Good morning! I’m back today with the seventh day of a handmade holiday…a DIY baby tutu! While this isn’t an all out Christmas project, this tutu would make an adorable handmade gift! I made this pink one for Jellybean a couple months ago and love how cute it looks! I bought red tulle to make a second one for Christmas. I haven’t started it yet but will hopefully get a chance to next week. I have a few Christmas onesies from Bugaboo that would look really cute with a little red tutu :)
What I love about this tutu is how small and soft it is. I have seen lots of adorable tutus out there, but a lot of them are so poofy and large! Maybe they are meant more for special occasions or photoshoots. This tutu is a great everyday tutu. It is short so it doesn’t get in the way of important baby activities, like crawling and rolling. Because it is so short (and sheer), it really should be worn over leggings or pants.
Making this tutu really showed me the power of repurposing! My sister had given Jellybean this very cute dress from Old Navy, but she grew out of it before ever wearing it! The dress fabric matched a lot of the onesies we had, so I figured why not make it into a tutu skirt! It was definitely worth it, because she got a ton of use from the tutu rather than it remaining a dress sitting in a box unused.
The trick to keeping this tutu easy is to make it with Ban-Rol. An amazing sewing product I just recently learned about and have fallen in love with!! I purchased it in October when I was doing a bridal alteration on a dress with several layers of chiffon. I was dreading hemming the chiffon when I found a tutorial on hemming a silk handkerchief using Ban-Rol. I searched for it online and found it at this Etsy shop. It worked perfectly and I was so ecstatic about how perfect my tiny little hems turned out! After I finished the bridal alteration, I wanted to keep using it, so I decided to try it on this tutu for Jellybean. I had wanted to make one for some time but didn’t want to leave the edges of my tulle raw but also didn’t want to try to hem them. This isn’t a sponsored post for Ban-Rol, though from my gushing, it may sound like it! I just really love this sewing notion and am glad I have added it to my arsenal of sewing tools! Below is the tutorial!
Supplies Needed for DIY Baby Tutu:
- Tulle or mesh fabric
- Cotton fabric in a coordinating color
- 3/4″ elastic
- Ban-Rol for finishing the hem (I purchased mine here)
- Sewing notions: thread, pins, needle, scissors, ruler
STEP 1: Cut the fabrics. This tutu is two layers of mesh or tulle with a cotton elastic waistband. Cut your fabric to the following dimensions. These dimensions worked well for a 9 months/12 months size. You can fit the elastic to whatever size you’d like though, so these measurements could work for multiple sizes.
- Top layer of tulle: 5.5″ x 29″ (includes a 1″ hem)
- Bottom layer of tulle: 6.5″ x 29″ (includes a 1″ hem)
- Cotton waistband, cut 2: 2.5″ x 20″
- Waistband tulle used to cover the cotton fabric, cut 2: 2.25″ x 20″
To create the cotton waistband covered in tulle, I’d recommend first cutting the cotton pieces to size, and then pinning them, or sewing them, to the tulle and cutting the tulle down to size after. This will be easier! You can see exactly how I did this in step 5.
STEP 2: After cutting the fabric, the next step is to hem the two layers of tulle. This is when using the Ban-Rol will really come in handy!! On each layer, mark a hem line 1″ from the long edge of the fabric. This line is your hem line and you should use it to line up your Ban-Rol. For instructions on using the Ban-Rol to hem your tulle, check out the following two tutorials. They explain things very clearly! I have included pictures of my process so you can see what it looks like using the mesh fabric!
- Narrow hem with ban-rol by olive + s
- Hemming Tutorial – the wonders of Ban-Rol by Obsessive Creativeness
I needed to sew two pieces together for each layer since I was repurposing the Old Navy baby dress. Pictured below are the four lengths of fabric I hemmed using the Ban-Rol! I love how perfect and tiny the hems are! :)
STEP 3: Each layer needs to be stitched into a tube. I chose to do french seams since the fabric is sheer. This isn’t completely necessary as the tulle and mesh shouldn’t fray. I like the way the french seams look!
STEP 4: Stitch the two layers together along the top edge (opposite the hem) using a gather stitch, or long running stitch, on your machine. Layer them as you want them to appear. Lay the short layer, right side up, on top of the long layer, also facing right side up. Stitch at 1/4″ from the edge. I lined up my french seams.
STEP 5: Create the waistband. First sew the long piece of cotton fabric into a tube. I did a normal seam at 1/4″. I decided to cover my waistband in the tulle so it would all match. To do this, I laid the tulle over the waistband and stitched very close to the edge, at about 1/8″ on either edge of the waistband. Once the tulle was stitched down, I cut it to the same size as the cotton waistband. Doing the waistband this way eliminates any possibility of the tulle being misshapen or cut wonkety!
STEP 6: Gather the skirt to the waistband! Gather the skirt to the waistband, right sides together. I found my half way points and continued to find the next half way point until I was working in smaller sections. Stitch the skirt to the waistband using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
STEP 7: Fold the waistband over to create a casing for the elastic. Press the top edge under 1/2″ first and then fold it over. You shouldn’t have any raw edges showing. Stitch in the ditch from the front side, catching the waistband as you go. Leave an opening to insert the elastic.
STEP 8: Insert the elastic. I chose to try the tutu on Jellybean before cutting the elastic. Once I knew how tight I wanted it, I cut the elastic and sewed it together by overlapping the ends. I slipped the elastic inside the casing and then hand stitched the casing closed.
The DIY Baby Tutu is all finished!! I actually thought this came together pretty quickly, although this tutorial is quite long! The hemming process was so fun with the Ban-Rol! I’ll have to post a picture of the red one I hope to make next week! Making this tutu really gave me the itch to start making more clothing for Jellybean! I have so many beautiful fabrics and lots of vintage patterns from my mom. I’m waiting to use some of our really nice vintage fabrics until Jellybean is a bit older and won’t grow out of clothing so quickly!