How To Make A Fabulous Fabric And Tulle Tutu

Tutus are a fun and whimsical wardrobe staple for dancers, performers, and anyone who wants to add a little magic to their style. If you’ve ever wondered how to make your own beautiful tutu with fabric and tulle, you’ve come to the right place!

Here’s a quick answer if you’re short on time: To make a fabric and tulle tutu, you’ll need to gather strips of fabric for the base, cut tulle into strips, gather and attach the tulle to create layers, and attach an elastic waistband.

The key steps are constructing the fabric base, cutting tulle strips, layering the tulle, and finishing with elastic.

In this comprehensive, step-by-step tutorial, you’ll learn everything you need to know to craft a gorgeous DIY tutu using fabric and tulle. We’ll cover choosing fabrics, preparing materials, constructing the base, cutting and gathering tulle, layering the tulle, and finishing touches like adding elastic and embellishments.

Whether you’re making a tutu for a costume, recital, or just for fun, this guide will lead you through the process from start to finish.

Choosing Your Fabrics

When it comes to making a fabulous fabric and tulle tutu, choosing the right fabrics is essential. The combination of fabric for the base and tulle for the layers will determine the overall look and feel of your tutu. Here are some tips to help you make the best fabric choices:

Fabric for the Base

The fabric you choose for the base of your tutu will provide structure and support. It should be sturdy enough to hold the weight of the tulle layers and comfortable enough for the wearer. One popular option for the base fabric is cotton, as it is soft, breathable, and easy to work with.

Another option is satin, which adds a touch of elegance to the tutu. If you want a more playful and whimsical look, you can even use patterned fabrics or glittery materials. The choice is yours!

Tulle for Layers

Tulle is the star of any tutu, and choosing the right type of tulle is crucial for achieving the desired effect. Tulle comes in different weights and stiffness, so consider the look you want to achieve before making a decision. If you want a fuller and more voluminous tutu, opt for a stiffer tulle.

On the other hand, if you prefer a softer and more flowy tutu, choose a lighter-weight tulle. You can also experiment with different colors to create unique and eye-catching combinations. Don’t be afraid to mix and match!

Preparing Materials

Fabric for Base

Choosing the right fabric for the base of your tutu is essential for creating a fabulous and durable piece. Opt for a fabric that is lightweight and has a bit of stretch, such as cotton jersey or tulle fabric. These fabrics are comfortable to wear and allow for easy movement.

You can find a wide variety of colors and patterns to suit your personal style and the occasion.


Tulle is the star of any tutu, adding volume and flair to the overall look. This lightweight, sheer fabric is perfect for creating a whimsical and ethereal effect. Look for tulle in various colors to match or contrast with your base fabric.

You can find tulle in different widths, such as 6 inches or 9 inches, depending on how full you want your tutu to be.


Elastic is an essential component of a tutu, as it ensures a comfortable and secure fit around the waist. Choose a high-quality elastic band that is wide enough to provide stability but also flexible enough to allow for movement.

Measure the waist of the person who will wear the tutu and cut the elastic accordingly, leaving a bit of extra length for easy adjustment.

Embellishments (optional)

If you want to take your tutu to the next level, consider adding some embellishments. This could include ribbons, bows, flowers, or even rhinestones. Be creative and let your imagination run wild! Adding these extra touches can really make your tutu stand out and reflect your unique style and personality.

Constructing the Fabric Base

Measure Waist

The first step in making a fabulous fabric and tulle tutu is to measure the waist of the person who will be wearing it. Use a measuring tape to get an accurate measurement, making sure it is neither too tight nor too loose.

This measurement will determine the length of the fabric strips you will need.

Cut Strips

Once you have the waist measurement, it’s time to cut the fabric strips. You can use any type of fabric you like, but tulle works particularly well for a tutu. Cut the fabric into strips that are twice the length of the desired finished tutu and about 3 inches wide.

You will need several strips depending on the fullness you want to achieve.

Sew Strips Together

To create a full and fluffy tutu, you will need to sew the fabric strips together. Take two strips of fabric and place them right sides together. Sew along one of the long edges using a sewing machine or by hand, leaving a small seam allowance.

Repeat this process with the remaining fabric strips until you have a long continuous strip.

Gather and Attach Waistband

Next, it’s time to gather the fabric strip and attach it to a waistband. To gather the fabric, sew a long basting stitch along the top edge of the fabric strip, leaving long thread tails at each end. Pull on the thread tails to gather the fabric, creating a ruffled effect.

For the waistband, you can use a wide elastic band or a piece of fabric folded in half lengthwise. Attach the gathered fabric strip to the waistband by sewing it in place, making sure to distribute the gathers evenly around the waistband.

Once the waistband is securely attached, your fabric base for the tutu is complete. Now you can move on to adding the tulle layers and any additional embellishments to create a truly fabulous tutu!

Cutting and Gathering the Tulle

Determine Tutu Length

Before you start cutting the tulle for your fabulous fabric and tulle tutu, you’ll need to determine the desired length of the tutu. Measure the waist of the person who will be wearing the tutu and decide how long you want the tulle to hang.

Keep in mind that the tulle will poof out, so it may appear shorter than it actually is.

Cut Tulle Strips

Once you have determined the tutu length, it’s time to start cutting the tulle strips. Use a rotary cutter or sharp scissors to cut the tulle into strips. The width of the strips can vary depending on the desired fullness of the tutu.

For a fuller tutu, cut wider strips, and for a less full tutu, cut narrower strips.

Make sure to cut the tulle strips long enough to accommodate for tying or knotting them around the waistband. A good rule of thumb is to cut the strips about twice the length of the desired tutu length.

For example, if you want the tutu to be 10 inches long, cut the tulle strips to be about 20 inches long.

Gather the Tulle

After cutting the tulle strips, it’s time to gather them. Take one strip of tulle and fold it in half. Place it under the waistband of the tutu, with the looped end facing up. Bring the loose ends of the tulle strip up and through the loop, pulling tight to secure it to the waistband.

Repeat this process with the remaining tulle strips, spacing them out evenly around the waistband.

As you gather the tulle, you’ll start to see the tutu taking shape. Adjust the gathering as needed to achieve the desired fullness and appearance. If you want a more voluminous tutu, gather the tulle tightly. For a softer, more flowy look, gather the tulle more loosely.

For more detailed instructions and visual demonstrations, you can visit wikiHow or YouTube where you can find step-by-step tutorials on how to make a fabulous fabric and tulle tutu.

Layering and Attaching the Tulle

Order the Layers

When creating a fabric and tulle tutu, it’s important to consider the order of the layers. This will determine the overall look and style of the tutu. Start by gathering all the materials needed, including the fabric for the base and the tulle for the layers.

Decide on the number of layers you want for your tutu. Most tutus have between 3 to 5 layers, but you can adjust it according to your preference.

Once you have decided on the number of layers, it’s time to order them. Begin by placing the longest layer of tulle at the bottom. This will create a beautiful cascading effect. Then, gradually decrease the length of each subsequent layer, with the shortest layer at the top.

This layering technique adds depth and dimension to the tutu, making it look fabulous.

Attach Tulle to Base

To attach the tulle to the fabric base, you have a few options. One popular method is to use a sewing machine. Simply fold a strip of tulle in half, place it on top of the fabric base, and sew along the fold. Repeat this process for each layer, making sure to evenly space them out.

If you don’t have access to a sewing machine, don’t worry! You can also attach the tulle using a needle and thread. Cut small pieces of thread and tie them around the tulle and fabric base, securing them together.

This method may take a bit more time and effort, but it can still result in a stunning tutu.

Remember to be creative with your tulle placement. You can experiment with different patterns, colors, and textures to achieve a unique and fabulous look. Don’t be afraid to mix and match different types of tulle, such as glitter tulle or patterned tulle, to add some extra sparkle and personality to your tutu.

For more inspiration and detailed instructions, you can visit websites like wikiHow or Martha Stewart. They provide step-by-step tutorials and helpful tips to guide you through the process of making a fabulous fabric and tulle tutu.

Finishing Touches

Add Elastic Waistband

Once you have completed the main part of your fabric and tulle tutu, it’s time to add the finishing touch of an elastic waistband. This step ensures that the tutu stays securely in place while it is being worn.

To add the elastic waistband, measure the waist of the person who will be wearing the tutu and cut a piece of elastic that is about one inch shorter than that measurement.

Next, overlap the ends of the elastic and sew them together using a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine. This will create a secure and stretchy waistband. Then, evenly distribute the fabric and tulle layers around the waistband, adjusting them as necessary to create a full and even appearance.

Finally, sew the fabric and tulle layers to the elastic waistband, making sure to securely attach each layer.

By adding the elastic waistband, you not only ensure a comfortable fit for the wearer, but also give the tutu a polished and professional look.

Embellish (optional)

If you want to take your fabric and tulle tutu to the next level, consider adding some embellishments. Embellishments can add a touch of personalization and make your tutu even more fabulous.

One popular option is to add ribbon or bows to the waistband of the tutu. This can be done by sewing or gluing the ribbon or bows onto the elastic waistband. You can choose ribbons or bows in colors that complement the fabric and tulle layers of your tutu, or you can opt for a contrasting color to make a statement.

Another way to embellish your tutu is by adding sequins, flowers, or other decorative elements to the fabric and tulle layers. This can be done by hand-sewing or using fabric glue to attach the embellishments. Be creative and let your imagination run wild!

Remember, embellishments are optional and can be customized to suit your personal style and preferences. They are a great way to add an extra touch of flair to your fabric and tulle tutu.


With the steps outlined above, you can create a stunning tutu using basic sewing skills and inexpensive fabric and tulle. The process allows for lots of creativity – try different colors, fabrics, lengths, and embellishments.

Show off your tutu at your next dance recital, costume party, or any time you want to add some whimsy to your outfit! If you have any questions as you craft your tutu, refer back to this guide for tips and tricks. Happy tutu making!

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