Saturday, May 2, 2015

No-Sew Tutu For Baby

This is my first baby gift in years. I thought about making the typical blanket, or even a little tote bag to carry incidental baby items (because there are many of them). But in the end, I just really wanted to make something different while still having a bit of fun. I searched the internet for some ideas, and decided that for a little infant girl...her first dress-up gift should be a tutu. At least for me, it was something I loved playing with as a child.
Tutu Front
Tutu Back
I found several sites with suggestions for a no-sew tutu. You can find instructions on blogs like the Pinning Mama, Instructables, DIY Network, and many, many more. Just enter a quick search into Google using "no sew tutu." This is certainly not a new idea, and honestly, it does not need any complex tutorial. I did do some hand sewing though. I had to stitch the flowers onto the waistband, and attach the ribbon to the elastic ends. But that's about it.

My own version ties in the back. I did not see a tutorial for my version. I wanted the tutu to have more size flexibility. By adding the tie, this tutu also makes a great big pink crown!

All you need is:

2-3 Rolls of netting in whatever width you would like your Tutu to be in length. If you're going to make an adult size, then more netting. I like the rolls because if I buy too much, I can return what I did not use. Start with cutting one roll first for an infant, and then two for a toddler...and so on. Don't cut all the netting out. You may not need it.

Adults...? I'm not sure, but I'm thinking closer to 6 rolls or more depending upon how poofy you want your skirt. Cut the netting into even strips at your desired length. Remember, you will be tying the netting, so you will want to double the length, and add an inch. Example, if you want your skirt to be ten inches in length, cut the strips to 21 inches. An infant tutu is around four inches, so you would need to cut nine inch strips. It's best to use a cardboard strip to keep the measurements equal, but I was lazy, and in the middle of watching television. I just measured (by eye) the length I wanted, and then cut the rest out using the first as a master. If you want a perfectly even tutu, then don't do it my way. Mine looks a bit more organic (uneven at the edges)...but the netting can be trimmed if necessary.

Elastic - I used the non-rolling one-inch elastic. Cut to your desired length. I did mine around 15 inches, which means the newborn won't be able to use it until she starts walking. Since mine ties in the back, I do not waste any elastic inches like I would sewing a connected round band. But if you want to make it a pull-on tutu, then add an extra inch for overlap stitching of the elastic. I recommend getting an actual waist measurement if you want the skirt true to size.

You'll need ribbon if you want my version, otherwise, you can sew the ribbon to the front or back as a nice decoration. You will need to sew the ribbon to the elastic before you begin. If you want the pull-on type tutu, then stitch the elastic together to create your waistband.

Once you're set with the netting strips, begin tying the netting onto the waistband. I decided to use two pieces of netting and double knotted mine. I liked the way it covered the elastic better, and offered more poof. But you could play around with it and see what looks best.

This is what it looks like after knotting only a few strips of netting.
I purchased pre made fabric flowers along with my other supplies. You could make your own, but that would take more time right? Try to keep the flower pieces large enough so the baby does not pick them off and accidentally swallow them. Be kind to the mother of the baby, and stay away from glittery things. Handstitching is preferable to glue, and hot glue might melt the netting.

My whole project was under $20. You can also add a headband, and maybe some wings, a pair of matching booties, and you will have yourself one dancing toddler. My gift will be the tutu for baby, and maybe something yummy for her mommy. After all, the mom did do all the work right?

Happy crafting!