Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tutu T-shirt Tutorial

Halley went through a major tutu phase and didn't understand why she couldn't wear one to school.  I got a little creative and satisfied her need for a tutu and the school's need for kids to wear normal clothes.

If you have been sewing for a while this will be crazy easy.

If you are new to sewing, it might look scary.  When I figured out how to do it I was new to sewing too.  You will learn a few new skills, like sewing on tulle (surprisingly easy), gathering (much easier to gather tulle than fabric) and sewing on knits (I have a trick to make it easier.)

I promise that when you are finished, you will not only be proud of what you have made, look really fancy, but you will be smitten and addicted to the Tutu T-shirt!


Here is what you will need:

2 1/2 yards each of two different colors of tulle
A t-shirt (I love the Cherokee perfect t's from Target.)
Coordinating thread
A rotary cutter, ruler and self healing mat, or scissors and a really steady hand.

{There will be enough tulle left over to make two more t's.}


On this Tutu T-shirt I am using red for the top shorter layer and pink underneath.

Cut the top, shorter layer 12 inches wide by 90 inches long. 
(The 90 inches is why you need 2 1/2 yards.)


Cut the bottom, longer layer 14 inches by 90 inches.


Fold each layer in half, separately.
Stack them on top of each other with the raw edges lining up.  The folded edges will be staggered on the bottom.  Pin the two layers together near the raw edges.


Using a basting stitch 
(the longest stitch on your machine and the least amount of tension) 
sew the entire length of the tulle near the raw edges.  
Do not backstitch on either end and leave lots of thread hanging on each side.


Pull one of the  threads and begin gathering the tulle.  
It will start to look like a tutu.  
When it seems about the right width to go around the t-shirt move on to the next step.


Starting in the middle of the back of the t-shirt start pinning the tulle.  
The shorter top layer of tulle should be the one laying on top of the t-shirt.


Continue pinning it as close to the bottom of the shirt, all of the way around.


Overlap it when you return to the middle of the back of the shirt. 


Place the shirt under your needle and foot.  
Return the stitch length and tension to normal.  
I like to use a medium size zig zag stitch.  
It makes it easier to catch the layers of tulle, as well as helps the t-shirt stretch.  
Backstitch at the beginning and end.


This is what mines looks like.  
Don't worry that it is a little messy.  
It will be covered by the rest of the skirt.


Here is the underneath of the finished product.  
You can carefully trim any wayward tulle if it is driving you crazy.


Hooray!!!  Look what you made!!! It wasn't so bad was it?


I couldn't leave Janey out right?
I made a few changes to make her a little onesie.
I cut just one piece of tulle 8 inches by 90 inches.
I gathered it a bit more than the bigger girls' shirts.
Then I pinned it starting in the back of the onesie.


Continue pinning it all of the way around.  Overlapping at the beginning.


Same zig zag stitch, trying my best to keep it straight without the benefit of a t-shirt seam.


She is going to be so dang cute come Valentine's Day!!!!


Lulu, who will only agree to model for me if there are smarties involved, 
looks pretty cute herself.


Showing off the back of the Tutu T-shirt and Messy Flower Headband.

I would love to see your Tutu T-shirt creations!!!
What else can you sew that is girly, yet so versatile, practical and under $10?

Happy tutu-ing!

(Feel like doing a little applique on your tutu t-shirt?  
Here is a great tutorial to get you started.)

29 comments:

  1. I'm almost done with my Valentines outfits (which of course includes a tutu), but these are super cute! As a 'new' machine sewer, do you have any special tricks for rounding small edges, like those of a heart, for applique?

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  2. oh my gosh, seriously can that girl be any cuter?

    smarties... I love it :)

    I love that you included Janey too!

    Looks fun and fairly simple!

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  3. Sooo cute! I wish I had little girls to make one for! Thanks for sharing! She sure is a cutie!
    -Ruth Ann

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  4. I too wish that I had girls to make these for. I have a friend who is having a girl in April and so she is going to get one if she likes it or not because I have to try it.
    Thanks for the tutorial. Who has cute sewing projects for BOYS?

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  5. Oh my - guess who's getting a birthday girl t-shirt next month! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  6. Thank you so much for giving a tutorial on this. I have wondered how to do this for a while. A friend was telling me and it did not make since. Pictures make it easier. I have tulle now I just need a shirt!!

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  7. Awesome! Now I'm off to target to get me some pink shirts!
    Thank you!

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  8. So cuuuute! I've linked to this project on my blog. I've got some sewing projects to keep me busy now! Thanks for sharing Julie and love the tutu-orial! :)

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  9. My friend Sarah Kate sent me a link to your t-shirt and I love it!

    I can't wait to peruse the rest of your site.

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  10. Thanks so much for another great post. I've been coming to your blog now for about 6 months and can count on you for great ideas for my little girl nearly daily. Your girls are just precious! Thanks again.

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  11. That might be one of the cutest things ever! You are so creative- I am going right now and adding you to my faves! Thanks for sharing!

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  12. julie i absolutely LOVE these shirts.
    they are so cute.
    thanks for waling us through. i think i know two girls who need some. :)

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  13. LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Thanks for the fabulous tutorial!

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  14. I love these! You are so talented!

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  15. so dang cute!

    but how do i do the appliques on the shirts?

    i have applique envy!

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  16. Thanks! I am in love... and my machine is broke... ugh!!! I need one for my Gracie!!

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  17. Oh la la! Thanks for the tutorial! I gave it a whirl and posted a few pictures on my blog: http://thentherewasfour.blogspot.com/2009/02/creative-juices.html.

    For my daughters 3rd birthday I want to do a fairy themed party and had wanted to give all the little girls tutu's as the 'invitation' for them to wear to the party. I think instead I may make these! Much more practical for a spring birthday in our area.

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  18. Hi there! I finally took pictures & uploaded one on my blog! Thank you so much for the tutorial...here is the link if you want to see how mine turned out! :) My daughter is loving her messy headband--thanks so much! Blessings, Brooke

    http://abigaylejohnson.blogspot.com/2009/06/we-sew-love-korea.html

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  19. That is so cute, and I loved how you did one for the little one as well, good job :)

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  20. Thank you so much for this easy tutorial!! I made one for my godchild and I love it! I can't wait to give it to her.

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  21. Love, love, love it. I see tulle popping up in all kinds of places in my future. Thanks.

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  22. I love the tutu tutorial. The little girl is s cute. I have a 2 year old granddaughter that I will be making this for. Thanks for posting this one.

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  23. This is adorable! I can't wait to try it out for my daughter . . . and my nieces . . . and every other little girl I know . . .

    :)

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  24. I found your blog and this tutu idea on SewMamaSew. Thank you so much. I ahve made three of these to give to our neice for Christmas. She is in a serious princess phase right now and I know she will love them!

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  25. Just wondering how to wash these....they are super cute and my niece will soon be getting a V-Day one :) Thanks Jennifer

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  26. Sooo cute! I wish I had little girls to make one for! Thanks for sharing! She sure is a cutie!

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  27. I feel like I am the best Grandma in the world having made this for my Gracie. It was soooooo easy. Thank you for putting this on utube

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  28. pink Shirts is awesome i realy like this thanks for share nice blog.


    http://www.apparelnbags.com/bella/8850-ladies-37-oz-elizabeth-long-sleeve-dolman-top.htm

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  29. my favret color pink and i like very much so cute your

    http://www.apparelnbags.com/authentic-pigment/1911-12-oz-sling-bag.htm

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