Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Time Out for Tutus

Mr. Goodlaff's niece, (and our flower girl) Dee, turned three last Tuesday, and having recently discovered her inner princess, I knew that what a three year-old princess needs most on her birthday is a tutu--that's right, a big, fluffy, girly tutu.

Dee is a tiny little thing, and being not too familiar with sewing children's clothes (or any clothes for that matter), I had a heck of a time figuring out how big to make the tutu.  My first draft came out okay, and used elastic, but it really lacked the finished quality I was looking for.  I started off using this tutorial for a no sew tutu, where you tie strips of tulle directly on to the elastic, then I put a satin ribbon on to finish the waistband:

In the middle of the tying process...

All done!

It was an okay attempt, but I really wanted a more professional looking result, so I ripped it all apart and decided to forge my own tutu, sans tutorial.

The elastic and I had a bit of a disagreement, and after several frustrating hours, agreed to part ways.  What to use, what to use?  The answer was staring me right in the face: ribbon.  I sewed the strips of tulle (4 different colors for variation) directly onto one side of the ribbon, then folded the ribbon over and ran a seam along the bottom, leaving an opening to thread the ribbon through.

Then I ran the ribbon through the small pocket I made in the waistband, burned the ends so they wouldn't fray, and tied a bow for extra girly measure. Now the waist functions like a drawstring, which turned out to be the perfect solution to my elastic drama, plus the tutu is completely adjustable to her size, and will grow with her through the years.  My hope is that it will fit her for many years and be used in many play times to come.

I wish I'd been able to get a picture of Dee in the tutu, but three year-olds get spoiled on birthdays, and she was on major present overload.  By the time she got around to opening our gifts, she was more determined to clock her brother for playing with one of her other presents than really take the time to ooh and aah at the appearance of tulle. Alas, you will have to deal with my crappy picture of the final product.

Not bad for a day's (well, two if you count the first one) work!

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