I love making tutus. It don't know why. I just find it relaxing. Sophie has about 13 in her closet right now....and I'll admit it, I even have one in mine! Hey, it was for halloween! I know there are a million tutorials on how to make a tutus, but I haven't found one yet on how to make a petti tutu. It is really super simple, and they are so adorable!
Now, sorry but I don't have any good pics of it one because my model is too busy "being an artist" today...sorry mom, no time to model...
Really...look at my fridge!
Okay, so on with the tutuorial...
**If you know how to make a tutu already you can skip down to the Make it a Petti Tutu Section at the bottom**
All you need is a needle and thread, tulle and 1/2" Non-Roll elastic...the non-roll part is really important. When I first started making tutus a few years ago, I didn't read a tutorial...at the time I didn't even know they existed...and I just bought regular elastic...let me tell you, that is a major pain!
Anyway, most people who make tutus like to use the 3" or 6" rolls because they say they are easier to cut. Personally, I prefer the tulle of the bolt because 1. I find it is quicker to cut and 2. It makes a better tutu (imho). I's really all about what you like.
To find how much tulle you need:
- Measure the waist.
- Measure the length you want the skirt. (I think a petti tutu looks best to right above the knee, but thats me)
- Multiply the length by 2 and add about an inch (for the waistband). This is the length you will cut your tulle strips. (ex. If you want your tutu to be 10" long, you would cut the strips 21")
- Now use this formula to figure out your yardage...sorry I can do math but I am terrible at explaining...so just trust me. It looks all confusing but just do one step at a time...and you'll see it is really simple, just a lot to explain. : )
Waist Measurement x 2.5= approximate number of strips you will need
Number of strips needed divded by 9 = number of rows you will need to cut of tulle
a 20" waist x 2.5 =50/9 =5.5 rows
(If you are using the spools, don't divide by 9. Skip to the next step)
now multiply you strip length by the number of rows (you may want to add an extra row or two to be on the safe side, but this has usually been pretty reliable for me)
21"x 5.5 = 117" of tulle
divide that by 36 to get the yardage
117"/36 = 3.25 yards
Once you start cutting, this will all make sense.
Cutting the tulle:
To make it easier to cut, I fold the selvedge to meet the fold, and then, I trim the raw edge to make it all even. Now, measure from your trimmed raw edge the length of your strips and cut. Repeat until you have all your rows cut.
**When cutting tulle, you always want to measure your length along the grainline (the grainline runs from raw edge to raw edge), otherwise you will get too much stretch when you tighten your knot and it will tear...I really wish I had known about this whole grain thing before I started making tutus! (If you want to know more about the grain of fabric, check out this article.)
I'm lazy cutting my tulle so, as I'm cutting I open my rows back up and stack them as neatly as possible with the folds on one side and the selvedges on the other. Then, I cut my 6" strips, starting from the fold cut the first one 3" (cause once it's opened up I will be 6"). Then, cut all the rest 6". If you are a perfectionist you can do one at a time, but tulle is so forgiving as long as you have them stacked neatly no one will ever know you cheated!
Cut your elastic 2 inches smaller than your waist measurement, overlap and stitch together. I used a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine, if I stitch by hand I stitch in about a 1/2" square and go around twice then make an "x" in the middle.
Make the tutu:
I like to put my waistband around something. I use an old plastic container.
- Fold a strip in half with the ends even, so that it forms a skinny "u" shape.
- Pass the folded end under the waist band.
- Slip the cut ends through the loop formed by the folded end, and tighten the slip knot around the elastic.
I pinch the fold and pull my tails tight then to the left and right to get my knot as tight as possible with out squishing the elastic...you want to avoid this...trust me I learned the hard way! My waistband on my first tutu was so stretched out, I couldn't even fit in it. (No, it wasn't for me I was for a nine month old!) You'd think I would have noticed something wasn't right, but you'd be wrong.
To make the fluff that turns it into a petti tutu, you will need 6" x 5" tulle rectangles. To figure out how many, take the number of strips you got when figuring out yardage (50) and mulitply by 2.
So you would need approximatley 100 rectangles. If you are using more than one color for the fluff, divide the number of rectangles needed by the number of colors you are using. I used 4 so I cut 25 of each color. (You can use the method you use for the skirt to figure out the yardage you'll need to buy for the fluff too. Just use 5" as your strip length.)
Gather your rectangles along the crossgrain (the six inch length).
Now tie one to the end of each of the skirt strips, about 2.5 from the bottom. I tie the knot in the skirt strip, instead of tying the rectangle around the skirt strip to keep it from slipping off. (If you really want to be safe, you can also tie the rectangle afterwards)
To get it even, I tie the knot loosely around the rectangle/fluff piece and then even out all the ends. I then hold all three ends and pull the top of the skirt strip.
And that's it! Basically, just tying knots, but isn't it so cute!