27 October 2010

I DIY: Tu-tu-tu-tu-tu-tu

The I DIY is back! After my cousin had her unbelieveably adorable baby, and showed off her cute Halloween onesie, I knew I needed to make her a tutu. However, I had never actually attempted such a thing before, so it was an adventure all in itself.

I did a little bit of research (otherwise known as googling "tutu diy", "how do i make a tutu?" and "tutu or tu-tu?") but was still unsure of the best method of tutu creation. (I did find that tutu is preferable to tu-tu.) The most common version was the tied tutu, like here by Mammalicious, in which you merely tie tulle onto an elastic band and then slip it on. Though I appreciated the simplicity of this idea, I was really aiming for something a little more... authentic looking.

I didn't find a whole lot of gathered tutu tutorials online, so when I went to the local fabric shop to buy the tulle (My Joann's got snowed in last year. Sad face.) I asked the lady who cut my fabric how she would go about it.

Nice Fabric Cutting Lady: You're just going to gather it, right?
Me: Oh... Um... yeah!?
Nice Fabric Cutting Lady: Right. How much did you want?

So it was a foregone conclusion then. I went home with my nice black stretch tulle and got to work.
Here is how I did it, and I apologize for the lack of photos! After folding my (already doubled) tulle in half, I sewed a straight stitch along the length to gather it with, and gathered it by hand. I'll try and post a video of my method for gathering.

After I had all my fabric gathered up into cute and even ruffles, I sewed just above my initial straight stitch to hold the ruffles in place and then snipped the folds at the bottom of the skirt. Done!? Not quite. Since my sweet baby cousin is pretty tiny, I decided to shorten the tutu so it wouldn't look like she was hiding under a blanket made of tulle.

Now it's short and cute and -- well, not so fluffy like a tutu should be. Since I didn't know any other way to fix it, I decided to cut a few zig-zags in the top layer and about halfway down. I would guess I had six or eight layers. It still was laying rather flat, so I sewed a straight stitch to hold up the top two. At first, this seemed like a horrible mistake, since they stood straight up, but once patted down, they were perfectly fluffed! I did the same thing for a couple layers near the bottom.

Fluffed and chopped, all that remained was the elastic. I merely guessed at my little cousin's size, snipped and then sewed a button and cut a button hole into the ends. Done.

Here's my finished work!

It's not my best photographic work -- can you believe my roommates weren't interested in modeling?

Good news? My cousin loved it. Her sweet daughter? Halloween isn't here yet!

Any fun projects? How about any sweet babies you are crafting for? I can't help it.

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