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Frilly Frilly Foo Foo: How to Make a Tutu

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Frilly Tutu Skirt

Dodgy crafting… good thing my 2 year old is not a tough critic

New and Improved Tutu
This one’s a bit better than the last.

Here’s my first and second go at making a girly frilly tutu. There are probably hundreds of tutorials out there on how to make these. And, did I read any of them? NO! Probably should have first, but anyway, it came out good enough for Margo to think it was cool. Here’s how I made mine in a few steps with dodgy pictures, inaccurate measurements and uneven hems 🙂 But, really who has time to be perfect?

Step #1

Gather your materials (can you tell I’m a science teacher?)

-Waistband: you can buy a pre-made headband, or if you know how to crochet or knit, you can make one for yourself. You can also use non-roll elastic.  Anything with holes will do for the style I’ve done in the picture. The holes don’t need to be very big, but the the waistband should be stretchy.  Or, you can skip the waistband, and just use anything that is stretchy, like elastic and just loop the fabric around.

Tulle fabric: Approx. 1 meter (1 yard) of fabric will do for a child, depends on this fabric is sometimes called wedding veil fabric. It has very fine netting and is usually made from nylon or something synthetic. Choose some tulle that is nice and soft!  The scratchy stuff will be itchy on your kid!  If it’s really sheer and you’re worried about it being see through, just make sure you add extra strips of fabric.  This will make it extra ‘foofy’ too.  You can even double up the more sheer stuff and that should suffice. The tightly woven kind or thick stuff does the whole ‘poofy’ thing better, and an added bonus is that you can’t see their pants under the tutu, but may be a bit more scratchy.  Just use your common sense and buy stuff that feels soft to the touch.

Step #2 (if you’re making your waistband)

If you already know how to crochet or knit, please ignore my dodgy crocheting skills. If you want to learn how to crochet or knit, now is a good time, this is an extremely easy thing to make. There are many tutorials out there on how to make a simple band. Make the chain so that it is the correct size to fit around the child’s waist.

Making a chain

Make a chain (make sure to use some yarn that is not scratchy. My daughter hates real wool. ‘It’s scratchy!’ she complains!

Connect the chain when you have the required length to fit around the waist, and build using a single crochet until you have reached the desired width of your waistband.


Dodgy crocheting, but it’s okay: the finished waistband (make as tall as you like).

Step #3

Cut your fabric into long rectangular pieces, the desired length of the piece will depend on the height of the child (or adult, who knows who wants to wear a tutu). I would make the width about 4 inches (10 centimeters) or bigger. You may or may not use all of your fabric, depending on how fluffy you want the tutu and what kind of material you have bought. Better to make them all the same length, unless you don’t care about dodgy crafting like me! Folding your material into many layers, like pictured below will help you to keep them the same length. I finally thought of this the second time around… duh.

Fabric in long stripes

More inaccurate crafting: make long rectangular cuts from your fabric.

cutting fabric

An easy and quick way to cut lots of the fabric in even strips is to fold it, like so….

Step #4

Connect fabric to the waist band by folding the fabric in half, inserting through a hole in the waistband near the edge and then making a LOOSE hitch. If the hitch is pulled too tight, it looses the fluffy factor big time.

Inserting the fabric into the waistband

After folding rectangle strip in half, insert through a hole in the waistband.

Tie a hitch

Make a LOOSE hitch

Tighten the hitch

TOO TIGHT! This hitch I pulled too tight. Can you see how it loses it’s fluff?

Step #5

Insert the desired amount of fabric into your waistband until you have achieved the amount of poof you want. My husband was the best judge. He said, ‘NOT PUFFY ENOUGH!’. So, I kept adding more until I ran out of fabric.

Frilly Tutu Skirt

Final product. Leave on the couch for your daughter (ok, there could be some boys out there who want one too!), to find in the morning 🙂

Conclusion (I really am a science teacher!):

For my two year old, it was ok, but if doing again, like I mentioned, I would have chosen a less sheer tulle fabric than the one I chose. Make sure it’s not too stiff though! You can also double up if the fabric is too sheer,  I also would have measured the lengths of the strips, duh! I was just eyeballing it, and the bottom was all uneven. Anyway, Margo doesn’t care, she thought it was pretty cool! Would love to hear other’s comments: any tips, tricks to making these?

Here’s an edited version, I made another tutu for a gift, I think I made some very good improvements… not quite as dodgy, probably acceptable as a gift 🙂

New and Improved Tutu

This one’s a bit better than the last.

2 Responses »

  1. I’ve made a few tutu’s and a friend of mine told me that she actually wraps her tulle around a cookie sheet and cuts. They all come out the same length!


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