Monday, November 25, 2013

Show & Tell: Santa Dance Costume

Howdy there!

I thought I would share what I whipped up for my daughter's dance recital this week. Our dance studio has parents make (or buy) their own costumes for the winter recital. This year, the preschoolers are going to be Santas. By the time I got around to it, I didn't have time to order a dance leotard or tutu, so I had to make parts of the costume.

I made a few different aspects of the costume. I made a hair bow (using a process much like my No Sew Hair Bow tutorial but with wired ribbon instead), a tutu (I used three different tutorials together), and Santa inspired bracelet/cuffs. I think I am going to use some black ribbon as a belt as well. I bought a red sweater and black tank top from Target and will pair them with a pair of short shorts and black tights my daughter already had. (The tank top was about 10 dollars cheaper than the black leotard and looks the same.)

Tutu Tips and Tricks

When it came to making a tutu, I have tried several different tutorials in the past. They haven't really worked. The tutu look all sad and limp. So, I did some research and pulled the different parts that made the most sense. I thought I would share how I got mine to work.

First of all, I used both tulle on the roll and on the bolt. The roll is easier, but it does cost more. The roll tulle also seemed to be a less quality fabric than the bolt fabric. I will in the future buy it off the bolt.

Cutting Tulle

The most time consuming part of making a tutu, is cutting all the strips. This video from Just Add a Bow is the method I used. Here's a tip from me: you can also use this method to cut bolt fabric. Just make sure your cardboard is exactly the side of the strips you want (so both length wise and width wise). You can wrap it width wise, cut and then wrap length wise and cut. Another tip: An Usborne book box insert is exactly 15 inches long (which is how long each of my strips were so it was a nice poofy tutu) and the cardboard is really heavy duty. Definitely recommend them (and buy some books while you're at it...we love our book lady Bethany!)

Knotting Tulle

I used a inch wide, no roll elastic. I didn't even use a sewing machine. I just hand sewed the elastic together. I found a tutorial that suggested measuring your daughter's waist and subtracting 3 inches and cutting your elastic to that size. (worked great for us) Now, I didn't do the traditional loop through method of attaching the tulle on to the elastic. I used this double knot version from The Ribbon Retreat instead (which help keeps the tulle poofy).
Instead of using a chair or bucket or whatever for the elastic, I found this tutorial on Just We Moms where she suggests using your own leg. That was perfect for me and made the process go even faster.

All in all, using these tips, my tutu was done within an hour. I think I might do them as favors for my daughter's birthday party in the spring.

Santa Cuffs

These were quite easy to make. I picked up a cheap stocking from Walmart, cut off the furry part and then used some elastic which I hand sewed on to the furry fabric. I did grab a glue gun to put a nice clear layer on the outside of the raw cut sides so it wouldn't fray and shed everywhere.

All in all, I'm pretty excited for her to wear the outfit this weekend and the best part, most of the costume can be reused!

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