In searching for wedding planning inspiration, I came across a picture of a little girl in a cloud of mint tulle with a gold sash around her waist. I loved the look and I knew I had to put Maddie in a tutu dress. Sadly, these gorgeous poufs of tulle can cost nearly $200, so buying one wasn’t an option.
Thankfully, the friendly Internet is awash with DIY tutorials from all the crafty people out there. I watched several videos, tried out a couple techniques, and went to work creating my own tulle pouf for my flower girl’s first trip down the aisle.
The inspiration for the dress came from Little Dreamer’s Tutus. She is the best there is when it comes to tutu dresses, from what I’ve seen. Her dresses aren’t cheap, and rightfully so. It’s time consuming to get just the right look when working with all that tulle. I was certain I could make a dress myself that would get the look I wanted without the added cost of purchasing a ready-made dress.
There seem to be two camps for tutu dress technique. One group uses crocheted headbands, like the instructions found here. The other group uses elastic bands, like in this video. Either way, the process of making the dresses is fairly simple. The difficulty comes in making the end product look more refined.
I tried out the headband version and didn’t care for the look as much as the elastic band version, so that is the method I used to make Maddie’s dress. I started with 10 yards of Medieval Blue tulle from Joann fabrics. (An easier route is to use the spools of tulle rather than tulle from a bolt.)
I measured Maddie around the chest and from armpit to the desired length. Then I cut strips of tulle six inches wide by twice the desired length plus one inch. I cut a piece of elastic a few inches shorter than the chest measurement and sewed the ends together to form a band. Then I slip-knotted the strips onto the band. Once all the strips were on, I made a waist band from some ribbon and elastic (like a headband), and wrapped some ribbon around the top of the dress. I used a three yard strip of three-inch-wide ribbon and more, longer tulle strips to make a matching train.
The first version wound up being too short, so I started over. This was kind of disappointing because I preferred the look of the original tulle. The final product achieved the look I was going for, and I was delighted to see my little blue cloud of tulle running around the house.