Friday, March 22, 2013

Birthday Girl Scrappy TuTu

Our little girl is going to be 1 in May and I wanted to make her a tutu to wear to her party.  Well, I've never made anything like this in my life and I can't even get my mini sewing machine threaded properly.  Thankfully, there are cheap classes at the local craft stores but I won't have a chance to take one before the party, so I decided to make her a fabric scrap tutu.  I've seen tutorials all over Pinterest and I must admit, it looked very easy.  Even to someone who is not naturally crafty and has never sewn before (other than hand-sewing buttons that pop off of a shirt). 

So, I ventured off to the fabric store and was IMMEDIATELY OVERWHELMED!  So many patterns, so many fabric types, so many colors.  Oh my; I'm on my lunch break.  How in the world will I choose within an hour?? I had a feeling that might happen, so I decided before I got into the store that I was looking for a pink and soft blue combination.  I also have a newfound love for owls and have started collecting owl art, so when I saw this chocolate brown, 100% cotton fabric with the vibrant-looking owls (that were staring me down!!), I had my starting point.  I like some variety, so I got one print and one solid that would match.

I started off by measuring her waist (in my mind.  I would love to say I actually took the time to measure her, but I really just estimated based on how big her pants are) and adding about an inch to that since her birthday is still two months away and I want her to be able to wear it throughout the summer.  I was, after all, planning to pour all my blood, sweat, and chipped nail polish into this. I need it to last!  You can either tie a knot in the elastic or sew it into a band.  I was brave and hand-sewed it about 1/2" from the edge.  It was really easy. I just made a criss-cross pattern.

I also eye-balled the length of her femur to get an idea of how long the scraps needed to be.  I wanted the tutu to land just above knee-length but I also had to account for some length to be lost once I started attaching the scraps to the elastic band.  I'm not real technical with these types of things, so I just "guesstimated" and figured she could always wear skinnies or leggings underneath if the skirt was a little too short on her. 

Next, I laid out my fabric and measured 21" lengths (about 1-1/2" wide) and cut up all the fabric I had bought at the craft store. I bought 1/2 yard of each of the three fabrics above.  Since this is a new thing for me, I really wasn't sure how much I would need but I figured I could make a hairbow or something out of the left over scraps - or another, bigger tutu for Calah or even another tutu for a friend.  Now that it is finished, I can see that I probably would have been okay with 1/4 yard because I did end up having enough to make another one.  Lots of new baby girls on their way, though, so I'll get some use out of these for sure.

At this point, I turned to one of the tutu-orials (I crack myself up:)). Here's what I did:

1. Put the elastic band around an object that would keep it in place.
I used this tissue box because it was handy

2. Fold the scrap in half, then thread the loop end through the elastic band and pull the loose ends through. Repeat until the elastic band is fully covered. I put my thumb under the loop and pulled on the loose end to tighten without pinching the elastic.

3. To finish it off with some texture, cut the ends of the fabric at an angle.

There.  It's all done.  I love it - especially because it's not perfect; it's juts fun!  I plan to pair this tutu with a white onesie with an iron-on; I'm just not sure what kind I want yet.  The only other thing I may do with this is add some pink tulle that I have at home just to fill it out a bit more.

I do have to say that the cuts are nowhere near perfect and the fabric does fray, but since it's just for her to wear at her party and around the house, I really wasn't that concerned about that.

When it's 100% ready, I'll have the model take some pictures for you all to see!

What do you think?

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