Monday, March 1, 2010

I was this close to an Olympic Gold

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful little girl who begged and begged her mother for ice skating lessons because she had her sights set on an Olympic Gold Medal. Luckily, there was an ice skating rink in the nearby mall (Topanga Plaza circa 1980). So this young athlete's mom signed her up for ice skating lessons and signed her up for her dreams!

The day of the first lesson came, and this little girl could almost taste the gold medal, she was so excited (although it could have been all her amalgam fillings she had). She laced up her ice skates and headed out on to the ice like she had maybe 2 or 3 times before. Her teacher and the class cautiously moved away from the wall, when all of a sudden this little girl slipped on the ice and fell. She scooted over to the wall to pull herself up when the teacher pushed her back down to the icy floor and told her that they were going to learn to get up on the ice without the wall.  Several attempts later, our budding olympian still could not get up. So when the teacher pulled her up, she cried and skated off the ice, never to return again, and all Olympic dreams shattered.

As dramatic as that seems, that's exactly how I remember it.  I haven't even asked my mom about it to see if her account matches mine (mainly because I don't want her to remember that I didn't take my lesson).  Although, I have to say, that as a parent of a child who refuses to actually do the activity you signed them up for (my 3 year old refused to get in the water at swim lessons), I can empathize with my mother. She was probably furious with me.

But, I don't remember my mom getting mad at me, and I don't remember if I took the remaining classes, but I do remember wondering why my teacher was so mean to little kids.

Now, I guarantee you I wouldn't have been an Olympic Ice Skater (I have about as much grace as a rhinoceros) but at a tender age, my dreams were shattered by an adult (that's probably why I need therapy) and I promised myself that I would not do that when I became an adult.

Well, I'm an adult and this weekend my 3 yr old told me she wanted to be a ballerina princess. And so, we made a tutu! So this weekend, she was a ballerina princess.

This NO-SEW TUTU is the easiest thing. My 3 year old helped me do it and she had a great time. All you need is:
2 inch wide ribbon 
(at least 3x the waist size of your ballerina/princess)
1/8 inch ribbon 
(optional...mine above does not have it)
6 yards of tulle 
(I used 2 yards of 3 colors)

First, fold your tulle in half, and then in half again, and then in half again.

Then cut in 4 inch strips.

Then, alternating colors knot the tulle strips onto the ribbon using this method:

Here is where the skinny ribbon comes in.  You can cut sections of the skinny ribbon and place them between the tulle for an extra princess-y look! (I just didn't have any at the time of production and I didn't have time to go to the store.)

After I got all the strips on there, I measured my little girls waist and knotted the ribbon at  just her size.  Then I squish or spread out the knots on the ribbon to fill the space. 

And then I trimmed the tutu to just the right length. I even cut the tulle strips diagonally on some to give a more "fairy" look. Click here see more of these tutu's from one of our "fans" as she used them in photography.  Her pictures are beautiful!

 My daughter had so much fun twirling in the restaurant and bumping into people. I would post a picture of her, however, the outfit she picked to go with the tutu was outrageous. But I let her wear it in public. Who knows, maybe she's the next Vera Wang...I don't want to shatter her dreams.
(But I don't have to post the pic)

P.S. We made some more Tutus and here are the girls. The pink tutu is really fluffy because we took the strips and cut them in half giving us much more tulle to work with and to make it so fluffy. 

If you'd like a layered look, take one of the colors and cut them shorter than the others. After you've tied them on, pull up the shorter ones above the longer ones. It will look like a two layered tutu.

Another idea (not pictured) is: after the tutu is complete, take small pieces of tulle and randomly gather some of the strips together and tie them with a bow at different heights, etc. It makes it look like a princess dress.


  1. I made these tutus last year for Christmas, super easy and the daycare girls loved them. The boys however did not want to wear theirs, and they would not accept any bribes.

  2. They are so cute. I love them!

  3. This is darling! OK, I think I'm hiring YOU to make my wedding dress. I need one of these, floor length and in white. I'll be real interested to see how you handle the top! :)

  4. I am a photographer and I have been wanting some tutus for some time now. BUT, didn't want to pay the $$$ that people are charging! So, I was super excited when I saw this post on Facebook. They were soooo easy to make! You can check out how cute they turned out at:

    Thanks for the great idea!!

  5. Your pictures are beautiful. Now if only I had your talent, I could shoot my projects a little better. I love that this idea worked out for you! Love, love, love hearing them.