As promised in my post on the Neon Run. I wanted to give a quick tutorial on how to make your own running tutu (or a tutu for any use, really).
Once you have all your materials together, it’s really quite simple. You’re going to want to get some “no-fold” elastic from your local sewing supplies store. I don’t really know how to sew all that well (yet), so I’m not exactly sure if the no-fold thing is just for sewing, or if it works for the tutu in some way too, but so far I have had no trouble with it. I bought some elastic on the thicker side, about 1/2 inch thick, but I think the narrower elastic would work too.
For the poofy portion of the tutu, I bought 3 different rolls of 6″ tulle – 25 yards each. You can buy these rolls of tulle at Michaels or a sewing store, but I’ve found the cheapest place to buy it is Etsy. I got these rolls of tulle for under $3 each on Etsy – quite a bargain.
So, making your own running tutu is really so easy that I didn’t even take that many pictures. It’s pretty self explanatory. To measure for the tutu you don’t even have to use a measuring tape. I just wrapped the elastic around myself and then took a few inches off the length around my waist. (You want the tutu to be snug, especially if you’re going to be running in it, and the elastic will definitely stretch to allow for the inches you take off.)
Next, you’re going to want to sew the elastic together. As I said before, I’m not a very good sewer, so I just hand-stitch the ends together. I make sure to sew back and forth a few times on the ends so as to make sure the elastic has no chance of falling apart.
Find a box or small chair – pretty much anything round or square that you can put the elastic around. This part is a must! You might think you don’t need to put the elastic around anything, but it makes it sooooooo much easier to tie the tulle around. For my running tutu I just used a cardboard box I had lying around the house.
How long you cut your pieces of tulle depends on how long you want your tutu. I wanted a longer, more flowy tutu, so I think I cut the pieces about a yard long. Doubled up and tied to the elastic, my tutu ended up being about 18 inches long – a good length if you want to make sure your bum is well covered. However, if you want a tutu that is shorter and “spikier” I would cut your pieces of tulle anywhere from 12-18 inches. (Remember you are going to fold the tulle in half to tie it to your elastic, so however long you want your tutu – double that.)
As you can see, I wanted my running tutu clearly color blocked, so I tied three pieces of each color before moving on to the next color. I tied the tulle onto the elastic using a simple cow hitch or lanyard hitch knot. (I had no idea what this type of knot was called until I looked it up for this post.) If you don’t know how to tie that kind of knot here’s a video. (I like that they call this knot the cowboy equivalent of parallel parking, haha.)
As far as how much tulle to cut and tie on to the elastic, that’s up to you. Obviously, the more you tie on, the fuller the tutu will be. I usually use up all 75 yards of tulle per tutu that I make, but that’s for a full-size gal. If you are smaller, or if you are making the tutu for a child, you will definitely not need that much tulle. But, at about $9 total for the tulle, it’s not a bad thing if you end up using it all.
Here’s the finished look of my running tutu:
I really enjoyed making the tutu for the 5k I wore it to, and I will definitely be making more tutus for future costumes. I hope you have fun making your very own DIY tutu!