Saturday, December 8, 2012

American Girl Tutu Tutorial

Our American Girl adventure has been a short one so far, but I have a feeling this will become a great hobby for Gracie and I to take up together.  John and Philip have big plans for constructing doll scenes and beds, making carpentry a hobby of theirs.

It all started when an unsolicited American Girl catalog arrived in the mail, and it just so happened that Gracie checked the mail that day.  She instantly fell in love with the Marie Grace doll and collection.  It was the only thing she wanted for Christmas.

My Dad emailed a few days later and asked what the kids wanted for Christmas.  Seeing as they each only had one thing on their list, we agreed to split the list and Marie Grace was ordered and on her way!  I was positively giddy.  When she came, John and I oohed and ahhed quietly over each little thing in the box.  

Then the amazing happened and American Girl decided to offer Marie Grace and her best friend Cecile at over 60% off, AND the bed too.  I ordered, knowing I could return the full price Marie Grace and in her place with a small investment more, get two dolls and a bed.  That was an exciting day in our house!  Cecile is a gorgeous doll, and now there will be two dolls who can play together and we can host tea parties.  And ballet recitals!

The idea of a tutu came very quickly because I make people sized tutus already.  I had all the supplies and the idea of a tiny tutu was just too cute.  I do not plan on purchasing most things from American Girl, I would like to make most of it if I can.  

So here it is, the American Girl Tutu Tutorial!

1.  Choose your tulle and ribbon, and have a pair of scissors handy.

2.  Decide how long you want your tutu to be.  I like mine to be medium length, because if they are too long, they lose the puffiness.  For the medium length tutu, I cut the tulle into 11" strips.  You'll want about 2 feet of ribbon so that you can tie the tutu in a pretty bow in the back.

3.  Your doll's waist is about 11." around.  So I tie knots in the length of ribbon on either side of 11" like this:  
This will become the 'base' for my tulle.  When this area between the knots is full, I know my tutu is done.

4.  Make a 'U' shape with your tulle and place it underneath your ribbon.

5.  Bring the bottom two edges together and loop through the bottom 'rung' of tulle and pull.

then tighten, and you will have a knot.  The tighter you tie these knots, the more tulle you will be able to place on the ribbon, and the fuller your tutu will be.  If you leave them a little looser, you will still end up with a full tutu and will save on material costs.

Then just keep going until you have filled up the space on the ribbon between the two knots.  The ribbon will be squished under the tulle knots but that won't matter, it will not be seen.  I like to use two colors in my tutus, but you can do any number of colors, just alternate as you are knotting your tulle.

When you are done, tie a bow in the back and voila- a tutu for your doll that cost less than $5 and you will likely have enough tulle left over to make more tutus for kids or dolls!


  1. Can you tell me how wide and how long each of your tulle strips are?

  2. Lovely tutu. Looks just like something I could make :)
    How wide is your tulle?

    1. Hmmmmm that is a good question. I didn't cut it in half, I used it right off the roll, whatever size that was... I might still have some lying around. I'll take a look.