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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Adult Tutu DIY - No Sew


This tutorial is showing how easy it is to make a no-sew adult tutu. I wish I'd have made a pink tutu for my daughter when she was young. Instead, she asked me (as a grown young adult) to make one for her and a friend for a relay they're running soon. I started and finished both pink tutus today.

Anyone can make a no-sew adult tutu. Here's how I did it:


For each adult tutu you'll need: 
  • 2 yards of hot pink tulle and 2 yards of white tulle
  • 5 yards 1" wide pink grosgrain ribbon
  • sewing scissors
  • tape
  • straight pins
  • sewing graph board
  • a few basic stitches on the sewing machine or by hand if desired

Fold the ribbon lengthwise in half. Cut to create two lengths at 7 1/2 ft each. Tape off ends of ribbon with clear tape to prevent unraveling. 

Sandwich ribbon sections together. Fold in half and mark center with a straight pin. From that point, position another stick pin 15 inches off each center (for a 30" waist). This is a good medium to start from, the actual waistline can be easily adjusted to accomodate the wearer. ** See notes at bottom of article.

Next, sew the ribbon sections together down the middle to give the waistband more substance or strength. To do this...at sewing machine, sew a straight stitch across the 1" ribbon at each marked edge of the 30 inch section. Next sew a zigzag stitch centered horizontally the length of the ribbon between the two previous stitchings. (Ribbons will now be sewn together for a 30" length centered with the remaining ends hanging loose.)

 

Time to cut the 54" wide tulle. (The sewing board was handy and made the job go much quicker.)

This was my first time dealing with so much yardage of tulle and I found it a little tricky. So, I simply cut off 1 yard at a time and worked with that.

Smooth out one yard piece of tulle and keep it folded in half (as it comes from the bolt.) Now, fold this piece UP lengthwise in half and then fold in half again. (As shown in pic below, you'll now be working with a piece that is 36" long and approximately 6" or so folded in height.)


Cut through all layers every 4 inches along this tulle, giving you 9 pieces for each 1 yard section. (4" x 9" = 36" = 1 yard, right?)
 
FOR EACH ADULT TUTU you will need a total of 4 yards of tulle.
 
There has been a lot of questions regarding the length of the adult tutu. I've tried to simplify this the best I know how...
 
This next step YOU will determine the length of the tutu:
 
FOR 6 1/2" LONG TUTU
 
IF you want a tutu that is 6 1/2" long from the waist then fold each of the 9 pieces of 4" wide tulle exactly in half and cut along the fold giving you 18 pieces of tulle that measure 4" wide x approximately 13" long. (Your pieces may be a tad longer depending on the tulle you use....my tulle was supposed to be 54" wide, but it wasn't exactly so.)
 
FOR 12" - 13" LONG TUTU
 
If you want the tutu to be approx 12 to 13" long, DO NOT cut the 4" wide pieces in half. For each 1 yard section this leaves you with 9 pieces of tulle measuring 4" wide x approximately 24" to 26" long.

Continue cutting the remaining yardage in this same manner. 


 

Align one each of the pink and white tulle strips in your hand. Fold in half together and form a loop.


Slip the loop underneath a portion of the ribbon that is sewn together. (First portion of your slipknot.) Then continue making the slipknot by inserting the ends of the tule through the loop and pull to tighten over the ribbon. (see below what it should look like)


Secure ribbon with pins into your sewing board to hold in place while making your slipknots OR use something like the mannequin I have (shown below) to make it even easier. (Actually you could also probably tie the ribbon ends securely to two opposing, sturdy objects while you work on it, if necessary.) 


Continue making slipknots all along the length of the zigzag waist portion of the ribbon and allow the end portions to move freely to be tied into a pretty bow when worn. 

** Note I used 30 inches as a guesstimate. The adult tutu can be sized to custom fit by either spreading the strips of tulle a bit apart on the ribbon or squishing the strips closer together. Adjust the sewn poriton of the ribbon waistline according to the approximate size of the wearer when starting this project. 



I'm so tickled how these no-sew adult tutus turned out. Really a quick project. Now my only problem was how to get these in one box for priority mailing without smashing? Well, space bags of course! lol


I smoothed the two no-sew adult tutus with my hands, and with the help of my husband got them in the space bag. Now all the girls have to do is remove them and give them a good shake and they'll bounce right back into marvelous pink fluffiness! :)


45 comments:

  1. Great tutorial! Can't wait to make one for my Halloween costume!! Thanks for the instructions, I'm going to give it a try tomorrow!

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  2. will these measurements do for any size? I'm making about 14 for the upcoming Komen race and I have some people who are 30" around and some who are 50" around. Just wondering if I would need more or less fabric. Thanks!
    mac07g10(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  3. Hi Melissa! Yes, you would need additional fabric if you want the tutu to be full like the one shown. My suggestion is if you have a chance try on a finished tutu on several different sizes and kind of eyeball it. You can always cut extra tulle, bring it with you to the race and have people actually tie some on while they are wearing them. Seriously! :) Oh, I see your email address above. I'll send this comment there too. Pam

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  4. Hi Pam,

    Thanks so much for publishing this terrific tutorial! My friends and I are doing the Color Run this Sunday and your instructions were perfect. Definitely needed more tulle for larger waists, but not much. So easy to follow and all six tutus have turned out fantastic.

    Just wanted to say thanks!

    Beckie

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  5. Thanks for the great instructions. Just finished making six of these for me and my friends for the Color Run. So easy to do and they all look great. :)

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    1. You are most welcome, Beckie! I've been doing animal advocacy work all summer and neglecting my blog. So sorry it took me so long to reply to you. ooops! :( Glad the instructions were helpful. :)

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    2. Beckie, did you make them white for the color run? I'm planning on doing the same thing and just wanted to check with you on how they worked out for you all. Thanks!

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  6. This is a great tutorial as I'm hoping to make a long black tutu for myself for Halloween. I am curious, though, (as I'm not a seamstress and don't own a needles and thread, let alone a sewing machine) why do you do the stitching down the length of the ribbon?

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    1. Hi! Sorry I just realized I didn't answer your question..... The reason I opted to sew the two lengths of ribbon together was probably a little anal on my part, but it helps keep the two sections together and also stitching down the length of the ribbon would make it stronger. These tutus were worn by girls in a 24-hr relay race so I needed to make sure they were sturdy. If you're just making this for Halloween, you shouldn't have any problems without doing that extra stitch. Have a great Halloween! :)

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  7. why did you sew 2 lengths of ribbon together?

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    1. Hi! It keeps the two lengths together and makes a stronger waistband. But I did this because the girls wearing them were racing in a 24-hr relay and the tutus needed to be sturdier than average. Hope this helps you and sorry I took so long to reply.

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  8. So excited to try and make myself a tutu for Halloween this year :] Thanks for posting the instructions!

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    1. You're welcome, Anne! Happy Halloween! :)

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  9. I'm confused on how to tie the loops for a solid color tutu. If you don't do the last cut for 18 pieces per yard, wouldn't the tutu be twice as long? Sorry, may be a silly question but I am not a crafty person!!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Lindsay, if I understand your question correctly....Making the tutu with one color you would tie the nine pieces either folded as they are OR if you prefer you can cut them in half. Either way the fullness AND length are the same.
      On the tutus I made I wanted the differences in color to be more "subtle" and cutting the folded pieces in half required twice as much tying but the result was the look I was after.
      It's up to you. Just follow the tutorial above EXACTLY and when you tie on the first two or three you can decide which way you want to go. It's a very simple project, really. You'll do great, I'm sure. :) Happy Halloween!

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  10. This looks great, and i am planning on making myself one for Halloween this year also! While shopping for tulle i am noticing that you can buy it on a roll so it is already in strips. Do you have any idea how many yards I would need to buy if i bought 6 or 12 inch rolls as opposed to buying yards off a bolt? Anything helps! Thank you :)

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  11. This looks great, thanks for posting! I am planning on making myself one for Halloween, and while shopping around for tulle I noticed that you can buy it by the yard in strips of 6 or 12 inches. do you have any idea how many yards I would want to buy if i was buying the precut strips instead of a large piece off a bolt of tulle? Anything helps! Thanks :)

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    1. Aloha pcourser! Hmmmmmm I've never seen tulle already cut in strips. That's very convenient...however, and I'm so sorry to tell you I really don't know the answer to your question. :( Tulle bought off the bolt is very affordable and you only need 4 yards for the average adult tutu. Personally, I'd still cut it myself. I realize I'm not being very helpful but I know that 4 yards prepared this way makes a nice full tutu. Happy Halloween!

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    2. I'm finding that it is MUCH cheaper off the bolt, like $5 cheaper so actually, you did help convince me to just do the work and save my money ;) haha thanks! Happy Halloween to you too!!

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    3. Well, as i shop around im noticing that the rolls are about $5 more than just buying yards that arent cut, so really you did help convince me to just put the work in and save my money ;) Thanks, and Happy Halloween to you too!

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  12. I have a similar question to Lindsay above. If you cut each strip along the fold, so that you have 4" x 13" strips and then fold them in half to make the slip-knot, won't the tutu only be 7.5" long? Or are you saying you unfold each "completely," you are really only unfolding what you folded, not the fold that it comes with from the bolt...?

    Basically, I'm wondering how long the tutu is from waist to hem.

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    1. MaryAnn and Lindsay.....I've sewn so many years sometimes I take things for granted and so I re-read and realize what I wrote sounded a little "wonky". So I've rewritten the instructions regarding LENGTH of the tutu. (The adult tutu shown is approx 12" long.) Hope this revision makes sense and Happy Halloween to everyone! :)

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  13. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I'm going as Tinkerbell for Halloween, and I'm super happy at the way this skirt turned out! I'll be proud to show off my results at our Halloween party this year. I also found sparkly tulle for 40% off at my local Jo-Ann's, so the whole thing cost ~$15 to make - so much cheaper than buying!Thanks again for the awesome tutorial! :]
    http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mbnts6akKa1qc04wqo1_500.jpg

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  14. Hey there! Thanks for this awesome tutorial! I just have one question. What length did you do your tutu?

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    1. The tutu pictured is between 12" to 13" in length.

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  15. I am making a tutu for my friend for New Year's and I do not own a sewing machine. If I opt not to stitch the ribbons together would I still use two?

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    1. Hi! I sewed the two ribbons together to give more substance to the waistband. Whether you opt to hand sew or not, I would still use TWO ribbons one on top of the other to tie the tulle strips over. :) I think this will work just fine! :) Good Luck and have a safe and fun New Years!

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  16. I am wanting to make a floor length tutu for my wedding. Any ideas?

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    1. Hi Miranda! There is a blog called Cotton and Curls....a talented gal named Lizzie made a tea length lined white tulle skirt that is LOVELY! I think this might be very helpful to you. Here is the link to Lizzie's post and tutorial: http://cottonandcurls.blogspot.com/2012/12/diy-tulle-skirt-tutorial.html Good Luck to you! I hope this helps! :)

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  17. I can't wait for Halloween! It is one of my favorite holidays and my favorite season. I love getting dressed up and going to parties, I usually make my own costume but I may buy one this year, so I'm looking around online for sexy halloween costume ideas.

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  18. Made a blue tutu for my 13 year old daughter today for a minion costume. We didn't sew the ribbon together but it doesn't need to hold up for as long. Thank you so much for the easy tutorial :)

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  19. This is awesome, such a wonderful idea on halloween costume! Thanks for sharing them as I was really looking for some awesome and cool homemade halloween costume ideas to get on Halloween since it's just few days away. Kudos to you!

    ~ Barbara

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  20. Hi Pam! this is a WONDERFUL tutorial, and I'm excited to start my own tutu for my Halloween costume. Problem is I not only have to make one but three, and I was wondering, the amounts you gave, is that for ONE tutu? Also, is it better to do the waist line with ribbon or with elastic?
    Greatly appreciate your feedback!

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    1. Aloha Catalina! The yardage amounts shown are for ONE tutu. So EACH tutu will need a minimum 4 yards of tulle. (That's the amount I used for each tutu shown. If you want it fuller, purchase another yard or so. It's really inexpensive material off the bolt.)
      As for the ribbon vs elastic......I prefer the ribbon just because of the look of the bow in back, however, you could always make the waistband from some wide no-roll elastic and then tack a large ribbon bow on the back of the tutu for extra security.
      Happy Halloween!

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  21. I was browsing about Halloween costume ideas and I found your blog which is quite interesting. I do hope it's okay with you if I pin them on my Pinterest board. Thanks for sharing!

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  22. This is genius, I and my friend are running our first 5k this weekend and I wanted to have one for it (It is for Autism). I am so excited and will be working on them today! Thank you so much! <3

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and Good Luck on your race! :) Hope you raise lots of money; researching Autism is a great cause!

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  23. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I tried making one of these a few years back which totally didn't work out. Your tutorial was brilliant, however, and I wore my shiny new tutu to the Electric Run for Breast Cancer Care. I will also wear it again in October for to raise money for the MS charity so it will be used plenty. Thank you! Warm regards from London! MJ

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    1. Aloha MJ! Thank YOU so much for letting me know. YAY most of all for raising awareness and $ for great causes too!!! :) Pam

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  24. is the tutu supposed to be very see through? ive tried regular tulle and more netting-like tulle but both have turned out extremely see through and the one in the picture doesnt look as sheer. any ideas on what ive done wrong? thanks!!

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  25. Aloha Steph! All I can say is I used the really inexpensive tulle from WalMart. If you feel your tutu is too transparent then I would just purchase a few more yards and squish each tie on as close together as possible. It would result in a very stiff tutu. Hope this is helpful. :) Pam

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  26. ooops, I also wanted to say the tulle I used is rough in texture....it has NOTHING to do with tulle used to make wedding veils which is very sheer and fine. (I'm sure you know that, just double checking.) :)

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  27. Will 10 yards be enough for an adult tutu because someone told me 25 yards

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  28. Aloha Tabitha! For the tutus I show here at this short length, 10 yds was ample for an adult. However, if I were worried about having enough tulle, I'd just buy extra. It IS inexpensive. If you end up with too much you can always make a second tutu for someone else. :) Hope this has been helpful.

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