Since I proclaimed every Tuesday TuTu Tuesday for my self-portrait group on Flickr, I'm going to be needing to make myself some tutus, those poofy skirts that only ballerinas used to wear that have now tip toed their way into polite company. They are usually made from tulle, the netted fabric used for wedding veils. It comes in many colors, textures and widths. I recommend you find a discount coupon for your favorite fabric store and see if you can buy the whole bolt, because once you cut it, it has a mind of it's own and will dance away from you.
I've seen two methods for making tutus. One is the horizontal layer method where you sew three or four rows of gathered tulle horizontally onto a base skirt or leotard. Method two is the tie on method where you take cut strips of tulle and ribbons and tie them with a larks head knot onto a 'belt' or wide ribbon and tie around your waist at the back.
Please note these are fashion and costuming tutus. They are not professional ballet tutus which is a specialty field you'd probably need to learn from a costume maker for the American Ballet theater or something.
Anyway, on to the tutorials.
Tips and Tricks
I'm noticed some of these tutorials are sadly lacking in technical terms so here are a few.
1. Gathering: The official term for 'wrinkling the fabric up' so you can sew it on. Typically you gather on a sewing machine with either a long basting stitch, or you use a gathering foot. You can do it by hand with a running stitch though. It's going to take you a very long time by hand so don't try this a few hours before the party.
2. Waistband: Learn to make a standard waistband, which is a wide strip of fabric that gets folded in half later to hide the stitching. My gypsy skirt detail might help you with the waistband.
3. Selvage: The woven nonraveling edge at the top and bottom of the bolt as it comes off the machine. With tulle the selvage is your friend so don't lose track of it. It will help you to keep your tulle under control while you cut it.
A more conventional tutu
Tie on strips tutorial
You know you want a tutu too.
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