Thursday, October 4, 2012

DIY Mermaid Tail Tutu

Nadia's forth birthday is coming up, and she selected mermaids as her theme.  In an attempt to dress them as mermaids I made both her and Bria mermaid tail tutus.  I saw a really cute version on pinterest, but it went to an etsy store where the costume was already sold; no instructions! So, I made it up as I went along.  I wasn't even sure if I would blog about these, so please excuse the lack of pictures (especially in the beginning stages).

So you start by making a basic tutu that goes to the floor.  I make mine by cutting a piece of ribbon about a foot longer then the waist size I need.  I use the tulle that some son a spool rather then the large pieces you can buy on the bolt because it cuts down on the cutting.  I cut my tulle pieces twice the length I want the final product.  After cutting the tulle (or a lot of tulle) I start placing on the ribbon.  I find the center and place it under the tulle.

Then I take the ends and put them through the hole between the ribbon and the tulle. (This is really hard to see with tulle, but it is the same technique I used for the patriotic ribbon rings).

And tighten.

Repeat with each piece until you have enough to go around the waist.  If you want it fuller you can squeeze them together and add more pieces.

For these particular tutus I used 2 colors on each and did strips alternating colors every 2 pieces.  However to make the crisscross design I added a third piece to every other group of that color. That sounds really confusing to me! For example the blue and green tutu with the green crisscrosses would go 2 green, 2 blue, 3 green, 2 blue, 2 green, 2 blue, 3 green, 2 blue......make more sense? That third piece is what you pull out to make the crisscrosses later.

Once you have your tutu made try it on the child, so you can figure out where to place the tulle to make the tail.  I really wanted it put it lower and get more of a mermaid look, but the girls said they couldn't walk.  I measured loosely where they felt comfortable and cut a piece of tulle that length to tie around that section.

After tying the bottom I pulled out all those extra, third pieces.  Each piece has 2 tails, one will go left and the other right.  So you tie the left tail of one to the right tail of the other using a square knot (so it won't slip). Do this all the way around even in the back.  You can still untie the tutu to make it easy to step into and out of.  Otherwise you can use elastic instead of ribbon and just slip it on.

Extra piece

First row
After the top row in done you do the next row down in the same way using the tails from the previous knots.

You now use the knot tails.

Second row.

And again with the next row.

Again with the knot tails.
Third row
The last row I tied the bottom piece of tulle into each knot to keep it all together.  Make sure you smooth all the inside pieces throughout the process, or they just get all lumpy and in the way!

After the first throw of your knot add the bottom piece in the center and make your knot around it.

Holds it all together
All tied together and ready for jewels!

The last thing I did was hot glue some little jewels to each knot for some extra shimmer.

I didn't get pictures of Nadia's after the first little bit because she was in a big hurry to get it done and help glue the jewels on.  But here they are!

What I get when I tell them to stand close together.

And what happens a few seconds later.
I haven't figured out what shirts we will wear with them yet, but at least the tutus are cute!  The girls are pretty excited about them too!

Here are my attempts at photographing them with Eli dressed as a pirate!