Wednesday, December 17, 2008

100th post!!! Flower Encased Tutu Tutorial

Wow I can't believe this is my 100th post!! I was going to make this just a regular blog entry, showcasing my amazing iphone pictures of handmade Christmas gifts (lol at the 'amazing iphone pictures').... but I figured since this is somewhat of a monumental post, I should probably make it a little more than usual. Consider this a Christmas gift, from me to you. Alas...

The Flower Encased Tutu Tutorial!!

Supplies/Materials list-
1.5 yd chiffon (nylon works best), tulle, or some other sheer/opaque fabric.
3-5 floral stems of your choice (containing several flowers each)
Thread to match
Elastic (I use either 3/8" or 1/2"... pictured is 3/8")
And.... the almighty seam ripper, pins, scissors, measuring tape, etc.

Measurements and such-
I cut my 1 1/2 yards straight down the fold crease and made two. It came out to be about 14-15" long. I made them for twin 3yo little girls. If you want them longer, cut accordingly. Take your desired length, multiply by two, then add about 2.5" for the elastic casing. If you're making one for a girl older than 6ish, you should use about 1 3/4-2 yards instead. To get the right amount of elastic, you'll want to take the child's belly measurement and subtract a few inches (taking into consideration how stretchy the elastic is... some is more stiff and less stretchy than others).

Shall we begin?

Prep- Cut your fabric to the desired width (see above for suggestions), pull flowers off of the stems and discard the stems, and cut your elastic.

Step 1- Sew your two ends together so that you have a single layer tube. The seam should be the cut ends (NOT the slevadge ends.. the ends with little holes that looks different from the rest of the fabric).

Step 2- Fold the tube in half all the way around and pin it. You should have a two layer tube with the raw edges at the top and a fold at the bottom, like this... (BTW- blogland.... meet my sewing table). Pin in place at a few places so it's easier to work with.

Step 3- Sew it all together, leaving a 6" opening (you want the opening to be big enough to put your fist in... I made mine a bit too small).

Step 4- Fill 'er up with flowers!! The more the better... but that's just my opinion ;) Insert flowers through the opening. Shake them around and try to distribute them a bit so you can see when there's enough.

Step 5- Close the opening.

Step 6- Make your elastic casing. If you aren't using nylon fabric or some other non-fray fabric, you'll want to fold your raw edges under (unlike the picture, where the raw edges are left poking out, but my fabric is some kind of funky polyester/nylon half breed that doesn't fray). I fold the fabric over and since I'm using a 3/8" elastic, I make about a 3/4"-1" casing, so that it's easy to pull the elastic through. I hate using pins so there are none in any of the pictures, but you may want to pin things in place if you aren't good at eyeing seam accuracy. Make sure you leave an opening to run your elastic through!!

Step 7- Pull your elastic through the casing, sew the two ends together, and close up your casing. I purchased a strap turner (notions section at Joanns) and it has been an amazing tool. I use it to pull elastic through every time. It's basically a long skinny piece of metal with a hook at the end (you can see a bit of it in the above picture, it's to the right). I just hook the elastic and run it through as far as I can without bending the metal; then I pull it out, pin the exposed end of elastic, and insert it into the other side, hook that side of the elastic, and pull it through the rest of the way. It's quicker than the safety pin method, well... to me it is.

Step 8- Shift your flowers around a bit to distribute them evenly and VOILA! You're done!

I hope you've enjoyed this little free tutorial. If you have any questions or if something isn't quite clear, please shoot an email to or leave a comment below. I'd love to see your finished creations, so if you blog/flickr/etc. post a link to your post or picture so I can check it out!!


Jenny said...

I am new to sewing. After you've finished putting in the flowers and stitching it up, how do you connect the whole tutu? Is there a seam that runs down the back? Thanks.

Cathy said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial! What a beautiful skirt! My nieces are going to love this!! :-)

Anonymous said...

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Sexy Lady
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zafran said...

Fantastic work i really like it your great tutorial you have done nicely keep it.Fantastic work i really like it your great tutorial you have done nicely keep it.