Remember this photo? And the reason behind all that tulle? Runner tutus.
It’s no secret that I brag constantly about my adoration of tutu‘s. Not only do I feel that they are important runner attire that garner you lots of attention and photos, I also believe that they make you run faster, enjoy the run more, and make you feel fantastic. I firmly believe that you cannot consider yourself a truly accomplished racer unless you have done one in a tutu.
Thanks to my running partner and best friend Katharine Parker I have learned to make these multi colored and layered tulle filled skirts of beauty…and it is because of her that I now own 4 of my own…and am going to share with you the secrets of making your own tutu. It takes a bit of time, and a lot of patience, but the end result is totally worth it. (or, you can always pick up the supplies and send them to me, along with a small maker’s fee, and I’ll do it for you)
First – you need supplies. You are going to need elastic, fabric sheers, and tulle. If you live near a Joann’s Fabric, go to the wedding section. Each roll there is 25 yards. You will need 4 for a good, full, fluffy tutu. You can also grab some ribbon to add to the tutu for a little something extra. Contrasting colors are good. I am planning on using the silver on my black tutus, and the pink on my Easter egg colored ones.
I also recommend finding something to entertain you while you are working on your tutu. The cutting and looping can get boring doing it with nothing on tv or on the radio. I usually turn on Palladia and rock out to concerts while I am making mine. The next step is to measure out your elastic. Do this either standing or on your knees. You want to give yourself a little extra on the ends for flexibility. Some people want to use safety pins to connect the ends, some people tie the ends of the elastic together. I’ve done both, and either works.
Once you have measured out your elastic, cut it. If you are making more than one tutu, cut more than one piece of elastic. Next, break out the tulle! I use 4 rolls of the wedding variety, but I have also gone to the fabric section to have it measured out for me. The fabric section has more colors and sometimes has glitter tulle that you can use for a little something extra as well. At Joann’s it’s $5.99 a yard, so unless you want a really pricey tutu, I suggest using a little bit and mixing it in with the standard tulle. Measure out your first piece to use as a guide to cutting the rest of it.
Once you have one measured out, cut the rest of it to that length. You can vary it up for a different and fun look, or you can keep it all one length. For this particular tutu, I made the black longer than the pink in order to have a layered look. I had two rolls of black and two rolls of pink. When I had it all cut up, it looked like below. Once you have it all cut up and ready, grab your elastic. You are going to loop the tulle through itself onto the elastic.
To prepare, loop it around your finger.
Use that loop, and put it under the elastic.
Loop the long ends through the circled part, so that it wraps around the elastic. I use my finger between the tulle and the elastic so when I pull on the ends to tighten it, it actually tightens and doesn’t just squeeze the elastic to a thin line.
Then, rinse and repeat. For this one, I did all the short pink first, then for every two pink, I added two of the longer black ones. If you look carefully, You’ll see that I left one end super short, and then the other one longer.
This is what the final product came out looking like. Ignore how sunburnt and crappy I look. I spent the day at the pool and my hair air dries like a fro.
This one is for my friend Amber Brinker who is running the She Runs LA race, and because she said that I had to wear one too even though I’m in Jacksonville and not LA, her’s what my purple one looks like. (again, I look like hell. And this time the picture was taken after dinner with the folks) I still need to add the ribbon to both hers and mine. The silver ribbon.
I also am making Kat and I tutu’s to wear for the Run To The Sun 8k which is April 21. Those are a bit more easter egg like. Here is one of them done before the ribbon is added.
After you are done making it, you tie it around your race, over your running gear, then go and run. For example (and yes I have other pics of me, but I can’t find them right this second):
With some of the extra elastic and tulle that I had left over from these and from my Gate River Run tutu in blue, I was able to make my niece Eleanor one for Easter! Here is the tutu, and then here is us at the Jacksonville Zoo while she was wearing it!
So there you have it! If you have any questions, feel free to ask, and like I said. If you just want me to do it for you…we can work something out. But seriously, they are so easy to make. You should try it. And feel free to hunt online for deals on tulle and elastic. If you do go to Joann’s, download their app for awesome coupons.
And send me a picture of you rocking your tutu at your next race. I’ll blog about you and your awesomeness as a way to welcome you to the tutu team. Because they rock.