How To Make a Simple Child’s Tutu

In preparation for her daughter’s second birthday, Christie Burnett of Childhood 101 is making a dress up box full of homemade fun and today she shares a tutorial for making a simple child’s tutu with Simple Kids readers.

Before I begin, I should clarify that I am an amateur sewer, largely self taught and unusually impatient, so my sewing projects must be simple to make and quick to complete.  This cute tutu is certainly simple and quick, plus the finished piece looks very cute.

What you’ll need

Please note, the exact quantities of each of the following will depend upon the size of the child you are making the skirt for.

* 1 metre (40″) poly tulle or tulle in main colour (I prefer the poly tulle as it is softer than traditional tulle)
* 1/2 metre (20″) sparkly poly tulle that complements main colour
* 1 1/2 metres (60″) 5 cm wide (2″) ribbon

Let’s get started

1. I used an existing skirt of my daughters as a guide for the sizing of the tutu.  You will need both a length and waist measurement.

2. Cut four lengths of the main colour poly tulle.  I neatly folded the fabric to make cutting across the entire width of the tulle easier.  There is no need to be painfully exact as the completed skirt is quite full and forgiving.

3. Cut one length of the sparkly poly tulle.

4. Gathering: Set your sewing machine to the longest stitch length and with a seam allowance of 1cm, sew along the top edge of each piece of poly tulle, including the sparkly fabric.  Do not backstitch.  Cut the thread.

Taking hold of one thread (see the picture below where I am holding the top thread only), gently pull the thread to gather the fabric.  Continue pulling, adjusting and evening out the gathers as you go, GENTLY!

Gather until the finished length is that of the waist measurement determined in step 1.  Tie the loose threads at each end and trim excess thread.

Repeat for each piece of tulle.

5.  To hold gathering in place, set your sewing machine back to a medium stitch length and sew over the top of the gathering stitch.  Repeat for each piece of tulle.

6. Pin the five pieces of tulle together with the poly tulle on the outside.  It is easiest to find the centre point of each piece and begin pinning from the centre out to each edge.

7.  Sew all five layers together by alongside the gathering stitch of the top piece of tulle.  As poly tulle is quite fine my basic sewing machine managed to stitch through the layers without difficulty.

8.  Fold your ribbon in half and iron on a low heat.

9.  Fold ribbon over the waistline of the tutu, it should cover your gathering stitches easily.  Again, I began with the centre of the ribbon and the centre of the skirt piece and pinned from the centre out.  Stitch along the bottom edge of the ribbon.  I stitched a second row alongside the first for reinforcement.

10.  Now your tutu is complete.  It is easily tied around your child’s waist with the excess ribbon.  Time to dance and enjoy!

You can see more of Christie’s fun ideas for homemade fun at Childhood 101.

What projects have you recently undertaken? Were you happy with the results?

Online Knitting Class
Delightful kids' crafts delivered to your door!  See sample crates>>


  1. I really like this. Keep up the recommendations.
    .-= Aaron Shaw´s last blog ..Safari Baby Animals =-.

  2. I make it even easier by taking 3″ wide by 24″ long strips of tulle and fold them in half. I then put the loop (made by folding the tulle in half) behind a long ribbon held perpendicular to the tulle, stick the two loose ends of tulle over the front and through the loop, pulling taut (it should create a knot around the ribbon)…that’s really the easiest way to explain that step. Repeat until the waist of the child is full enough.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..30 Minutes a Day: Online Marketing Tips =-.

    • That’s the “knotted” version that the author indicated she didn’t much like the look of. I’m with her; the knotted ones get crinkled up and ratty-looking really fast. I am glad to see a gathered tutorial.

  3. I don’t understand the first steps–what do you mean by 4 “lengths”? Which direction? How do you know if 40″ is enough fabric since I don’t know which direction is being measured in this step nor the width of the fabric I’m supposed to buy? (Maybe tulle comes only in one width, I’ve never bought it. But will be soon!) It sounds as though, to get 4 pieces, they’d each by only 10″long, and if so, why not just say cut the tulle into 10″ pieces? But then why 20″ for the other piece? Please help, I can’t wait to make this for Nutmeg!

  4. This skirt looks exactly like the tutu that came with the My Size Barbie my sisters and I had growing up! So cute!

  5. Zoe, new first time mom, 35 + says:

    Love the pictured results. Went to Fabricland today, first time in months… Psyched to try this project out. I can’t wait to make variations — add pockets of sparkly pom-poms, or miniature toys (hmm…dinosaur figurines? maybe not.)
    I haven’t made enough items from scratch for my toddler, apart from meals.
    Can’t wait to see her in the tutu, indoors, outdoors, at daycare, or just out and about! Thanks for the simple instructions. Loved the pics, and sparkly aspect.

  6. Love it, I made a red and black one for my girls rock and roll assembly. Very easy to follow instructions.

  7. Laura Sischo says:

    When buying the tulle how much is generally bought for a child’sTutu.
    Some sort of a general idea


  1. […] very tough to find an eco-friendly tutu, however, you can easily make one yourself, which allows you to choose the material (used or […]

  2. […] Simple Child’s Tutu […]

  3. LEVI'S says:


    How To Make a Simple Child?s Tutu | Simple Kids