Monday, 4 January 2010

Princess-tutu for Julia

As much as I'd love to give my 3,5 year old niece toy-cars and toboggans for christmas, that wouldn't get me far in terms of popularity, so I resist and walk the girly path (and I love that too!). And she's already got a toboggan. Plus, I give her books whenever I find good ones..!
And all she wanted for christmas was princess-clothes. 
This skirt was actually a commission (in return I got to be a part of the gift-giving constellation) from my brother (her uncle, I have three younger brothers...), who wanted to give her a princess-skirt for christmas. I would never have chosen the pink material, so I'm happy I wasn't responsible for that part of the process because she loves the colour and the sparkly sequins (her favourite colours by the way are pink and purple).
The skirt is made from double layers of white, rather soft tulle, and one single layer of pink, sequined tulle.  The waist-band is made with a bought bias satin-ribbon with a narrow strip of elastic in it.

How to make it:

Materials needed (for a rather small 3,5 year-old): About 60 cm's of elastic tape for the waist, about 70cm's of (wide enough!) satin bias-tape for the waist, two buttons, tulle - about 2x the desired length of the skirt (in this case about 60cm's), provided the tulle is wide enough, in this case it was 150cm's wide which was enough. The pink tulle was much more narrow, but since we had two layers of white tulle underneath, it was enough (ie 60cm's of tulle was cut in two strips and used for one layer of pink).  

1. Cut the tulle in long strips, about 30cm's wide (depending on the desired length of the skirt).
2. Hand-sew (or machine-sew if you're in a hurry and brave) gathering-threads in the tulle, one in the double layers of white and one in the pink. I sewed them really close to the edge and gathered a bit as I went, to make it all more managable.
3. Measure the waist. Julia's was between 48 and 54cm's depending on how much she had eaten... so I realised I had to make the skirt a bit flexible, and thus decided to put elastic in it.
4. Gather the waist to about 10-15cm's more than the waist-measurement to allow for some ease, Sew one edge of the bias-ribbon onto the front of the skirt and then fold it over the waist of the skirt and pin the front with the elastic enclosed. I pinned it so that I could sew it right along the edge of the first seam in order make sure I wouldn't catch the elastic. Tie little knots in the ends of the elastic and gather the skirt to the right waist-measurement after finishing sewing the satin ribbon. Sew across the elastic to lock the gathering to the right waist-measurement. I hand-stitched the ends of the satin-ribbon to the back of the waistband to make it look nice from the front.

5. Hand stitch the tulle closed, just a few stitches, where the short ends meet (I overlapped them a bit first), make a button-hole in one end of the satin ribbon and sew a couple of buttons on the other end of it to close the skirt with. Not that Julia uses the buttons, but they look kind of nice...
And it's all done!
Julia has worn it almost non-stop since we gave it to her (through a delayed santa) and loves to spin around and to jump in it, it flips around in a flowy way thanks to the soft, white tulle. And isn't she pretty in it?

Here's a site with loads of information about tutus, and here's a tutorial on making a no-sew tutu.


  1. Very cute! My nieces wear my old ballet tutu's...I should probably make them their own though. :)

  2. SO CUTE! what a great idea!!!!


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