Tutu Dress Pattern + Tutorial (how to sew a tutu dress)

Monday, I shared pics from my parents vow renewal, and I was supposed to share the tutorial for the tutu dress I made Sophie on Tuesday, but you know me, always late. Hey! It really wasn’t my fault! I had way important stuff to do. You know. Like watch NCIS and NCIS:LA and go to the zoo and meet Anthony Ryan…oh yeah, in case you missed all one million of my FB statuses, tweets, and instagram pics… I MET ANTHONY RYAN AULD WEDNESDAY NIGHT!!!!  It. Was. Uh. Mazing!!! More on that later though. You didn’t come here to here me gush, right? You want the tutorial! And, I don’t blame you. The tutu dress has got a major cuteness factor and sewing it makes it sooo much better, because you have a lining, so no need to worry about a slip and no worries about your little princess complaining of itchy tulle. Plus, if you have any sewing experience at all, you can more than likely complete it in less than an hour. If you have zero sewing experience, it might take you the full hour.  So come on! Let’s get started.

how to sew a tutu dress
1) Download the pattern and cut out all the pieces.
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2) Run a gathering stitch 3/8″ from the the top of the tulle panels. You will only be stitching the tulle together along the top edges, NOT down the sides, so you will need to overlap the tulle panels as you run the gathering stitch {pictured below}.

 

 

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When there are only 4-6″ left on a tulle panel, overlap the next panel before you continue stitching . This will prevent the tulle panels from opening up when the dress is worn, since we are not stitching them together.

 

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The overlap should look like this. Once you are done running the gathering stitch, gather the tulle until it is 4″ longer than the lining.

 

 

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3) Sew the side edges of the lining together; finish raw edges and press seam to one side. The seam will be the center back of the dress. Finish the top and bottom edges of the lining.

 

 

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Here’s a close up of the lining.

 

 

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4) Stitch the tulle to the WRONG side of the lining along the top edge using a 3/4″ seam allowance.  You remember we gathered the tulle so that it was a bit longer than the lining. Center the overlap over the back center seam.

 

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5) Press the seam towards the RIGHT side of the lining. Be sure you press on the lining side so that you do not melt the tulle.

 

 

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6) Trim the TULLE ONLY down to approximately 1/4″ seam allowance. Be sure NOT to cut the lining. this will form the casing for the elastic.

 

 

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7) Fold the tulle over the RIGHT side of the lining and stitch a 5/8″ seam to form the elastic casing. You can see in this picture that the tulle will fall as you are stitching. You will need to straighten both the tulle and lining as you are stitching like in the picture below.

 

 

 

 

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This is what the tulle should look like as you are stitching.  Leave a 1-2″ opening so that you can insert the elastic.

 

 

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This is what it will look like when you are done stitching the casing.

 

 

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Outside view.

 

 

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8) Insert the elastic inside the casing. Be sure you are inserting the elastic between the two layers of lining, NOT  between the tulle and the lining.

 

 

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Make sure to pin the other end of the elastic to the lining so it doesn’t get pulled into the casing.

 

 

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9) Overlap the ends of the elastic by about 1/2″ and stitch them together using a zigzag stitch or you can sew it by hand: sew a rectangle around the outer edges where the elastic overlaps and then stitch and “x” inside the rectangle. Be sure to tie off securely.

 

 

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10) Cut one end of the ribbon for the straps at a 45 degree angle. Use a lighter or fray check on both sides of the ribbon to prevent fraying.

 

 

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11) Stitch the straps about a quarter of the way from the center front on either side. Stitch at the bottom and top of the elastic casing to be sure the straps are secure.

 

 

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Here’s what the straps will look like.  The dress can be worn like this or you can cut another length of ribbon to use as a sash/belt like I did, but it’s totally a matter of taste.  Just be sure to burn the edges or use fray check on them so they don’t  fray. And you’re done!

 

 

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My bff also made some little singed edge flowers to add to it. I used safety pins to attach them to the bodice and one of the straps, but I think they would also be cute one the sash/belt if you are using one.

 

 

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We simply tied the ribbon in a big bow in the back.

 

 

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Are they adorable or what?

 

Comments

  1. I think this is my FAVORITE little girls dress that you’ve made. Seriously it is SO adorable!!!!
    Rebecca recently posted…Silver Leaf Earrings from Blue Nile & GIVEAWAYMy Profile

  2. Love the idea! And your BFF’s flower just put it over the top! What presser foot is that you were using for sewing the tulle?

    PatK

  3. cute! I’ll definitely make one for my niece :)

  4. I’m trying to make this right now…and am getting confused with the amount of tulle I have. How wide was yours? Mine is like 52″ wide!!

    • Hey Julie, it really doesn’t matter how wide the tulle is. I think mine was 52″ but anywhere from 45″ to 60″ is fine. it’s not really going to make much of a difference in the finished look. Hope that answers your question. Let me know. :)
      April recently posted…Halloween Costume Contest! My Profile

    • “So did you keep the tulle folded (the way it comes off the bolt? So it’s doubled thickness of tulle?”

      No, you should open it out to the full width.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] April from Wildflowers and Whimsy shows how to make this dreamy romantic tutu dress for a girl.   She gives cutting dimensions to make one for a size 18 months through a girls size 10.   It can be worn belted (as shown here) or loose. Though it looks complicated with the gathered tulle and the lining underneath, it’s actually an easy sewing project, something a beginner can do.   Go to her blog for the how-to. [...]

  2. [...] April from Wildflowers and Whimsy shows how to make this dreamy romantic tutu dress for a girl.   She gives cutting dimensions to make one for a size 18 months through a girls size 10.   It can be worn belted (as shown here) or loose. Though it looks complicated with the gathered tulle and the lining underneath, it’s actually an easy sewing project, something a beginner can do.   Go to her blog for the how-to. [...]

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