You know we love American Girl Doll clothes patterns around my house. I found another one to show you today!
This pattern is to make a tutu for your doll. I'm sure if you have any AG fans in your house, you are well aware that this year the Doll of the Year is Isabelle. She loves ballet. We thought she should have a tutu. This was actually my younger daughter Pumpkin's idea. She wanted to make a tutu for her sister for her birthday. We found a great pattern and made a tutu that Snowflake couldn't even tell wasn't bought at the AG store! Of course it helped that we wrapped it in an AG box, but still, you really can't tell that it didn't come from the AG store. I'll share my secrets with you, so you can make your own. You ready? Let's do this thing!
Of course, you can make this tutu in any color using any tulle that you like, but if you are trying to make a knock-off of Isabelle's tutu, you will want to select your tulle carefully. Pumpkin and I found the perfect match at Hobby Lobby. It is a shiny tulle in an ivory color. As you can see, it is very inexpensive. You will need a little more than 1.5 yards.
I got the pattern for making the tutu from Doll It Up in their post about Resizing a Simple Girl's Tutu for Dolls. That post shows you how to make a tutu using a store-bought tutu or to make one from scratch. I followed the direction from scratch.
Cut a piece of tulle 14.5″ x 58.5″. Fold the tulle in half width wise.
Sew the two raw ends together as shown.
Open the tulle circle. Fold it in half with the raw edges together(folding it lengthwise now), while still keeping it in the circle. Fold it in half lengthwise again. Keeping the circle again as well. Your tulle should now measure about 3 5/8″ x 58.5″ (if you were to measure all the way around the circle).
Above, you can see what I found frustrating in this process. When trying to fold the second fold, the tulle has a tendency to shift and not lay close together. It took patience to get it to lay together. It is important if you want a clean finished edge. Just try to be patient and wiggle the fabric until you can get it lined up properly.
With patience, you can get the fabric lined up properly. Make sure to pin well, so it doesn't slip and move as you sew. You are pinning along the double folded edge.
Sew the double folded edge with a 1/4″ hem. This will be the casing for your elastic. Leave an opening.
Thread your elastic through the opening. You will want to use 14″ of elastic, but you could start with a smaller amount if you need to. I used a specialty elastic I found at Hobby Lobby because I thought it gave a more polished look. It is packaged as an oval elastic cord (affiliate link).
Find an 18″ doll and place the skirt on the doll. Pull the elastic to the desired tightness. I made mine fairly tight so that the tutu would stand up a bit more. Just don't make it too tight or your child will have a hard time getting the tutu on. Pin the desired length.
Sew the elastic. The oval cord I used was challenging to sew. It wouldn't lay on top of each other, but would only let me sew it side by side. You really can't tell once the tutu is finished so it doesn't matter.
Snip the ends of the elastic and pull the elastic into the skirt/tutu.
At this point, I think it is a great idea to double-check that you like the fit of the tutu by trying it on the doll again. If you are happy with the fit, sew the opening for the casing closed.
Voila! A tutu for your doll! The color tulle that we found is a perfect match for Isabelle. It matches her leotard, which did come from American Girl, perfectly.
Isabelle was quite happy with her new tutu! She decided to first give it a try on the dress form I made her.
I'd love to hear how yours goes, leave me a comment on my facebook page or in the comments below. Can't wait to hear!