Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dress Up Tutu

Growing up, my sister and I loved to play dress up. We had old flower girl dresses, Halloween costumes, ballet recital costumes and random bits and pieces from all over. The skirts were always the most coveted. Your outfit was made by the skirt you wore and your person defined. If you wore the apron, you could be a maid, a peasant or a princess waiting for her prince. If you wore the tutu you could be a princess, a fairy or a ballerina. We had a few tutus....but they weren't like this. I'm really excited that I could make this and even more excited that little Princess started dancing around like a ballerina immediately after putting it on. I love how girly she is!
I want to make and collect the greatest dress up collection for my girls. I believe that using your imagination is so important for kids while they are growing up and especially for learning. I think a lot of kids have lost touch with that side these days and its really sad to see. TV, computers and iPads have taken over their minds. I know that it may make me sound old fashioned. But there is so much beauty in a child that is playing "pretend", playing house, making up plays or having a tea party with their stuffed animal friends. I won't lie, Princess has learned a ton of things from her shows, things that I am like, "What!? You know what a triangle is?" But there is definitely something to be said for the simplicity of play....unplugged.

So, remember when I said I had no idea what I was going to do with that wreath I made for Peanut's party?
I mean, it was adorable for the party, but I wasn't gonna keep a tutu hanging on my front door all the time....or more than a day. But I didn't want to let it all go to waste. Tulle can get expensive pretty darn quick. So I decided that I would take it apart and use the tulle to make a tutu for the little misses. The directions are pretty simple and since most of you won't have a wreath to use like me, you can just buy and cut some tulle for it.

What you will need:
A ton of tulle! I think I probably used 2-3 yards of tulle
3/4 - 1 inch wide elastic (the 1 inch is kind of hard to work with, but it made the waistband thick and sturdy, so that was nice)
A ribbon
Any other decoration you may want, a flower, a brooch...I don't know
Basic sewing tools

1. Measure your little one's waist and take off about 2 inches off that number, then cut your elastic to size. If you don't have a measuring tape, you can just wrap the elastic around her waist and then take the 2 inches off from there. The reason you are taking 2 inches off (or sometimes more) is because the elastic stretches a lot when you put all the tulle on. You can always take more off later, but I would start with taking off 2 inches. The length of mine ended up being about 18 inches.

2. Sew your elastic together in a circle.
I sewed it down in two places to that it was extra secure.
3. Find something round to put your elastic around. All I could find was this jug of vinegar.

4. Cut all of your tulle into strips. The length depends on what you want. If you want it to be a longer skirt or shorter, its up to you. Mine were all pre-cut from the wreath (but I still had the painstaking job of untying them all. You would think I was prepared for a hurricane to come by, I tied them so tight). Anywhere from 15- 30 inches long. Mine were about 15 inches long and about 3 inches wide.

5. Make a loop with a piece of tulle, slide it under the elastic waistband and flip the ends over the waistband and into the loop. I tried my best to show in the picture. Then repeat until you have covered the entire elastic.

Its ok if the elastic folds a bit.
Now you may find that this process stretches the elastic a bit. If it starts to become too big just cutt off more elastic and sew it down again.

6. At this point, you can either be done or you can add a bow like I did, or a flower etc. The possibilities are endless!

Here is the ribbon I added. It was also from the wreath. All it needed was a little ironing.

7. Place on your child and watch her transform into a ballerina!

She just happened to have a bun in her hair today. ;)

There it is. The first of many dress up pieces to come. Now, if only I can make a princess dress.....

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