Thursday, October 18, 2012

Polly want a.... Tutu!!!

So you might have guessed that my little lady is going to be a parrot for Halloween! It wasn't really my choice.... Little Man is dead set on being a pirate and initially Fi was going to be a pirate too. Then we started on the Jake and the Neverland Pirates kick. And a Parrot it was!

Thankfully for me, I found tons of adorable and girly Parrot inspiration pictures (mostly involving tutus! YAY!) So I set off on making a frilly parrot tutu costume for my little girl.

First off, there are a ton of no sew tutu tutorials out there and they all seem pretty similar! I did pick up a couple of helpful hints that I want to pass along though.

1. Make sure to measure the waist of the tutu wearing little lady. If creating a ribbon based tutu (like mine) then add about 6-7 inches in ribbon length per side to tie it together. If the waist is 20 inches you would need a piece of ~34 inch ribbon. It also helps to tie a knot in the ribbon where you want the ties to start. In the above measurement example you would tie a knot at 7 inches and 27 inches. This will keep your tulle in place.

2. An unused paper towel roll is a great manequin when creating your tutu. It also happened to be the perfect size for me!

3. Make sure to measure the length you want your tut to be. I skipped this step the first go around. I went with the standard 24 inch tulle length per most of the tutorials. But I wasn't thrilled with the way it looked. Luckily I just untied the tulle, cut the 24 inch pieces down to 12 inch and I was much happier!

4. It is much cheaper to buy the tulle from the bolt. This means that you need to cut it down to size. But I saw this very helpful tip that helped me cut all of my tulle in less than 5 minutes! Huge win! Take your piece of tulle, cut it to the length you need (12 in my case) and roll it up like you would a roll of wrapping paper. Then simply make cuts along the roll at 6 inch intervals.

Let's get started... here's what you need:
Tulle - using 6x12inch pieces (3 yards for the actual tutu)
Accent Bustle Tulle - 6x24 inch pieces (I chose 2 colors, 1 yard each)
Ribbon - your length will vary (I chose 3 colors of ribbon to accent the bustle too!)
Feather Trim (to make your tutu more parrot like!)

1. Tie your ribbon around the paper towel roll

2. Take a piece of your tulle for the main part of the skirt (red). Fold it over lengthwise, and knot it around the ribbon on the paper towel roll. You are threading the length of the tulle thru the loop you created when folded in half.

3. Repeat about 50 times until you have a tutu that is the desired size.

4. I veered more for an advanced tutu with a rear tutu section. I found no help online on how to make this happen. But I found that it's pretty easy. Using your longer strips of accent colored tulle, you again fold the strip in half lengthwise but you knot the tulle around the ribbon this time so you have a loop on the top of the ribbon and the length sticking out below. (demonstrated below on a sample ribbon... would be done at the back of the tutu)

5. Add about 10 bustle pieces to the back of your tutu. You can also use ribbon and other embellishments to make it look even prettier. I did some blue and green satin ribbon and red feathers.

Now stand back and admire your work! I don't want to totally spoil the surprise so I am saving the actual photo of Fi wearing it until I have finished a few more enhancements! So here is my lovely paper towel model wearing the parrot tutu with bustle!

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