If you told me three years ago, that I would be posting a frilly, froofy pink tutu tutorial, I would have laughed at you. I’m more of a girly girl with a hard edge. Even as a little girl, I would proudly tell you my favorite color was “turquoise!…not pink and purple like all the other girls.” ha… 😉
My daughter Natalie, however is ALL about the pink. Pink, pink and more piiiiiink!
After I made her a black tutu for my Taylor Swift inspired post, she asked, no begged, for a pink one. How could I say no to this face?
So, this tutorial is for her…and any other pink tutu fanatics out there.
And because I just can’t help myself, after I fulfilled her pinkalicious tutu request, I made a red one and a tan one as well.
This girl has yet to meet a tutu she doesn’t like, so I think even the red and tan will see some wear.
One of the best things about these tutus, is that they are SO easy and simple to make.
Let’s get to it!
MATERIALS3 yards mesh tulle* matching thread 3/4″- 1″ elastic (enough to fit around the recipients waist)** 2 large safety pins scissors Notes: -**Matching elastic is best, but basic white elastic works fine too. The tulle gathers enough to disguise most of the elastic in the casing. -*Mesh tulle is a firmer, scratchier, and thicker material than regular tulle. Liz and Elizabeth from Simple Simon & Co. told me about it when I was searching for a more durable tulle fabric. It’s much sturdier and easier to sew than traditional tulle, and it fluffs out really well. It’s not soft enough to use as a straight up skirt, unless you sewing a lining, but for a dress up tutu, it works great! I found a few different weights, and colors in the tulle section at Jo-Ann. – You don’t have to use mesh tulle. The tan tutu in this post if made from traditional tulle. It just doesn’t flounce out as dramatically and it is almost twice as hard to sew. Keeping all the layers from sticking to each other and making sure everything wasn’t twisting was much trickier. Trickier, but definitely not impossible. – Three yards makes a pretty full tutu. For a less full tutu, you can try less yardage. – This tutu should fit most small children, from ages 2-6. The length of the tutu skirt is about 8 inches. For larger/ taller kids you can increase the yardage to 4-5 yards and cut it in half instead of thirds (see the tutorial below for reference). This will create a skirt length of about 13 inches, but you can trim it down as desired. TUTORIAL1. Find a big open space where you can lay your tulle out completely flat. Cut your tulle into thirds, or 18″ wide strips. 2. Sew each 18″ x 3 yard strip together, short end to short end, creating one huge loop of tulle fabric. 3. Fold that loop of tulle fabric in half, lengthwise. 4. An inch from the folded edge, sew a 1 inch casing all the way around. Leave a 3 inch opening unsewn, for the elastic.
Don’t worry about pinning all the tulle in place (it’s a reaaaaally long loop of tulle!). Just make sure you are keeping everything folded evenly as you sew. It also helps to mark 1 inch from the needle on your machine with some washi tape or a grease pencil, so you can be sure your casing stays nice and even as well.5. Cut a piece of elastic 1 inch longer than your recipient’s waist. Pin large safety pins to each end of the elastic (I like to use cloth diaper pins), with one pin perpendicular to the length of the elastic. Thread the elastic ALL the way through the really long casing. The perpendicular safety pin should prevent the elastic from slipping all the way through and it should help the tutu gather. 6. When the elastic comes full circle, remove the pins, overlap the ends 1 inch, and sew them together with at least two lines of zig zag stitching.
7. Keeping this section of tulle, flat, finish sewing the casing closed.
Distribute the gathers around the length of the elastic evenly and you’re done!
Super simple right? There is no hemming, or finishing seams (unless you want to), and it’s almost like sewing a ginormous scrunchie.
Scrunchies! Remember those? Scrunchies and cork screw shoe laces. Oh yeah. 😉
Sources: Mesh tulle and regular tulle from Jo-Ann || Felt bows made from O+S free bow pattern || Toddler bead necklaces made from this tutorial || Red floral boots from Zulily || Denim shirt from Carter’s || Jeggings from Walmart || Striped leggings made from Go To Leggings sewing pattern || Red Striped shirt from Old Navy
Daniela D says
Love these! My 6 year old is sitting with me and is begging me to make one in each color! Thank you for the tutorial. 🙂
Thanks Daniela! She sounds like my little girl. 😉
I love how much the tulle stands out on your tutus. Is the tulle you use the one they sell to make dish scubbies? I’ve made the knotted tutus before. I like the look of yours much better. I think I will give one a try soon.
I think so Louisa. I haven’t made those dish scrubs, but my guess is it’s the same stuff.
ohhhh smart way to make a tutu, girl! my favorite is the champagne color one…but Em would probably opt for PIIIIINK!! 😉
Thanks Kristin! 😉
Liza jane says
Adorable. I am most definitely NOT a pink tutu kind of girl. But my dad just bought one for my daughter and she loves it (he did it just to ruffle my feathers). Maybe I need to make her a black one now. I would be down with a black one!
I made a black one for her Taylor Swift inspired look and she loves that one too! There are more weight choices for black mesh tulle too.
Lisa at Mabey She Made It says
I like this WAY better than the tied ones. And my oldest (4) just commented on Natalie’s “beautiful skirt.” I think I may have to make a few.
Aw. Tell your daughter thank you! And thank you too. 🙂
So simple! Cant wait to make this one. Thanks for sharing!
Melodie Barrett says
I have been looking for a pattern like this!!! I have 2 granddaughters and they love tutus. Have you tried layering 3 different colors???? I thought it would be fun to try!!! Thank you for sharing
I haven’t. What a great idea though!
Super cute, Delia!! And is your girl ever growing! Love her expressions and obvious enthusiasm over the tutus you made her.
I just used regular tulle for the first time in a couple of months ago, and it was really frustrating. I’ll have to find some mesh tulle instead!
These are really cute… my favorite is the red outfit! Natalie’s curls are adorable.
I’ve never been a pink-lover either, but having 3 daughters has definitely made me more amenable to it. 😉
Regular tulle is so sticky! Mesh tulle is definitely easier to sew. And I’m softening up to the idea of pink too because of Nat. 😉
Thank you for the tutu tutorial…will make for my granddaughters!!! Also i finshed your crochet shawl and it came out beautiful it was a birthday gift!!! I really like your blog..blessings!!!!
I’d like to make long(chest to knee) tutu style dresses for my sister’s flower girls. Would this fabric work for that or would you recommend the lighter softer fabric? I’ve made the new sew tutu for my daughter and while it is cute, I think a sewn one looks more polished. Thank you!
That sounds lovely. Yes, I think that using the softer tulle would be better and maybe using less of it. The more length of tulle you add, the more the tutu sticks out. If you really want it to drape down, I might even use organza or chiffon as well? There is Helenka mesh which is harder to find, but has great drape and durability through sewing, wearing, and washing. I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.
I’m getting ready to sew TEN of these! i found the mesh tulle you mention and am excited to work with it over traditional tulle. Do you have any recommendations for needles or tips for sewing the mesh?
Hey Lynn! Sorry that I just saw this. You probably have already sewn them up, but I just in case… I used a universal needle and a lengthened stitch. I think I might have lengthened it to 3.5-4 mm. I hope it worked out for you! 🙂
I don’t sew, although I would love to be able too, and was wondering if I could ‘lay’ the tulle over the elastic and make a couple of stitches that way? I love the clean look of your tutu’s so much better than the looped ones not to mention those ones tangle so easy when they are played in!
Good question. I am not sure I understand what you mean by lay the tulle over, but if you want to try fabric glue instead of sewing it might work? It might not look as clean and you would have to be really precise with your glue, but once it all bunches up, I wonder if that would be thaaat noticeable. Or…you might want to try fabric tape. I would just stay away from the kind you have to iron in place, because tulle is 100% polyester and would melt.
I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any more questions. I would be happy to help brainstorm and trouble shoot!
I am making tutus for adult Halloween costumes. I need the tutus to be longer so I am not cutting my fabric into strips simply folding it in half and making a casing. I would like to do several “layers” ie. grey, purple and another grey. How would you recommend I do that? I am using regular tulle not the mesh type. Do you think just layering the tulle prior to folding it would work? I am worried about the difficulty of sewing with 3 layers folded in half! Do you have a better suggestions?
Oh Eva! I’m not sure why, but I haven’t been getting alerts on comments for this post. Darn it. I’m so sorry! I know it is way too late, but just in case you want to sew this this year, or for anyone else wondering about this…you are exactly right. You would want to stack the colors together in layers before folding. Sewing through multiple layers of tulle might get a little slippery, especially if you are using the fine mesh tulle, but other than that, thickness shouldn’t be a problem at all. If I were you, I would use large binder clips along the fold to keep everything static. Then just remove the clips as you sew.
Hi, I just finished following your tutorial and I followed the instructions to a t. I used 3 yards and folded in thirds etc. and it came out great, but does not look anywhere near as full as yours do. I used the mesh tulle, too. Did you use more tulle for the tutus in the photos? Thanks =)
Hi Jenn! So sorry that I just saw this comment. I didn’t use more tulle. I’m not sure why it’s not the same fullness. If I were to guess, it might be that not all mesh tulle is the same thickness? The stiffer/thicker tulle will give a fuller look. The black mesh tulle I used was softer and finer and did not gather quite as much as the really thick tulle.
Either way…I would love to help trouble shoot this if you wouldn’t mind emailing me a picture: [email protected]. Sorry again for the crazy delay in my answer. I wish I saw this sooner!
I made a little tutu like this and I’m having a problem with the elastic rolling in the casing instead of laying flat, particularly where the tulle bunches on one side (it sort of redistributes as you pull it on). I’m considering stitching it to the elastic to help it lay flat, but that’s kind of a pain. I wonder if anyone else has shad this problem? (I’m using 1” elastic and the casing is 1-1/4” wide.)
Good question. You can try making your casing smaller to minimize the rolling and if you can, I recommend using a a non-roll elastic. It has cross wise rib marks along the length of the elastic to help stabilize it. I try to have the tulle bunched so densely that it doesn’t really have room to roll, and if it does, you can’t even see it to tell. I hope that helps. Please let me know if you run into any more snags or if you have questions.
Riya Sen says
This is a great tutorial! I’m going to try this out for my next tutu party!
Lisa Gehrig says
Gosh, I wish I had known how hard it was to cut Tulle. Cant wait to see how it is to try to sew this. I am a novice seamstress and I think I am ruining this tutu. If you get this in time, I hope you have more tips on cutting and sewing. I Have limited space to lay out the tulle and I suspect the huge tube will be intimidating.
I am so very sorry that I didn’t see this sooner. Please email me ([email protected]) or message me on instagram (@deliacreates) if you want a faster answer in the future. To answer your question about an easier way to handle tulle…unfortunately it is a fickle material. Being able to spread it out helps. Delicate tulle is much much harder to handle than a thicker mesh style of tulle as well. It can be sort of sticky, so if you have long nails or rough hands, it can make handling tulle an even bigger challenge. Using vinyl gloves can help mitigate this. I hope it’s not too late. If it isn’t, I would get a thicker mesh (it may be labeled as mesh rather than tulle at the fabric store). Once you fold it and you are working with several layers at once, it actually does get easier to handle, surprisingly.