribbon and the 10 yards of black tulle, then altogether it was 65 yards of fabric. Trust me, if you want a nice full tutu for a 4 year-old, you will need that much!

One of the best pieces of advice was to use a binder for tying your tulle onto your elastic. I simply took my elastic and wrapped it around Jocelyn's waist and made sure it was snug, then I sewed the ends together (nothing fancy, just a needle and thread). I slipped the circle of elastic over the binder so I had something to pull against so I could get the pieces tied on tightly.

I used black elastic so it would blend in better with my color scheme. It worked really well. You can see the sparkle of the black a little better in this photo. I am glad that I did not use only that kind because that glitter gets everywhere!

There was no science to tying the pieces on. I wanted a really full skirt, and I did not want it to be short. Even though she is wearing leggings underneath, I did not want it to be see-through. Another handy tip (I made these with my friend, Patti) is to use a ruler and wrap your tulle around it. We used an 18 in ruler and wrapped the tulle around it (the tulle is 6" wide and comes in one long-25 yd.- piece) continuously. Then you cut through all the layers on one end and you end up pieces of tulle that are each 36 inches long.

Then you take two of those- the photo above shows how thin each separate piece is-and tie them on together. You just treat the two pieces as one. I wouldn't try to do more than that at a time, because you want it to stay even and not be fuller, or run out of tulle before you have covered all your elastic.

Now you can see the two pieces together.

Make a simple loop.

And then tie a knot. Easy-peasy! Now repeat, a whole bunch of times! I tied on all the red, and then because I had so much less (and I also didn't want it to look goth) I strategically placed my black pieces and tied them on. The really nice part is that if I want Josie to be able to wear it for something besides her ladybug costume, I can just take off the black pieces and the ribbons.

I did the same thing with the ribbon, except I only used one piece at a time. This is when the binder is especially handy because you can make sure you have an even number of pieces on each side. I loved how full the finished product is! I think it just makes her costume perfect. And I made it all myself! I think the possibilities are endless, but since I purchased my tulle and ribbon at half-price at Hobby Lobby it was pretty cheap (about $8 with the elastic) I can definitely see these making great birthday gifts. I think Jocelyn will definitely be able to extend the life of her's beyond just her costume. I just hope Carson doesn't want one!


  1. That is *awesome* ~ Well done!

  2. Great job with the tutu! I am SO not good at sewing. Greg is though. Maybe I can get HIM to make our kids' costumes if need be?? LOL

    ~ Jen

  3. So sweet, can't believe how crafty you are becoming. Have to admit the ruler part and the two piece bit was as clear as mud to me. But if Gilly wants one I will just pay my crafty sister to whip one up for her;)

  4. That is so cute! I love that you put the dot ribbon in!



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