Tutu Circle Skirt Tutorial!

My brother-in-law and his wife just found out they are having a baby girl!! Even more reason to make all the cute little girlie things I LOVE making so much!

With all the tulle I acquired thanks to my Princess Party, I decided this week to try making this super cute tutu that I’ve been DYING to make! And I couldn’t be happier with the results!

Isn’t she just the cutest girl you’ve ever seen?!

Anyways, I got the idea for this tutu from this tutorial on how to make a circle skirt. Essentially, the bottom solid fabric is the circle skirt, and then I added a bunch of tulle on top of it! Here is how I made it!

The amount of fabric and tulle will vary, depending on the size of the skirt, and how full you want it.  For Maddy’s, I used approximately 1 yard of cotton fabric, 3 yards of tulle, and 2/3 yard elastic. If you want a fuller skirt, get a couple extra yards of tulle.

Since Dana has such a WONDERFUL tutorial on how to cut the fabric, with lots of great detail and pictures, and you will be using the same steps to start this skirt, head over to her circle skirt tutorial. DO NOT SEW ANYTHING YET!! Make sure you come back over here once your fabric is cut (bring the template you make as well, and do not cut the tulle yet. You will be cutting the tulle slightly differently).

This is what you should have now:

1. Prepare the tulle in the same way, by folding it in 4ths and placing the template on top. Make sure the tulle is folded over just enough so the template fits.

2. Now grab something with a straight edge that runs the length of your tulle. Place this at the edge of your template and cut straight along the line. Repeat on the other side. Don’t worry too much if your lines aren’t perfectly straight, or your tulle doesn’t perfectly line up. Once the skirt is assembled, no one will notice anyways.

3. Cut along the inside curve of the template.

Repeat 3 more times. (Or more if you want a fuller skirt, or less if you run out of tulle. The fun thing about this skirt is you don’t need to be exact, you can have a little fun with it! For Maddy’s skirt I used 4 pieces of tulle, you can adjust the amount you use to fit your needs.)

4. This is where having a serger comes in handy. If you have a serger, use it around all the outside edges on all your tulle pieces, and your fabric piece. This is the first time I’ve used my serger, and I couldn’t believe how easy it was and how well it turned out!! If you do not have a serger, I would suggest at least adding a hem to the bottom of your fabric piece. You could try using a zig-zag stitch, or your machine might have another stitch to use for a hem. I think having the thread along the edge of the tulle gives it a nice contrast, but you should be fine without it, since tulle does not fray like a cotton fabric would. Have fun with it. Experiment a little bit. If you don’t know how something will look, try it on a scrap of fabric first to see if you like it.

5. Now you want to line up all your pieces. Start with your fabric piece. Add each tulle piece one at a time, lining the inside circles up, and making sure you like the way the bottoms line up. Adjust each layer until you get a look you like. Once everything is where you want it to be, or you give up and accept it the way it is (I tend to fall in the second category, don’t worry it will still look cute even if that one layer isn’t in the exact spot you think it should be), pin everything in place as best you can.

6. Here is another part where a serger comes in super handy. If you have a serger, serge around the inner circle, ensuring you go through every layer. If you don’t have a serger, baste the circle (to baste, use a straight stitch on the longest stitch length) and then hem it as best you can. Bias tape would make this easier if you have some (you can also make your own), although if you are using the wider elastic, like in Dana’s circle skirt, you probably won’t want to use the bias tape.

7. Grab your elastic. Fold the elastic in half and sew using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. You can serge the edges if you want, but make sure you serge each side separately. Then sew each edge down. (I used a zig-zag stitch for mine, if you serge your edges use a straight stitch. I would recommend the later if you are using the wider elastic as a waistband. If you have thinner elastic and are sewing it inside the skirt, the method you use is not as important as the elastic will be hidden).

If the wearer of the skirt is available, try the elastic on around their waist before you go any further. After I had Maddy try her finished skirt on, I realized that it was slightly large in the waist as her skirt kept falling to her knees. To save yourself from having to tear the elastic out and sew it back in again, this would be the best spot to make sure the elastic is the right size!

If you are using the wider elastic, head back over to Dana’s circle skirt for instructions on sewing the elastic in. For thinner elastic, keep reading.

8. Pin the elastic to the inside of the skirt, only on the fabric layer. Keep the tulle out of your way best as possible. Start by deciding which way you want your skirt to face. Find the middle of the back ,and pin the elastic to the skirt, staying close to the edge of fabric, but not going over it.

Find the middle of the front of the skirt and pin the elastic here as well.

Pin on both sides of the skirt. Keep adding pins, cutting areas in half each time, until you’re happy with the amount of pins used. (Use however many you are comfortable with, some people like a lot of pins, some people only want a few. Do what works best for you)

9. Sew the elastic in place. (I like to do a seam at the top and bottom of the elastic to make sure it stays put.) You will want to pull on the elastic, making it the same length as the fabric as you go. Use both hands, one on each side of the machine to help guide everything through, and move from pin to pin. If you try stretching too much elastic at once, it becomes more difficult. Also make sure you are not sewing through the tulle. After I finished my first skirt, I ended up tearing out seams for almost an hour because silly me sewed the tulle all the way around!

10. If you have your own labels, add a label under your elastic. Otherwise you are done!

I have many ideas of how to add on to this. One day I’ll post about them. If you have any ideas about ways to make this tutu skirt even cuter, or if you make it just like this, let me know on facebook or in the comment section below! I would love to see how yours turned out! (and while you’re at my facebook page, don’t forget to hit the “like” button!

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