Ballerina Tutu Tutorial (say that three times fast)

Hullo, darlings.  I know it’s been forever, but I have fantastic news…

I present to you a hand-finished, runway ready tutorial on how to sew a gorgeous and fluffy Degas-style (classical) ballerina tutu.  Like the one that can be found in my shop:


Ballerina Tutu Tulle Tutorial

Click on photo to customize this tutu in the Anjou Etsy shop (photographer: Sabrina Cichy, Model: Lotte Groeneweg)


Complete with many uhs, ums, random eyebrow raises, leaping kittens, lawnmower sounds, and minutes of pointless musings (as well as some cold hard facts on tutu construction).  Learn, create, and enjoy!




  1. Just watched your tutorial and LOVED it – Thank you so much, this is the information I’ve been searching for as I dislike (hate) those tied tulle skirts and have been wanting to make my daughter some lovely classic tutus. Are you willing to share any more details on the wider waistband style seen on the skirts you sell? the folded waistband is clearly fairly easy to do, but the wider waistband on your skirts is amazingly lovely.

    thanks again!

    • Yay, I’m so happy you liked it! Oh gosh, I very much dislike those tied ones as well…maybe for a quick fix on Halloween, but I’m so glad you’re making the traditional ones! They’re time-consuming, but sooooo worth it :) I would absolutely share! I learned it from a vintage waistband technique, so maybe I’ll just post the instructions from there…I feel like a video might be a little difficult to follow. I’ll keep ya posted! Thanks again!

      • Anjou,
        I know I’m replying to your comment from almost 3 years ago, so I apologize!

        I just HAD to ask if you still know where I can find instructions for the vintage waistband technique that you mentioned in the above reply to Meagan. I’m getting married at the end of May 2015, and I’m wanting to make a floor/ankle-length tutu (inspired by your tutorial) to wear over a short wedding dress. I absolutely love the wide waistband/ribbon on yours!

        If you could share the instructions, or a link, or a video, or even some of your sewing magic, I’d be thrilled.

        Thank you! :)

  2. Hi! Those romantics tutus are so lovely! But I have a question… how can I close it (like a “normal” skirt) on the side?

    Sorry for my bad english!
    Thanks ! ^^

  3. oh. my. god.

    this is amazing. if only i was more skilled and less of a disaster, i would 100% make myself a tutu.

    p.s: you’re so cute and awkward, it’s wonderful! :)

    • haha, really really awkward. In real life as well ;) Ah, you should do it! A disaster with tulle can only translate into avant garde ;)

  4. YES! So glad I found this! Youre so sweet, keep posting your awesomeness! :) Almost gave up finding tutorials for classical tutus, imagine how close I was to making a baste-waist eyeball-kind of trainwreck. THANK YOU! :)

  5. I’m so happy that I found you. I’m making tutu for my flower girls and I really don’t have much of time but I’m good with the sewing machin so… I think it’s gonna be okay! I don’t like the “No sew tutu” they look very cheap! Your tutorial is really good and as you can see my first language is not english and I fully understand everything :)!!! SO THANKS A LOT!!! I’m gonna make the sash with the left over of my wedding dress, hope the bow will be nice!

  6. geanineb says:

    Thank you for your awesome tutorial. I looked high and low for a tutorial that would allow me to make my own tutu for my Halloween costume. I just could not bare the idea of the no-sew ties ones or the store brought where my backside was showing. Now I can feel confident I will not be giving anyone a peep show. *Sigh* now if I could only stand on my tiptoes like a real ballerina.

    • Hooray, I’m so glad you like it and can follow it! The no-sew ones and the ones that aren’t stitched up the back are very scary, indeed, haha. Oooh, don’t I wish as well – I’ve always loved pointe shoes…I suppose we can just hand them on our walls and imagine ;) (and try them on and pretend from time to time)

  7. evelyn r. says:

    Love your tutu there the best I haven’t seen one so good that I like but when I saw the video on how to make it….it my favorite one:)…but I had a question on how much yard of tulle I have to cause that the only part I’m having trouble in cause my waist is 33….and I was wondering if you can help me!!!!!:)than you!

    • Hiya! Awesome, thanks so much! You can just multiply your waist measurement by 4 and use that yardage (in inches) for gathering at the waist (or more, if you’d like it more poufy). Let me know if you have any more questions, and good luck to you! Happy tutu-ing!

  8. This tutorial was amazing! :) i’m hoping to make this for a textile project
    Just wondering, because it’s tied using ribbon, does that mean there’s no closure? as in no center back seam or anything? and if i wanted to add a lining, how can i do that? (i saw one of your dresses with it and it looked great :) Thanks!

    • Hiya, thanks so much! You can stitch the skirt up 3/4 of the way and then there will just be a small opening that can be covered with the excess ribbon/bow. If you find a vintage slip, you can just sew it to the tulle before attaching the ribbon. Thanks!!! :)

  9. Suzie Petersen says:

    Love, Love, LOVE your tututorial! I have looked high and low and everywhere in between and not been able to find something as comprehensive or a tutu as beautiful! Thank you, thank you, thankyou! Can’t wait to get on my Halloween Costumes and who knows what else! ;) Thank you again and you are absolutely adorable! ;)

    • Aw yay!!! Thank you so much! :D You are making me smile big time. I’m so happy that you found it helpful and that you’re going to be crafting some purdy tutus. Happy sewing and twirling!!

  10. Ahhhhh!!!! This is amazing and so much easier the way you explain it than anywhere else, and I’ve spent *forever* trying to find a good tutorial for a gorgeous long tulle skirt! Thank you SO much!!

  11. Grace&Peace givenbyGod says:

    Hi i am fourteen and i am a choreographer I have four to six dancers who will be performing at the end of December. I live in Florida and was wondering if you could make some skirts for me. Also if you can how much would it cost to get the job done before Christmas. And have them sent to Florida. (you’ve said that you live in L.A.)
    Thank You

    • Hi, I’m so sorry for the late response! Though I would have absolutely loved to make skirts for you, I have been slammed this holiday season with custom skirt orders. I hope you found the perfect skirts and please don’t hesitate to contact me at if you need anything or have any questions! Thanks!

  12. Hi, thank you so much for the lovely tutu idea! Think I will be making myself one in cream and pairing it with a pale pink 1950’s petticoat for my wedding. I was wondering if you think I could make the pleating process quicker and easier by doing a running stitch along the top of the tulle and then pulling it tight to create the same pleated effect?
    Thank you again for sharing the lovely idea, Beccy xx

    • Hi Beccy! You can, it just won’t have exactly the same effect – the result will look gathered instead of pleated, but should still work in a pinch! Best of luck to you and congrats on your wedding! The palette sounds dreamy! xoxo

  13. I loved the tutorial and I love the finished tutu even more! Now I want to make one in every color. Thank you so much!

  14. Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I am a senior in high school and have a couple dressy events coming up that I wanted a tutu skirt for. I am tall so I am going to make it longer (I believe I can still do the same thing with just a longer length). One question I had though, I’m assuming you can just stitch up the back 3/4 of the way, but I was wondering what the easiest way to do that and how exactly would I stitch the it up? I am a beginning sewer when it comes to clothes, but I’ve sewn lots of other stuff, so a little guidance would be GREATLY appreciated. Once again, thank you so much for this tutorial. I am so happy I can make one myself! You’re the greatest!

  15. your ballerina tutu tutorial cuts off…where can I get full tutorial?

  16. Christine says:

    This might be a complete newbie question, but why do you do both a running stitch and a basting stitch? I was looking on youtube and they look they are essentially the same thing (one video I was watching called the basting stitch a “large version of the running stitch”)

    Thank you so much! Lovely tutorial, I want to sew a tutu once my sewing skills get better.

    • Hi! A running stitch has a smaller stitch length so that it stays in place. It is a permanent stitch. A basting stitch is a straight stitch set to the widest stitch length so that you can gather along it. It is a temporary stitch that will be removed or hidden inside the seam. Thanks! Best of luck! <3 Anjou

      Sent from my iPhone

  17. I love your tutorial! I have a question – what do you do after you pleat and sew each of the 6 pieces of tulle! arrrgh! I can’t figure it out myself. Is there another video I missed? Help! I assume you stitch all of the layers together, but I have no clue how to put the satin ribbon on.

  18. ok, so i love your tutu and am inspired to make one myself, though i have had no experience and need that style tutu for a year 10 art project. So do u recommend for my group and i to make this tutu? Is there any eaiser ways to make the tutu but still have the look? Also can u hand stich the last bit in part 1 or do u have to use a sewing machine? Thank you :)

  19. Thank you for the tutorial. I am making tutu skirts for my daughters to wear in a wedding. I have had a hard time finding a tutorial that showed the WHOLE process, so thanks!

  20. Beautiful Tutorial!! I am going to be making these for my sisters hens party!! Thank you so much!! Do you have any tips on sewing up the back?

  21. This is an amazing tutorial! I was just wondering, I don’t have a sewing machine do you think it would be possible to make by hand stitching? painfully long I know just wanted your thoughts / advice!

  22. Tiffani says:

    Ok I am beyond excited about this tutorial. I have made the knot tutus and they look super cheap and cheezy and I am so excited to make my daughter one of these for her third birthday! You are amaze-balls! :D

  23. katie gallardo says:

    Hi. Can you tell me how wide the waist band is? You mention that the waist band is measured according to your waist measurement but how wide is the waist band so that all six layers of tulle will fit the way your tutorial states (should it be as wide as the sash/ribbon, which is 2″ wide when folded in half)?

  24. katie gallardo says:

    1. In your tutorial, are you pining the top edge of tulle along the middle of the waist band or are you pinning the top edge of the tulle along the top edge of the waist band.
    2. When I finished the tulle skirt, why is the hem not even on all the layers of the tulle? Am I doing something wrong?
    3. I am adding a lining to the tulle skirt, any suggestions on how I would close the back of the tulle and lining?

  25. I don’t Have a sewing machine but I have a lot of materials to hand sew. Can I hand sew this? Do you know of any resources with Han sewing instructions?

    Thank you!

  26. Hi Anjou – I have no clue how to sew, but this makes me want to purchase a machine and start learning. Do you think it’s at all possible for someone like me to pick this up? I also was hoping to learn the vintage waistband technique you talked about in a earlier post. Will you be putting that tutorial up?thanks so much for inspiring me. If there are any sewing books for beginners you can suggest I would love to hear them?


  27. Anjou,

    Thank you for the tutorial! I’m going to give it a whirl. I dance in an annual holiday performance and need a snowflake costume. This will be perfect! But, do you think I should include a back seam – ballet and an open back may not be the best combo. Thoughts? LMK
    Thank you,

  28. Could I sew the tulle onto a slightly stretchy materal and then close the back? Also, Instead of the ribbon could I just finish the waist band with some sort of stretchy material? I am a ballet dancer and want to make the tutu for myself to wear onstage, preferably without the long bow in back. Although the bow is beautiful, and I think that it might dress it up. Only I don’t want it to get in the way. Any suggestions? Thanks you for posting this, I great appreciate it! 😀

  29. This is great! I’m totally going to try it with some neon coral tulle! By the way you soooo remind me of Zooey Deschanel on New Girl haha….. super duper cute :D

  30. I love this ! Is it possible to make this with sheer instead of tulle? I have white sheer and need to use it.

  31. Hello! Thanks so much for sharing! Beautiful! Before you sew the tutu’s ribbon on, did you take out all the pins holding the tutu layers in place or do you leave them on? Thanks! I am going to sew a tutu for myself and my 7 month old but am just researching how to do it :)
    Thanks and God bless!

  32. Many thanks, a fantastic tutorial indeed!!


  1. […] Jupe qui tourne en tulle par ANJOU CLOTHING […]

  2. […] you who haven’t completely mastered sewing yet. The step by step instructions, which you can find here are easy to follow, and if you really can’t figure it out you can always buy this skirt from the […]

  3. […] Classic ballerina tutus are fun too. Learn how to create one for your little one or even for yourself over at Anjou. […]

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