Tuesday, December 29, 2009

tutu-torial: easy ballet tutu gift

Esme loves to play dress up. Her favorite dress up costume is a play silk tied as a Super Girl cape around her neck. For Christmas this year, the one thing Esme wanted more than anything else is a ballet costume to dress up in, complete with tiny slippers and a colorful, fluffy tutu, of course. I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to get creative and hand make another gift: a tutu!

Since I unfortunately do not sew, I needed to be extra inventive in finding something I could do. I went to the craft store and got several spools of 6 inch wide tulle in a variety of colors, as well as a few spools of ribbon and some elastic. I cut the elastic a couple inches smaller than Esme's waist and stitched it to make a circle. Then I cut a few dozen strips of tulle to tie to the elastic waist band. I cut the tulle to about 24 inches so that I could double it up (fold it in half) so the tutu would be about 12 inches long.

Next, I folded each strip of tulle in half and, at the center of the strip, looped the tulle at the top of the elastic and pulled the tails back through the loop to make a knot at the top. I did this with each strip of tulle and lined up the knots in a nice row. Here is a picture:

I used a deep purple-burgundy tulle and intermingled with a glittery light blue. I was happy with how this tutu turned out, but I was not crazy about the elastic band. I took some ribbon and cut it to fit Esme's waist, plus about 10 inches on each end to tie a nice bow. I tied the strips of tulle, this time slightly longer, maybe 30 inches long (for a 15 inch long tutu). Here's the second tutu:

I love the red ribbon with the red tulle (red is Esme's favorite color). And I really like the look of the ribbon verses the elastic waist band, though I am not sure which one will fit and last longer until she wears them around for a while. I made a third tutu, this one for Evelyn, as a gift as well:

I made Evelyn's tutu out of glittery blue and sage green with white ribbon.

This project is one of the fastest and easiest gifts, and it does not cost too much to make, either. I think it would be cool to make an extra fluffy tutu by doubling up the tulle and tying two strips per knot.

I look forward to taking pictures of the girls wearing their tutus!

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