Thursday, September 2, 2010

TuTu Dress/Fairy Costume Tutorial

Finally, its a TUTORIAL! : D


All I have left to get for Hensley's and Daycie's costumes are their fairy wings...which will most certainly come from the dollar store. The TuTu Dress is the bulk of the costume, so I'll go ahead and post the tutorial for that now and add the wing part later. I may end up making Fairy Wands, something for around their ankles, and a floral wreath for Hensley's hair and if I do, I'll add those How-To's to this post as well. : )

What you'll need:
  • 100 yards of tulle on 6" rolls (You'll need more if you're doing larger than a 2T size. I would say 275 yds for a 3T and 450 for a 4T. If you're making one bigger than that and need yardage, email me.)
    I ordered this Tulle from From left to right, the colors are Lavender, Purple Shocking Pink, and Fuchsia.
  • 1 Felt Square
  • Assortment of Silk Flowers
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Elastic (I use 1/2")
  • Satin Ribbon (1 spool is enough)
  • Bag of Gemstones (in a variety of sizes if your flowers have different-sized centers)
  • Fairy Wings (if you're making the costume)
First, you need to measure your child. Because the dress is a Halter Style, you'll need to measure right under their arms all the way around. Right along the bustline, is I think the proper way of saying that. ; ) Measure against the skin, but not tight. Also measure from the bustline down to where you want the skirt to fall. Write those measurements down!


Cut your elastic to your bustline measurement, overlap it by one inch on the ends, and stitch it closed. Don't worry about the loss of an inch in your measurement. When you tie your tulle, you'll naturally stretch the elastic and you don't want the dress to end up too loose. If you do, you'll end up with little boobies showing out the top or you'll have to tie the halter too tight around her neck and it won't be comfortable.

Now its time to find a cardboard box that you can cut up. I prefer to use the box flaps, because they're the perfect width, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Cut your box flap to the length you want the TuTu. I like to write the girls' names on the flaps...not only so I remember whose is whose, but so I can easily identify which end to cut when it comes cutting time.


Take your roll of tulle and begin wrapping it loosely around the box flap. Pay attention to which end you start with, as that will be the end you cut. (That's why I write the names. I start there and then its easy to see when I'm done wrapping.)


If your cardboard bends, you're wrapping too tightly! Be sure to keep the tulle flat. Smooth out any wrinkles as you wrap. Only wrap ONE roll at at time. When the whole roll is wrapped, find your "starting end" and cut ONCE across all the tulle. It will be a lot easier if you slide your hand under all the tulle layers and pull them away from the box. It will leave a cleaner edge like that.

Lay out your pile of tulle (that should be DOUBLE the length you want the dress) and wrap and cut the rest of your rolls.

Now its time to begin tying! Using 4 pieces of tulle (2 from each color if you're using two colors) tie them on as shown here. You can use square knots, but if you're doing the satin-wrapped band, I suggest the tying style I provided a link for.

Continue tying your tulle all the way around, using 4 pieces of tulle for each tie. When your dress is done, its time to do the satin-wrapped waistband. Open your roll of ribbon, and cut the loose end on an angle. Fray-Check it or heat-seal that end. Unroll about 10 inches for the bow you'll tie at the end and then begin wrapping it around the knots. You can follow the instructions found here if you need more guidance. However, those instructions advice wrapping it around every TWO knots and I go around every single knot. In addition, she uses 7/8" ribbon and I used 1.5" ribbon for H and D's.

Now you'll need to make the Halter Tie for the top. You want the bow in the back to be centered, so grab the shirt directly across the shirt from that bow. Cut a piece of ribbon about 25" long for a toddler size (longer for bigger girls...I'd advise measuring first for a bigger girl) and fray-check the ends. Then tie a standard knot in between two of your tulle knots right in the center, directly across from the bow in the back.


You should now have something that looks like this...


Now its time to work on the flowers. This is when you'll need the felt, glue gun, and silk flowers. First, lay the felt on the tutu (preferably NOT on your model) : ) and draw out a shape with a marker. This will be the backing for your flowers, so however you want your flowers positioned on the dress is how you should make your shape. Remember to make your shape slightly smaller than the size you're going for, because you'll want the flowers to completely cover all the felt edges.


Cut that shape out. Remove 8 or 9 flowers from the stems and lay them out on the felt for sizing. Then "make" all your flowers using this tutorial. Position your finished "jeweled flowers" on the felt and hot glue them down. My advice is to start at the top and work your way down.


Once all of your flowers are hot glued on, lay your tutu dress flat on a table and put a BUNCH of hot glue on the back of your felt flowered piece and hot glue it to the center of the dress.


That's it! The wings are super easy. All you do is attach another cluster of flowers to the center of the wings. I'll be sure to add the tutorial for Hensley's Floral Head Wreath and anything I do for their ankles or feet. Daycie will wear her Flower Hair Clippie on her head and they'll be the cutest fairies in town!

Happy Halloween!


Life with the Lebedas said...

Thats cute! I'm loving your blog! I found you through Mama's Little Nestwork!

Jennifer @ Life with the Lebedas

Christy, said...

was just talking about starting to make my kids costumes, this will be my first year hopefully not the last.

New follower from the PR place. thanks for following me ;)

If you're in the hopping mood stop by for my 11th Hop and get more friends/followers

Andrea @ said...

Very sweet! I hope you'll stop by and link up this week at for my Costume Tutorial link up!

Angie - said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angie - said...

Thank you for linking me! I'm so glad my Cut Tulle for a Tutu QUICK and EASY and my DIY: Satin Wrap A Tutu I posted last year have been so helpful! Your daughter's costumes are adorable.

fairy costume said...

The tutu fairy dress is beautiful. I love the costumes having fairy wings too. Thanks for such pretty share. Thank you.

Shannon said...

Gorgeous!!! My little girls got invited to a last-minute costume party and I think I'll attempt this. Thanks so much!

susie said...

Thank you for mentioning this costume tutorial in your tweeting party! It is just what I am looking for!

tutu dresses for toddlers said...

Cute! this tutu looks so pretty!

Anonymous said...

Makeing ths for my babygirl for her first easter. I am so excited cause its soo cute :) . Thank you for the idea