Distressed Gothic No-Sew Tutu

By chance, I had a medical appointment in the same strip mall as JoAnn’s Fabrics during a Halloween sale. Paying to see my doctor meant I didn’t have much discretionary income to spend, so I wandered the aisles like a goth stray, taking photos and making notes for future projects. I was particularly drawn to the lace skirts and tutus they had available in adult sizes. I’m not great at sewing without a machine, fortunately YouTube crafters came to my rescue with fantastic examples of the no-sew method.

A quick sweep on Pinterest yielded a chart on tutu skirt length and some helpful hints on how to do a slip knot to create the no-sew, layered effect.

Black tulle (100 yards)
7/8″ black satin ribbon
Scrap silk
Liquid Stitch
Seam Ripper
Nail clippers (for trimming and rounding the ends of ribbon)
Ribbon measuring tape
Embroidery or fabric scissors (for ribbon)

Portrait-length tutus measure 20-21″ in length, making every strip of tulle folded in half approximately 40″. 20 slip-knots create 12″ at the waist. Keep this in mind when making to measure for your size. My waist is currently 34″ — which meant I needed a minimum of 50 yards of tulle intermittently knotted with ribbon and scrap silk.

Some of the crafters who created tutorials for their blogs and YouTube channels had life form models to work with to create their tutu. Others used a box or even the back of a chair to maintain the tension to the ribbon or elastic waist while they layered on the tulle. I am currently in the process of moving, so empty Amazon boxes are all over my house.

For the waist, I cut a 60″ length of the black satin ribbon (in retrospect, I should have gone with 70″ or longer for comfort), trimmed and coated the ends with Liquid Stitch to keep them from fraying. Alternating every six strands of tulle, I added either a slip-knotted satin ribbon (30″) or a piece of scrap silk (40″).

For the scrap silk, I used an old favorite from my intimates drawer. The black lace chemise was a holdover from my undergrad years — no longer fit me after my surgery, an unlikely candidate for donation, but still far too nice to just throw in the garbage. I took the seam ripper to one side, cut the straps and lace applique, and then used the scissors to cut the whole fabric into four, uneven strips.

I must say, I’m really, really pleased with how this turned out! And grateful I have enough tulle to make one or two more.

~ by blackmoodcraft on October 9, 2017.

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