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How to make a tutu skirt trimmed with ribbon

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A DIY red tutu skirt trimmed with gold ribbon for your little princess, that will bring sparkle and shine to any party. This free sewing tutorial will walk you through the entire process of making this gorgeous tutu skirt, with lots of photos, tips, and tricks.

ribbon trimmed tutu skirt

DIY red tulle skirt trimmed with gold ribbon – tutorial

This glam red and gold tutu skirt is perfect for many occasions – including Christmas Day outfit, New Year’s Eve, birthday parties, photoshoots, dance recitals, or just to add some sparkle to an ordinary day.

Your little girl will absolutely love the festive look of this skirt, its wavy hem, and its fluffiness. The tutu skirt is also very comfortable, due to the elastic waistband.

red tutu skirt trimmed with gold ribbon

At this point, I must confess I did not plan to sew ANOTHER tulle skirt, as I already made two in the last few months, but I had a good reason.

A friend of mine, who knew I had a small business selling handmade tulle skirts, asked me if I could make a Christmas tutu skirt for her daughter to wear at the kindergarten holiday party.

Related: DIY red pompom tulle circle skirt tutorial

As this sweet little girl happens to be my son’s colleague at the kindergarten, I couldn’t say no. Instead, I used the opportunity to make another free sewing tutorial for a tutu skirt – totally different from the previous ones.

red tutu skirt trimmed with gold ribbon

DIY tulle skirt trimmed with gold ribbonhow it’s made

This skirt is made of two soft tulle layers and a satin lining; it has an exposed elastic waistband and it’s embellished with a beautiful gold bow. Furthermore, the tulle layers are individually gathered and the outer one is trimmed with gold ribbon. I guess this pretty much sums it all up.

I trimmed the tulle skirt with a 100% polyester ribbon with metallic glitter, 1-inch wide. You can find the same ribbon here, or you could opt for a gold satin ribbon.

Are you ready? Let’s sew this pretty DIY tutu skirt!

I made my red and gold tutu skirt in size 5T and used these measurements:

Length of the skirt – 12 inches
Waist measurement -21 inches

Related: DIY midi tulle skirt (step-by-step tutorial)

DIY tutu skirt trimmed with ribbon – sewing supplies

How to make a tutu skirt trimmed with ribbon – tutorial

Step 1

Cut the fabric pieces.

For a 5T tutu skirt, I used two tulle layers, each measuring 118 inches / 300 cm in width and 12 inches in length.

If you can’t find 118-inches wide soft tulle, no problem – you can simply join fabric widths to make an extra-wide panel. Just make sure to use a soft tulle fabric – the type that’s available in bolts.

The satin layer is also a rectangle, the width of which is 1.5 times the waist, 1.5 x 21=31.5 inches in my case, but I rounded up to 32 inches. The length of the satin rectangle is the same as before – 12 inches.

If you want to change the size of this skirt, the 118 inches width of the tulle layers should fit a girl from size 1T or 2T (standard waist size at this age is 20 inches) to about 10T (standard waist size – 24 inches). Just adjust the length of the skirt and it’ll be just fine.

Step 2

Sew the side seam of the satin lining with a french seam. Pin the wrong sides of the fabric together and sew with a 3/8″ seam allowance.

Trim the seam allowance with your scissors down to 1/8″, then fold the fabric on the seam, right sides together.

sewing machine, satin fabric

Sew again the entire seam, encasing the first seam allowance in the fold.

satin skirt

Step 3

Take one of the tulle layers and sew the side seam. In contrast to the first tulle skirt I made and posted on this blog, this time I stabilized the seam area with a layer of tissue paper – and I’m happy to tell you it went great. Altough a bit time consuming, it’s definitely worth it – no more wonky seams!

tulle skirt tutorial

Repeat this step for the second tulle layer.

tulle skirt seams

Step 4

Change the stitch length to the longest possible and run a basting stitch for each one of the three layers that compose this skirt – one satin layer and two tulle layers.

Leave long thread tails at the beginning and end of each row, and do not backstitch!

Step 5

Now let’s gather the top of all the three skirt layers.

For little girls, the difference between the waist and hips measurement is less than 4 inches. Consequently, to be able to easily get the skirt over the hips, the skirt opening will be waistband measurement + 8 inches – for my tulle skirt, that means 21+8=29 inches.

Grab the bobbin thread with one hand and push the fabric over with the other hand.

tulle skirt layers

Continue until the gathers are evenly spaced and match the desired measurement, 29 inches in my case, then tie the threads in a knot.

Step 6

Place one tulle layer inside the other and sew them together, the wrong side of the first layer to the right side of the second.

tulle skirt tutorial

Step 7

Now sew together the tulle layers and the satin lining – wrong side of the second tulle layer to the right side of the satin skirt. The idea is to get all the right sides out and all the wrong sides in.

tulle skirt tutorial

Finish the waist seam with a serger.

red tutu skirt trimmed with gold ribbon

Step 8

Cut the elastic band 2–3 inches smaller than the waistline measurement – it should just feel comfortable, try it on. Sew the ends of the elastic, right sides together, then serge the seam.

elastic wasitband

I sew again the elastic to enclose the seam. I love the finished look of this exposed elastic, the inside and the outside are equally pretty.

elastic waistband, tulle skirt

Step 9

Divide the skirt and the elastic into 4 equal parts and pin the elastic to the skirt at each quarter – the wrong side of the elastic to the right side of the skirt.

red tutu skirt with elastic waistband, sewing pins

You’ll notice the elastic is smaller than the skirt opening – that’s great because this way you will be able to stretch the skirt on and off.

I usually pin down the skirt in 8 places.

Step 10

Now let’s sew the exposed elastic to the skirt. For this step, it’s very important to use both your hands to stretch the elastic as you go, as shown in the below picture.

sewing elastic waistband to a tulle skirt

This is a tricky part if you’re a sewing beginner, but there’s a first time for everything. Just read carefully these instructions and remember it’s better to sew slowly until you get the hang of it.

Start with the needle in the down position and pull the elastic towards you until the fabric gap straightens out. Sew along the waistband with a 3/8″ seam allowance.

Don’t pull the elastic too hard, as you don’t want to interfere with the feed dogs – they are the little metal teeth underneath the presser foot that work to pull your fabric through the sewing machine.

Another advice is to stop at every pin – each time with the needle in the down position. Pay attention to the wrong side of the skirt – it could shift under the presser foot.

sewing elastic waistband to a tulle skirt

You can use a zigzag or a straight stitch. I opted for a straight stitch, I like it better.

This is how my DIY tutu skirt looks on the inside.

tulle skirt, elastic waistband, serged seam

Step 11

The next step is to hem the satin lining – trim excess fabric from the bottom with your scissors.

hem, tulle skirt, scissors

I chose a basic hem, with the raw edge turned under. Fold the satin toward the wrong side by approximately 3/8” and sew with a 4-5 mm stitch length.

Trim excess fabric if necessary, then turn under the existing hem and sew it in place with an average stitch length – 2-3 mm. After the hem is finished, remove the first line of basting.

finish hem, tulle skirt, sewing machine

Step 12

Sew the golden ribbon to the tulle skirt as close to the top edge as possible. The ribbon tends to curl, and that adds a lot of volume to the tulle skirt. Therefore, pay attention to how the golden ribbon curls – you want the skirt to curl the right way.

sewing ribbon to a tulle skirt

Do your best to align the bottom edge of the ribbon with the bottom edge of the tulle, and choose thread that matches your ribbon. I used yellow for the top thread and red for the bobbin thread.

It’s better to use a longer straight stitch the default stitch, to avoid having too many holes in the ribbon. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end. Sew until you reach your starting point and when you get there, overlap a bit the ends of the ribbon, then run a vertical stitch to hold them in place.

sewing ribbon to a tulle skirt

This DIY tutu skirt already looks nice and fluffy, don’t you think so?

DIY tutu skirt trimmed with gold ribbon

Step 13 – optional

Finally, I decided to jazz up the skirt with a golden ribbon bow. I secured the bow to the elastic waistband with a few hand stitches.

golden ribbon bow, red tulle skirt

Moreover, I put a clothing label (I still have a ton of these from my old business selling handmade tulle skirts) to make my tutu skirt look more professional.

And that’s all, folks, this super cute DIY red and gold tutu skirt is finished and ready to wear! Did you find this tutorial helpful? I’d love to hear what you think of it!

DIY red and gold tutu skirt, golden bow

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3 thoughts on “How to make a tutu skirt trimmed with ribbon”

  1. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I’ve been looking everywhere trying to find a good tutorial just like this one to make a skirt for my daughter’s 2nd birthday. I do have a question though. I don’t have a serger. How can I finish the waist seem with just my sewing machine? Thanks!


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