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Make a Tutu for Your Doll or Bear
Simple Sewing/Serging Guide
1/4 in elastic for waist
Spool Tulle: minimum 9 yards of 6 in wide tulle. The more tulle, the fluffier.
Satin Ribbon: 1.5 in wide, length enough to go over dolls hip and at least 1 in more.
Fray check (optional)
Serger skill taught using this guide: gathering using the differential
1. Cut 3, 1 yard strips of the 6 in. tulle or one 2 yard strip of plain tulle and 1 yard of glittery tulle as used in the photo. Using the spool tulle makes easier handling.
2. Cut a piece of 1/4 in elastic. I use 9 in of 1/4 inch swim suit elastic for American Girl Type dolls and 7.5 in for BFC Ink dolls.
3. Prepare to serge the 3 layers of tulle: Pin the three layers of tulle together. I like to use flower head pins for this. Position pins about 2 in from the long edge you are going to serge and 1 in from the other long edge so that the tulle pieces don't slide around while you're serging. Have the glittery tulle on the top if using it.
4. Set up the serger for a three thread overlock stitch. Use a different color in for the needle thread as I did here in blue.Thread the right needle only.
5. Set the differential to 2 on your serger. This will start the gathering of the tulle for you and make it easy to complete it.
6. Position the tulle to start serging close to one long edge.
Be sure to serge a 4 in. tail before you begin. Begin serging being careful that the pins do not get under the needle. Remove pins as you go
7. When you have completed serging the long side, leave a long tail 5 inches. The tail will look like this. See the blue thread.
8. Pull the blue (needle) thread (or whatever contrasting color thread you used in the needle). The tulle will start to gather. Pull the blue thread from the other end too. The needle thread is the shortest of the three
9. Place the right side of the tulle and the right side of the ribbon together.
Carefully pull the blue thread till the tulle is gathered to fit the length of ribbon. Arrange gathers evenly. Then pin in place. Wrap the tails around the end pins so the gathers won't come out. You will use a regular sewing machine to attach the ribbon to the tulle.
Note: there is no real "right side" to tulle but if you are using one layer of glittery tulle on top or a contrasting color of tulle on the top of your stack of three tulles, you will consider that layer as the right side
As you pull the needle thread, the tulle gathers!
10. Attach gathered tulle to ribbon waist band with the straight stitch. The gathered tulle should be on top. This is a little tricky. I use a quilting foot to help me keep a 1/4 in seam allowance and it also helps to feed the tulle better under the foot. I use a 3.5 stitch length because the thread gets buried in the tulle and is hard to take out when I goof up unless the stitch length is kind of long. Straighten the gathers as you sew.
11. After the ribbon is attached on one long end to the gathered tulle, fold the ribbon over from the right side of the tulle to what will be the inside of the skirt, just covering the stitching line which you completed in the last step.
12. Carefully sew down the ribbon (I use an edging foot) keeping an equal distance from the fold because the stitches will show on the right side. I also put my needle in the far left position. Stitch length is 3. Remove pins just before you get to them.
13. After waist band is finished, you can put a drop of fray chech on each end to prevent ribbon from fraying. Then attach a small safety pin to one end of the elastic and a binder clip to the other. You will be threading the safety pin end through the ribbon waist band casing that you just completed.
14. Place pins through the waist band and elastic on both ends to hold the elastic in place. You could also tack the elastic ends to the waist band to hold them. Then, with right sides together join the ribbon waist band ends so there is a little back seam on the ribbon only. The tulle will be left open. Tulle does not fray or ravel.
Voila, your doll's tutu is completed!
We love to dance in praise to our Lord in our beautiful new tutus!
Tulle is soft net-type material from which bridal veils are made. Hand wash. The glitter may wash out of the glittery tulle