Thursday, 4 November 2010

Sugar and spice, and all things nice

So this must be the pinkest and frothiest thing I've ever sewn:


I took Anna to the ballet today at the Sydney Opera house, and of course she needed her very own tutu to wear! It was a performance designed especially for 2 - 5 year olds because it was only 40 minutes long and the ballerinas weren't up on stage but rather right in front of the audience. The little ones were encouraged at the end to get up and dance with the ballerinas, which some loved but freaked some others out:

image from here.
And it turns out a tutu is the perfect thing for admiring the view of Sydney harbour as well as being a tourist spectacle yourself:




There are lots of tutorials out there on how to make tutus, some a bit time consuming such as cutting the tulle into thin strips and tying them in knots around the waistband or other tutorials involve sewing several tiers of tulle. But since I left this until last night, I went the super easy option and sewed her tutu like an apron so that it could be simply tied on over top of whatever she's wearing. Also this means it will be able to live in the dress up box for years to come and be worn by bodies of various sizes too.


If anyone else needs to make one in a hurry, and let's face it I'm sure that's how much time most of us leave ourselves to make dress up costumes for our kids, here's how I did it in less than an hour (provided you have the materials of course):

1. cut several long rectangles of tulle. I used four layers of pink bridal tulle (because it was softer) and two layers of hot pink tulle with polka dots which seemed to be enough layers for puffiness. I used the full width of the fabric which at 114cm also happens to be twice as wide as Anna's waist, and cut 25cm lengths which is the length from Anna's waist to her knee. So for your child, cut the rectangles as wide as you want (I recommend twice as wide for nice fullness) and as long as the distance between your child's waist and knee (or shorter if you want it finish above the knee).

It doesn't matter if your cutting isn't precise either, because slightly varying lengths of the tulle adds to effect.

2. sew all the layers together along one long edge with a long machine stitch and pull the thread up to gather it. Gather it up enough so that the finished width is about the width of your child's waist. And now you should have some serious volume going on with the tulle layers:


3. Cut a piece of prefolded satin blanket binding about twice the width of your child's waist. Slide the gathered edge between the folds of the blanket binding, leaving the ends of the binding to be ties. Sew along the open edge of the two layers of the ribbon, enclosing the gathered top of the tulle layers.


That's it! A good indicator of a properly fluffy tutu is one that can stand up on it's own:


14 comments:

  1. What an adorable little tutu! I love the apron idea. I bought a pattern at my daughter's request but keep pushing it to the back of the pattern files because I don't want to deal with it. I think I will skip the pattern and just go with your apron idea. Thanks!

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  2. Your daughter is just adorable! Beautiful!!

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  3. Ummm. I would like to be your daughter :) And, I think I'll be making myself a tutu also for kicks!

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  4. So totally cute. Lucky little girl that she got to wear that. I love the polka dots too!!

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  5. My daughter is way older than yours so I am filing away the tutu instructions for future grands; however, the expression on your daughter's face which you caught at the tail end of what I KNOW was a shout of unadulterated joy is priceless and something I can never recapture with my lovely Katie. THAT becomes more rare as "proper behavior" is instilled with natural aging. Record and treasure that pure moment. Lina in FL

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  6. So cute! Is it bad that I'd like to wear Anna's outfit? Love that cardigan as well!

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  7. Lovely tutu and what a great day for the kids.

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  8. Your daughter is so adorable in her new fashion!

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  9. Every girl needs a bit of froth in her wardrobe. Or dress up box. I love the apron idea. Very, very sweet tutu.

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  10. She is adorable. My daughter would like to babysit for you!

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  11. How cute is she!! Love the tutu, too!

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  12. Great idea to make an apron-style tutu! The need for versatility in tutus is often overlooked (:

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  13. I made 12 tutus just like this for daughter Annie's sixth birthday party. All the little girls wore them and then took them home. I hired a local college girl to "teach" them ballet. It was very cute.

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  14. So sweet! I'm glad Anna had such a good time!

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