Sustainable Project # 5: Not your Typical Tutu Pattern!


This summer the snug and I have been having character days. We pick a character from a picture book series and make a day of it! (Or two days).

The other day we did Tallulah from the Tallulah ballet books by Marilyn Singer.

One of our activities was to make a tutu. I spotted a tutu online that used fabric strips instead of tulle. I showed the snug and she loved it!

We made two. A simple starter for her doll and then one for her. It was super easy and  is a great way to get rid of all the scrap fabric you have been dutifully saving, because throwing it away would fill you with a foreboding sense of guilt. Right?

All you need for this craft is: pinking shears, ruler of some sort, lots of fabric scraps, ribbon scraps, needle, thread, and elastic (1/4 inch width for dolls, 1 inch width for girls).


IMG_4815Start with lots of scraps in all the colors you want.


I had the snug separate out the ones she wanted for her tutu and the ones for Julie’s (the doll) tutu.



First you will need to measure the waist of your doll and your girl and add 1/2 or 1 inch for overlap. Cut the elastic to that measurement (or just measure with the elastic) and sew the overlapped ends together!

IMG_4820Next measure how long you want the strips to be. Start at the waist (where you measured for the elastic) and go down from there. Once you have the length you want, double the number and add 1 inch. For example Julie’s length was 5 inches down from her waist. So I did 5 x 2 + 1 = 11. All her strips were 11 inches long. For the snug I did. 12 x 2 + 1 = 25, all the strips for the snug were 25 inches long.



Once your strip is cut, go around the edge with pinking shears. OR just cut the strip out with pinking shears. I did a bit of both.


Pinking shears not only give the edge of the fabric a fun zigzagged look, it also helps prevent fraying.

To figure out the width of the fabric, I just did what I thought looked best. For Julie I did 1 inch, for the snug I did 2 inches.


Once you cut out all of those stripes and edge them with the pinking shears, your thumb should look like this. Ouch! Those pinking shears are heavy!


I ended up using about 51 strips for the snug and for Julie I used 31. I also used scraps of ribbon that were a bit thinner.


Have your kiddo line up all the strips in the order they want.


Then start tying them on. Only don’t tie them, do a cow hitch, a lark hitch or a lanyard hitch, which ever you want to call it.

Sound confusing?? Here’s how.


Start with one strip. Fold it in half, so both right sides are facing up.


Pick it up near the fold and hold it up against the elastic.


Take the bottom parts of the strip and bring them up and through the back, behind the elastic.

IMG_4875Pull the ends to snug up the strip. Be careful not to pull to tight or else the elastic will roll. Repeat, repeat, repeat until every space of your elastic is filled.



Then enjoy!!!


Another stash bash and scrap buster!!!

Happy 4th of July!!!


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