Monday, October 10, 2011

Make Your Own Tutu

I'm really big on the kids (by that term, I mean me) creating their own Halloween costumes. I do break down and buy the really cute fluffy ones for the littlest one, but that is only because Halloween night in my area is freezing!! This year I have a ballerina, witch, elephant, and an "I haven't decided yet".

So, I got to working on the ballerina costume. It was extremely easy and quite inexpensive. It required an elastic cut to the measurement of the waist and about 16 yards of tulle. The yardage for tulle could be less, but we needed the finished skirt to be about 15" long. We were attempting "one of those fancy ballerinas".

I cut the tulle into 32" long strips. Then 6" wide. Because this is a Halloween costume and won't be worn in a production of the Nutcraker (well, maybe in my own living room), I didn't feel my cutting had to be exact. I used a real technical cutting trick. I bunched it up one way and used my rotary cutter to cut it at the desired length. Then bunched it the opposite direction and cut it at the right width. My pieces were not exactly perfect, but you really can't tell in all that fluff.

Next I measured 9 yo's waist and sewed the elastic with a 1-2" overlap. Remember we aren't trying to be perfect here. It just needs to fit.

After the sewing of the elastic, I placed it around a big cooking pot. This works awesome for two reasons. 1-The pot holds the elastic flat and allows you to tie on the tulle without it getting all foofry (another technical term) and irritating. 2- I kept all my strips of tulle inside the pot when I had to put it up while doing other chores.

Now we double knot each strip onto the elastic. Double knots seemed to create a higher poof in comparison to a slip knot. I also was able to choose how high the knot sat, making it easier for me to make it more or less poofy.

I chose to go 5 pink/5 blue, so that the colors would show better. The blue seemed almost white if I only placed one strip in.

Before I knew it I had this beautiful tutu and a very happy 9 yo.

If you look on Etsy, you will find that a tutu this large would cost anywhere between $40-$85. My cost break down was elastic at .10 and 16 yards of tulle at .50/ yard = $8.00. It took me 2-3 hours to make it. I saved at least $32 by making this myself. Now I can use that money to figure out what to do for a top :)

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