Easy Elastic-Waist Tutu Tutorial

Little ones love to dress up – not just for Halloween, but any day of the year. This adorable elastic-waist tutu is easy-to-make and can be used for so many different costumes – including the “Precious Little Princess” and “Beautiful Ballerina” outfits pictured here.

Designed by Kari Mecca, Audra Kennedy and Sis Hutchison, these designs originally appeared as part of a “Custom Costumes” feature in our September/October 2010 edition of Sew Beautiful. Start with ready-to-embroider knits, add tutu skirts using precut strips of chiffon fabric and then embellish to your heart’s content.


Precious Little Princess

Precious Little Princess:
Think pink for this one. Start with a pink knit onesie and embroider front flap with the word “Princess” and the child’s name using a font from your favorite machine embroidery alphabet. Outline a crown design using hot-fix crystals. The elastic waist skirt of tulle netting is made with a roll of pink and a roll of white netting.


Beautiful Ballerina

Beautiful Ballerina:
Transform your princess into a dancing ballerina by adding a knit cami top embellished with a handmade Whimsy Stick rose from Kari Mecca’s books Sewing with Whimsy and More Sewing with Whimsy, available in our online store. Strips of chiffon or netting make great bows for embellishment. The tulle netting skirt from the princess costume makes an instant costume change.

Tutu with Elastic Waist Instructions:
Purchase 2 to 3 rolls of tulle netting from a craft or hobby store (usually found in the bridal or gift wrap section) or one roll of chiffon fabric. Cut strips of netting or chiffon twice the length needed for skirt plus 4 inches extra. Sew together ends of 1-inch elastic to form a waistband or sew ribbon to each end to create a tie-on skirt fitted to child’s waist measurement with a little grip. Place elastic around a body form or around a wastebasket or object that will keep it stable while you latch hook the strips into place. To latch the strips, fold in half and pull loop down through the waistband so that loop fold comes out at the bottom of the elastic band, then reach up through the loop and grasp the two ends of the strip and pull them down through the loop and pull snug; it’s like latch-hooking a rug! Cram as many strips as you can to fill the waistband. Make them one color or multicolor for different costumes.

Find more sewing ideas in our Sew Beautiful Collection CDs. Available as physical CDs or digital downloads, each annual collection is full of patterns and tips for sewing projects for every occasion and season.