Friday, December 2, 2011

A Tutu Tutorial ~ Ladybug Bubble Hem Tutu

I apologize for the delay in adding these tutorials, WE HAVE A SICK CHILD A-G-A-I-N!! Our little birthday girl got a stomach bug and lost her lunch Wednesday evening. Lets just hope the rest of us can stay healthy and we should be in good shape! 

The origin of how I put the ladybug tutu together actually started as fixer for Q's baptism dress. My Meme (Q's Great Grandma) made her a dress to wear for her baptism, it ended up being more like a shirt on our long lean lady. I really didn't want her to miss out on the opportunity to wear something so special and made just for her, so my wheels started cranking and I thought of the idea to make her a slip / tutu to wear under the dress. My mom and I went and scoped out fabric and we landed on some baby pink organza with and without sparkles. 

Here is that tutu / slip:

Crisis averted! The slip worked great and it actually took the dress from something simple and made it extra special!

Now, back to the tutu of the hour. Here is the run down on how I made Q's ladybug bubble hem tutu. It started with heading out to buy fabric and supplies for the outfit I was envisioning for Q's birthday celebration. My original plan was to make a no-sew tied tulle tutu, like this one. I've never made one before so I thought I would give it a try. BUT when I was looking for tulle, I found this AMAZING red and black polka dot organza AT 40% OFF!!! I could not pass up the PERFECT fabric for a ladybug theme AND on SALE! So I quickly revised my plan (organza frays so the no sew technique went out the window) and decided to make another bubble hem tutu. This time I would make it less of a slip and more of a tutu by adding volume. So instead of two layers of organza I did three layers, one layer of organza and two layers of tulle.

The How-To:
1.Buy organza and / or tulle fabrics. I bought organza for the top layer and red tulle and black tulle for the layers underneath. (1 layer organza, 2 layers of tulle). I bought each in a half of a yard. This created the perfect length for the bubble hem for Q, depending on the length needed you may need more. You should determine this before buying fabric or have a rough idea of the desired length, you will need to double that length in EACH fabric for the bubble effect

2.Get your fabric home and determine EXACTLY how long you want your tutu. Then you will need to lay out your fabric flat. Fold the material in half, long end to long end (making sure the outside or front of your fabric is facing outward). You should now have a long skinny tube with one open end and one closed end (see picture below, what it will look like after sewn). The closed end will be your bubble (bottom of tutu).Double check that this is the correct length you want, if what you have laid out so far will be too long you will need to trim off the desired amount to shorten the tutu. Measure from the fold or bubble up to the top determine how long you want it and then adjust the bubble hem so you have one longer side peaking over the other, trim off the desired amount. 
3.Once you have the correct length pin the open side of your fabric. Take your fabric to your machine and sew with about 1/8  to 1/4 from the edge (organza frays leave some room). Repeat this process with all of your layers of fabric. You should now have three long tubes of fabric (see pic above for reference). 

4.Find your original hem on what you want to be your top layer, pin all three of your fabric pieces together near the top seam . Now you will sew about 1 1/2 inches from that seam to create a pocket for your elastic and ribbon. This will also attach all of your material to each other.

5. Now all three pieces of your material should be connected. Get a Popsicle stick or something hard and skinny. Measure and cut elastic for the waste, measure and cut your ribbon about triple the length of your elastic. Tie your elastic and ribbon to the stick. Shimmy it through the pocket you made in the top layer of fabric and begin bunching the fabric over the elastic and ribbon. 

6. Remove Popsicle stick once you have fed the elastic completely through. Bring the two ends of the elastic together and stitch them closed either by hand or if you can wriggle it in to your machine. Make sure ribbon is pulled through even on both sides of the skirt.
7. Turn skirt inside out and bring the open pieces of your top layer together at the back of the tutu. Fold the two pieces together so the seam will be on the inside of the skirt and sew together to close the opening.

VIOLA! A bubble hem tutu for your special little gal!

Ladybug Bubble Hem Tutu Cost:

Fabric: $4.10
Elastic: $0 I had it on hand (probably $1 worth)
Ribbon: $2.00 (1 yard)

Total Cost: $6.10

Total Time: 2 1/2 hours including shopping for the fabric (1 hour shopping, 1 1/2 hours making the tutu)

For extra cuteness I added six randomly placed ladybug buttons to the tutu. I used the same buttons on the shoulder of Q's shirt (I will post that tutorial hopefully later tonight or tomorrow morning). 

Happy sewing!

That's my Shiny ~


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