Here it is, friends. My tutorial on how to make Sophia’s Queen of Hearts costume that she wore for Halloween.
A disclaimer before we proceed, I am not trained in design and dress making. I don’t even know how to make a pattern. I learned how to use a sewing machine when I was in 3rd year high school and now I have forgotten how to change the thread and needle in one. I had a tiny sewing machine from Lazada earlier this year but it broke down in less than a week. (It was the 1k machine. Better invest in a sturdier brand.) I hope the tutorial would help you in making your baby’s tutu dress because my methods are not exact and measurements are mostly approximations. I usually eyeball them. Hahaha! (Diskarte lang talaga!)
Alrighty, let’s begin. 😀
- Look for a design on Pinterest, Etsy, or Google.
Pinterest is a good place to get inspiration. Make sure to choose a design that has materials that you can find here in the Philippines or at least have alternatives that you can use instead.
I wanted to make a lace crown for her costume but I couldn’t find mod podge or fabric stiffener and spray lacquer anywhere. So I had to trash that idea.
Do choose a design with a difficulty level that you are comfortable with. It’s great to be ambitious but materials can be expensive and it would defeat the purpose of going DIY if you redo and spend more for materials or you just end up buying a ready made dress instead.
2. Buy your materials.
You can go to Divisoria to buy all your tulle and sewing notions needs. They are cheaper too compared to mall-based fabric stores. A yard of tulle costs around php25 to 35 pesos. However, they do not have soft tulle strips or tulle rolls. (Although, I was able to find hard tulle strips in limited colors.) I went back and forth from Ilaya and Tabora streets to the Tutuban mall but wasn’t able to find tulle strips.
Why do you need tulle strips? Because it will save you time in cutting the 60 width tulle fabric into 6 inch strips. It is very time consuming and you have to make sure that your strips are of equal length and width. I was able to find an online shop on Facebook who sells tutu dress materials but I haven’t tried ordering from them yet.
Here’s my shopping list for the dress:
8 yards red soft tulle
3 yards white soft tulle
2 yards black soft tulle
1 yard yellow soft tulle
3 yards black ribbon
1 yard black and white checkered fabric
1 yard white felt cloth
3 black crochet headband
1 pack red glitter
Gold spray paint
1 yard elastic with button holes
1 black headband
Note: Please don’t skimp on your tulle fabric. Your dress won’t look poofy if you only have 2 tiers on your tulle skirt. Plus, if you run out of tulle and couldn’t go back to Divisoria you would have to buy from the mall. A yard of tulle at the mall costs 180 pesos.
3. Take your baby’s measurement. Again, I am not an expert. I measured the following:
- circumference of her chest and her waist (above the belly button)
- Length of the bodice from her armpit to waist
- Length of the skirt from waist to her ankles
4. Cut your tulle into strips. The length is based on your baby’s measurement.
The length of her skirt is 16 inches so I doubled that and added an extra inch for the knot. I cut mine into 6 inches wide and 33 inches long.
Work on a big flat surface like the kitchen table. It will be easier on your back and the fabric will be laid flat.
5. Sew together 3 headband crochet to create the bodice or the tube top. if you are able to find a wider crocheted bodice, you can skip this step. I scoured Divisoria and wasn’t able to find one that was wider than 4 inches.
Now, you’re ready to create your skirt.
To make the skirt:
1.Follow the no-sew tutu tutorial on this YouTube video to create the
2. Use the red tulle strips and tie 3 tiers leaving 4 slots in front for the white and yellow tulle strips.
3. For the front part of the skirt, use the white tulle strip and tie them to the 2nd and 3rd (bottom) tier.
4. For the 1st (top) tier, follow this pattern: yellow – white – white – yellow. (Yup, I only used 2 strips of the yellow tulle)
I chose to attach the black tulle later after I have sewn in the checkered decoration/applique on the bodice.
To complete the bodice:
1.Make a square and a pentagon pattern on your felt cloth. I don’t have exact measurements because I only eyeballed it hahaha.
2. Cover the felt cutouts with your checkered cloth. Use your fabric glue to attach the cloth to the felt.
3. Place the pentagon on top of the square and sew together. Make sure the pentagon tip is midline and pointing downwards.
4. To make the checkered strips at the front of the skirt, cut 1.5 inch x 16 inches strips on your felt cloth. Wrap it with the checkered cloth and attach to the underside of the square cutout before you sew everything on the crochet bodice.
5. I used the black tulle by creating a 4th tier on top of the red tulle skirt layer. I divided the black tulle in 2 and tied it to the side using a black ribbon.
6. To complete the dress, make heart cut outs of varying sizes on the felt cloth. Total of 5 hearts. Glitterize the hearts by using glue and red glitter. Let it dry overnight before you attach to the dress.
7. Use fabric glue to attach the hearts. The largest on the bodice and the rest on the skirt. Leave the smallest heart for the crown.
To make the collar:
I actually don’t know where you can buy elastic with button holes in Divisoria. I got a little creative and used the spare elastic from Sophia’s cloth diaper.
1. Cut the white tulle strips into 6 inches wide and 8 inches long strips.
2. Use the no sew tutu technique to complete the collar
3. Sew buttons on the inside of the bodice where you can attach the collar
To make the crown:
1. Use a small paper cup and cut triangles to shape into a crown. Paint with gold spray paint. Let dry overnight.
2. Attach the small heart on the crown.
3. Use your glue gun to attach the crown to the headband
Voila! Your ensemble is complete. 🙂
I hope this helps in starting you off your tutu dress project. It’s so much fun and your baby will be wearing something you made with love.
If you have questions or clarifications, please feel free to reach out to me. I know this tutorial is far from perfect as I really didn’t plan on making one; thus, I wasn’t able to take pictures for each step and get measurements for the components of the dress.
Hope you have fun!