No-Sew Tutus (Tutorial)

Recital time is almost upon us, and we decided to revamp our costumes. Last year our little dancers at Diamond Dance Co. performed in sparkly silver skirts, but this year I thought we’d do something fun in our signature purple.

Everyone and their grandma has been trying their hand at these adorable tutus. I found a great DIY tutorial here, perfect for any aspiring ballerina or fairy princess.

tulleStep one: Buy all the tulle-on-a-spool both Michaels and JoAnn’s has to offer. If you choose to use standard by-the-yard tulle, begin by cutting it into 3-6″ strips.

2013-03-30 06.32.57Step two: Elastic. For a 4-5 year old cut your elastic into 19-20″ strips, sew ends together to make a waistband.

If you can’t find colored elastic, I recommend dyeing yours to match the color of the tutu – you can get away with using less tulle if you aren’t afraid of a few minuscule white gaps in the waistband. I prefer to keep my tutus on the smaller side, as opposed to the over-the-top full look featured on etsy. After all,  I want my dancers to be able to move around well in these costumes.

Dying elastic is more feasible than the Rit Dye package would have you believe. I mixed half a pack with hot water from the tap, stirred, and soaked my elastic for close to an hour. The color came out great! I left some soaking overnight, too, and it was only slightly darker – so there’s no need to be afraid of over-soaking.

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Step three: Cut your tulle into 20″ strips, fold in half over the waistband, and knot. (Alternatives to knotting discussed below.)


Initially, I figured it’d take about 6 yards per skirt, but quickly learned this was far too little. Coming up on 25 yards I find my 19″ waistband nearly finished.

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Knot vs thread: I completed one skirt, knotting tulle around the waistband as recommended by many e-tutorials, but the waistband felt too bulky. I tried again simply tying the tulle with thread, and liked the look better. I may still revise my technique as I wade through these spools upon spools of purple mesh.

class photoHere are my tutus on some very adorable models!

I love the bows mammaliciousfinds uses to embellish her tutu. Now it’s time to start thinking about jazzing these babies up!



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