For running people are surprised to find out that wearing tutus to races is a thing. And it’s a fun thing! I think it steams from run Disney events in particular the Princess half marathon that they hold each year. It’s woman’s themed, but not women’s only, where you are encouraged to dress up as your favourite princess so tutus are a major thing there. While not every woman will get to run Disney’s Prices half, it’s on my bucket list, every woman can race in a tutu. Last year I made a white and black one for my chase the ace halloween running costume and I recently pulled off a PR while wearing it! I thought that was it for me since black and white goes with everything right? Well no, black and white doesn’t go with Christmas very well at all and since I’m doing the red nose Christmas run this year so this girl is going to need a new tutu. And while were at it let’s make it light up and have glitter too!
I’m pretty crafty and I wanted to do more crafty stuff than I have been on my blog but you know life and such got in the way. I looked into all of the pins and sites and posts about how to make your own running tutu last year and this is without a doubt the best result and virtually as easy as any other option, plus you can get it done without a stitch if you want. Full disclosure the tutu I made cost $45 but that includes glitter tule, a longer length and battery powered lights. Because well I’m a tad extra at least one this one. This tutu uses crochet elastic as a waist band and that’s what makes is more comfortable and infinitely better looking than ribbon or plain elastic while only adding about a buck fifty to the price. Ribbon might come untied and like elastic cold dig into you while your running but only gives you one row of tule sass, By using crochet elastic you get four rows of sass evenly spaced. I’ll walk you through step by step how to make it and your design options with lots of pictures and examples, but it’s pretty simple and fabulous and so you really can’t mess it up. Plus it takes only an evening to complete.
Materials needed: This will look like the black and white one
– 8 m or yards of tule like fabric, nylon net is softer and cheaper and my first choice. – $24
– 1/2 -1 yard crochet elastic (1/2 your hip measurement plus 2 inches, un-stretched) width about 2.75 inches wide -$2.50 – $4
– Thread any colour, if sewing, you won’t see it
You can buy rolls of pre-cut strips of tule ribbon but it’s more expensive but it means about 15 minuets less cutting.
My Christmas tutu has 12 m of fabric, 8 of red and white nylon net at 2.99/m and 2 m of glitter tule at 8.99/m plus 2 stings of lights for $1.25 each from dollaramma. But I figure I can wear it for Canada Day events too, we have a big one here called EPIC so sign me up! Stay tuned for a lit up picture in an upcoming race recap,
Tutu length and fabric needed assuming 4 rows of tule, cost estimates are based on basic nylon net but fancier fabrics cost more. Assumes fabric is 120” wide.
|Fabric needed||6 m/yrd||8 m/yd||12 m/yrd|
Steps to completion:
- Cut your tule into strips about 5” wide and your desired length either 14”, 22” or 40” and group by colour if using more than one. Hint: You can get the best bang for your fancy fabric buck by cutting glitter tips a bit thinner say 4” and having a few more strips.
- Either sew or tie together your crochet elastic into a ring, right sides together, using a medium length zigzag stitch if using a machine. A 1/2” seam allowance is plenty since it doesn’t really fray. The right side is up to you which ever side you think looks better and you want to ‘show’ fold those so that they touch and then sew. If using a needle and thread just don’t pull your stitches too tight so it won’s rip when you put it on, but it won’t be under much strain since it’s vertical. If you got no time to sew simply cut into each end in two places on each side and tie the three stands on each side securely to the other side.
- Turn your waist band right side out and think about your colour scheme, see below for tips. Fold each strip of tule in half lengthwise and force the folded end through every second hole on the bottom row of holes on the waist band. One piece at a time open the loop and pass the two tails trough forming a quasi knot. and pull tight. Not tight enough to rip it though. Continue around the waistband.
- Move to the next row and repeat, it doesn’t matter what your call a row, just be consistent. After the second row, if your larger, third if your small to medium assess how many strips are left. Space your last row accordingly or just add in the extras throughout what’s already completed.
- Try on your tutu and twirl!
Design elements to consider
Only semi-seriously though it is a running tutu after all and you might end up wearing it in the rain! Plus all tutus are festive and fabulous!
- Colour choice and spacing: Fancier fabrics will have more impact on top rows. For my red and white tutu I did it like this. Bottom row R-W-R-W-R-W-R-W…. Second row: R-W-R-W-Glitter red-W…. Third row same as the second. Last Row: GR-W-GR-W-R-W…. This gave me a striped red and white pattern through out. For the black one I wanted it to have a mostly black side and if worn ‘upside-down’ a mostly white side. So in layer one I did W-W-B… An even mix in layers two and three with some glitter in each for some of the white and B-B-W… for the top layer. I did this so that the glitter would be equally visible no matter what way you wore it and the nylon net would be the only thing against my skin either way….
- Bottom layer fabric: If you’re using a scratchy fabric and potentially wearing shorts it might be nice to put those scratchy layers in the middle or top layer. There are three types of tule-like fabrics that I know of, nylon net (soft and cheap), tule (less soft, less cheap can contain glitter) and crinoline tule (really scratchy, really cheap and maximizes volume). Think about how you will incorporate each when you make and wear it.
- It can be reversible: If you vary the top and bottom colour predominance it can look different on each side.
- You won’t really see the waist band: It doesn’t really matter how you put it together or the thread you use you won’t really see it on the inside and near all that tule.
- Still light when wet: Even if you year it in the rain it doesn’t really get heavy
- Too big is better you can adjust: If you find it’s too loose to stay put or you want it tighter for a rainy race you can adjust the fit with a twist tie (or string or a zip tie) by looping it through a few loops and twisting it together to make it tighter when completed.
- If you mess up in some way it’ll still look great: Say you get off your colour scheme, spacing or throw the leftovers in wherever at the end it’ll still look great and festive. It’s a great project where the end result will look like the pin pretty much no matter what.
- Make it shorter: If you want you can trim the whole thing shorter once completed. I might do that with the red and white one I just made at some point.
- Use elastic lace instead of crochet elastic: The best and pretty much the cheapest option for the waist band is crochet elastic. It’s not a rare thing, so you should be able to find it but if you can’t find it in the fabric store get some stretchy lace instead and adjust your waist measurement accordingly. But it’s also worth a trip to a cheap accessory store or dollar store. They often have hairbands made out of it aka ready made waistbands. But if you do pick some up consider buying a bit extra to make your own head band, comfortable and wider than average!
I hope that helps you make the best race tutu in the world too. I decided to leave the red and white one long for this race but I might trim it shorter in the future, do you thing it’s too long? This ‘race’ is only 2.5k and the start of our city’s Christmas parade of lights at dark so Im going for maximum impact since everyone is dressed up. Send pics please if you make your own!