Tutu Tutorial #1 – Stuffed Tutus

Thank you guys SO SO much for the great response to the Tutu Drive! I have the best blog buddies ever (:

Before I get to the tutorial let me mention a couple of things in regards to the Tutu Drive…also if you’ve sent me an email I promise I’ll write back soon!

#1 All items must be handmade & never used. Nothing second hand or worn can be donated. If you think about it, it makes sense. These are going to sick kids, cleanliness is of the utmost importance. Also please make sure all items come from a smoke-free home & if you have pets please keep them away from your creations. No dog fur tutus. Any non-handmade items need to still have tags/packaging on them. Handmade creations should be sealed in a ziploc baggie before being mailed.

#2 A few of you have mentioned ideas for boys. Lynette has an AWESOME tutorial for little boys’ capes that I’m going to try and snag her to come post about. If you have any great tutorials please email me at samstermommy@gmail.com!

#3 Look what I found in the dollar bins at JoAnn’s yesterday! Princess crowns & magic wands! I picked up a handful to throw in the donations box. Keep your eyes out ladies!Now on to my favorite tutu, I just couldn’t wait till Tuesday to share this one!(click on any picture to enlarge it)

Are these not the sweetest things ever?? The pink & blue ones are Samster’s & the yellow one is the newbie for the Tutu Drive. My favorite part about stuffed tutus is that the possibilities are endless, you can stuff them with pom poms, confetti, silk petals, scrapbooking do-dads, anything! The blue one is actually from this post, it has foam snowflake stickers that I glittered the adhesive backs of. I love how it sparkles but it does leave a bit of a glitter trail…

*I originally learned how to make these from this Martha Stewart video tutorial but now have made a few changes, if you get stuck however the video is helpful.

For this project my measurements will fit a size 2t-kid’s 6/8.
You’ll need:
80″ of 1″ grosgrain ribbon (cut into one 20″ piece & one 60″ piece)
1 & 1/4 yards of 54″ wide tulle
Stuffings (mine were “confetti” butterflies, hearts & flowers from the dollar bin at JoAnn’s)

Start off by cutting your tulle into a 54″ x 1 & 1/4 yard piece if it isn’t already. Fold this in half lengthwise & then in half again. Pin across the top. You’ll be pinning through 4 layers, 2 of which are raw edges. This will become the waistband while the bottom will be the “pocket” for the stuffing. Make sure you catch all 4 layers with the pins, tulle can be a slippery lil’ devil!Next take one of the short ends & tuck the edges in to form a nice seam. Pin & stitch this side shut.

Now it’s time to toss your goodies in the tutu from the other open short end. Fold this end like you did the first & stitch shut.

Next you’re going to sew the top shut with a gathering stitch. (your widest stitch length setting). Leave the strings long because we’ll use these in a minute to gather up the top.

Fold your tutu in half & mark the center with a pin. Take your 20″ piece of ribbon & find the center of that as well, pin the center of the ribbon to the center of the tulle.

Now you’ll tug on one of those end threads (the bobbin thread to be specific) & gather the fabric up from one side so that the length of the tulle is the same as that half of the ribbon & pin in place every couple of inches. Pictures would probably be an easier way to explain this…

Do the same with the other side. Here’s what it looks like all gathered & pinned. Also notice that at the ends I’ve wrapped the ribbon over the edge & pinned.

Now take your 60″ piece of ribbon & find the center of that as well. Layer this piece of ribbon on top of the 20″ piece, aligning the center & repinning so you’ve got ribbon, tulle & ribbon on top.

Carefully work your way through all the pins, taking them out one at a time & repinning through the additional new piece of ribbon. Really take your time on lining up this ribbon sandwich…

Now you’re going to stitch it all closed. Start at one corner & stitch down to the other corner, when you reach the end leave the needle in the fabric but lift the foot, this will enable you to turn the fabric so you can head in the next direction without cutting the threads. Head on down the long end of the ribbon really taking your time to make sure the ribbon edges are perfectly lined up. Once again when you get to the end life the foot & turn, head up to the next corner & them back down the other long side.

If you notice that a bit of tulle is going to be hanging out the top then feel free to trim it, just don’t cut the gathering stitch!

As a finishing touch just heat seal your two ribbon ends by running them over a lighter really quickly. (it’ll melt the ends & keep the ribbon from fraying) That’s it! But be warned, these little suckers are addicting!

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  1. Stormie's Mommy

    I just wanted to tell you thank you so much for responding to me! I will try and see if I can get it to work. Thanks so much!!!

  2. Life in Rehab

    Hi Samster Mommy,

    I'm going to devote a post on my blog tomorrow to your tutu drive and see if I can get you a few more little frillies. Would you also accept fairy wands? My daughter and I have made tons of those!

  3. Kimberlee

    Those are great. Off to get some confetti!

    PS – I posted about this drive on my blog, and added your drive button to the top of my home page.

  4. KayeLleHandmades

    I seen this on martha a while back and just attempted it last night (made my kids some canada day ones), although i made quite a few changes to mine. I love how you did the gathering stitch I did the pleating, thinking when I make more tomorrow to do the gathering. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Karena

    Since I do not sew anyore I will be on the loookout for wands and tiarras.

    Come and visit for a Designer Giveaway from Pillow Mint!

    Art by Karena

  6. jaya pratheesh

    very clear, thank you!

    p.s. you can use the petals from a few silk roses to make a flowerfairy tutu.

    also makes a great overskirt with formal dresses, if you use velvet ribbon.

  7. TutusChic!

    If you still need tutus by August 1, I think I can donate a sewn tutu for you from my shop TutusChic on Etsy! Good luck with your drive.
    Tutus can truly brighten any girl's day :)

  8. Staci Glover

    I LOVE stuffed tutu's and any tutu's with added "goodies" on them. Directions are very easy to understand. I'll have to send you a copy of the tutu I made for a wedding. It was ivory tulle with rose petals sewn to the outside in a sporadic pattern. I couldn't get the tulle thick enough to not be seen through and do the "stuffed" look too. So, sewing them on was my next best guess. Love your blog!

  9. Honor

    You can make layers with these too! They are adorable. I just made my first one and your directions are SUPER easy.

  10. stitchin' girl

    GREAT tutorial!!! I have just finished my first one and it was super easy! I love these and will be making them for all the sweet little girls in our extended family.

  11. I’ve had this bookmarked forever (before Pinterest!!) and I finally made one today. It was very quick and it turned out great! I did the pleated method that was shown on Martha but the ruffles probably would’ve been faster. Thanks so much!


  1. […] but just in case we made everyone a stuffed tutu (even the boys!).  I had used this tutuorial from Little Pink Monster before so knew it would be easy enough to whip up some that M2 then picked who got […]

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