Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fluffy Tutus for girls and teddy bears

I always like to make unique and quality gifts for my nieces.  I really enjoy putting the effort into the project and seeing their faces when they open up their gifts.  For my nieces' birthdays this year (Taryn is 5 and Audra is 3!), I made tutus and matching tutu teddy bears.  My oldest niece Taryn (who I knitted this elmo hat for when she turned 2) almost replaced her regular stuffed dog that she sleeps with every night with the tutu bear.  I will consider that a success!  :)

I previously made my niece Carleigh and myself matching pink tutu's.  I wore mine to the Halloween kickball game.  It turns out that you are never too old to dress up as a ballerina princess (or play kickball).  I based the tutu's for the girls on this tutorial.  Instead of buying the rolls of tulle, I bought 5 yards of tulle (this was enough for a little girl tutu and a bear tutu) but I could have bought even more to make the tutu's fluffier.  I cut the tulle fabric in half along the crease to give me two 27 inch high by 5 yard wide pieces of tulle.  I then cut about 10 inches of tulle off of one end and set it aside for the bear's tutu (~10" by 27" piece).

To make the tutu, I gathered one of the 27" by 5 yard pieces of fabric, folded about one yard of it in half lengthwise.  I cut a piece of 3/4" wide elastic to ~16" in length (~4 inches shorter than the girls' waist unstretched).  I then affixed a large safety pin to one end of the elastic, inserted the elastic into the fold of the tulle, and sewed in a straight stitch along the elastic.  When I reached the end of the elastic, I lifted my presser foot and, without cutting the thread, scrunched the tulle toward the end of the elastic with the safety pin.  The safety pin should hold the tulle in place.  When it is fully scrunched, replace the tulle into the sewing machine where you left off sewing, and continue sewing along the fold until you come to the end of the elastic.  Repeat the scrunching and sewing process and add the second piece of tulle once the first one is finished.  When you come to the end of the second piece of tulle, reverse sew to secure the stitch and cut the thread.  Sew the elastic band together using a zig-zag stitch with ~1" overlap.  Voila - you have a tutu!

To make the bear tutu, I repeated the process for the girl's tutu, but with the smaller tulle that I saved earler.  I used a scrap piece of tulle to make the bow and I sewed the bow in front of the bear's ear.

I found the bears at Wal-Mart for ~5 dollars apiece the tulle at Joann for ~2 dollars a yard.  This project is a super cute and super affordable to show your love for your favorite little girls (or big girls too!)

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