This dress, y'all! This dress is the fluffiest dress I have ever made. It has so much tulle that it can actually stand up on it's own. Not kidding.
Plus, it is completely gorgeous. (Excuse the bit of ruffled tulle mess on the right of the picture. She wanted to twirl!)
This is a pretty basic dress. If you are just starting out, or the idea of crafting an entire dress scares you, this is a great beginner's tutu dress.
8" light yellow crochet headband - Our model is 3 years old and it's a great fit.
4 rolls of maize tulle - More or less, depending on the size you're making
1 roll of lemon yellow tulle - I used this to make the ruffle on the bottom
Embellishments - I used Original Grosgrain Hair Bows
Your first step is to gather all those supplies. Got 'em? Okay, now it is time to measure and cut the tulle. I like to cut one spool at at time. Any more than that and you'll have a tulle mess on your hands. Any less and you're wasting your time.
If you've never done this before, this sounds confusing... but it's not! Just follow along with the pictures.
I decided I wanted a dress for a three year old so it should be about 20" long. This meant I needed to get a piece of sturdy cardboard that was a tiny bit longer than that. I always use collapsed mailing boxes to measure my tulle. One of the USPS Prioirity boxes is about 20.5" long when collapsed. Perfect.
Wrap an entire spool of tulle around the cardboard box. All wrapped and nice? Okay, look at step 3. Cut one end of the tulle along the edge of the cardboard. Looking at step 4, I can't decide if my tulle was wrinkled in that picture or if I'm terrible with scissors. Doesn't really matter, the dress looks awesome. Now see step 5? It's not actually a step. It's just showing you that we are leaving those tulle strips twice as long as you need them. That's very important so I'm going to say it again. Even though we want our dress to be 20" long, we actually need our tulle strips to be about 40" long.
You're going to repeat that a few times, but let's just start with the first roll.
Grab your crochet headband. Again, if you've never done this, these steps will sound confusing. The photos below should clear it all up.
Find a hole on the bottom of the headband. Don't choose the last row, choose the second to last row. Your knot will be around a square on the last row. Push your crochet hook up and out through that hole. Pay attention to the picture. If you do it the way I show you, your tulle will lay nicely and all of your knots will look identical.
So your crochet hook is pushed up through the hole in the headband. Take a strand of tulle that is folded in half (a 40" strand that is folded to be 20") and hook it onto the crochet hook. Pull it down through the hole and out the bottom of the headband. Does yours match step 7? Good! Now take the ends of that tulle strip and pull them down, through that loop in the tulle. And pull to tighten the knot. (Steps 8 and 9.) Don't pull too tight... I've actually ripped a piece of tulle that way. Leave your muscles at home when you're making tutu dresses, friends!
Does it look wonderful? Good. Now add another. And another. And another. And go all around the dress.
Now you may be tempted to stop after the first layer. Don't. Your daughter deserves better than that! I'm often tempted to stop after the second layer too... and that's okay. Two layers of tulle is a respectable tutu dress.
But this dress needed more. It's a ball gown. It needed more fluff!! So I added even one more roll of tulle to it. Check out the difference.
See? It's so full! One of these days I'm going to make a dress in my size. I'll wear it while I vacuum my house. I cannot be the only one who has wanted to do that.
So now it's time to embellish. This is really up to you and the look you want. I took a roll of lemon yellow tulle and lightly wrapped it around the base of the dress, tying it to a light yellow strand every so often. This made a lovely ruffle. I clipped an original grosgrain hair bow to each knot.
For the straps, I took 3 VERY LONG strands of tulle (I don't know how long, maybe 5 feet?) and threaded them through a hole in the middle of the dress, about a row or two down from the top. Wrap them around and thread them through two holes in the back. Sorry, I didn't take a picture of this. You'll just need to anchor them to something in the back so you can tie it on later.
This dress has off-the-shoulder sleeves, so I wanted the tulle straps to lay loosely on her arms. Once our model was wearing the dress, I tightened it in the back, tied the ends of the tulle in a pretty bow, and CAREFULLY trimmed the excess tulle.
I'm in love with this dress. It was simple but it is so gorgeous. I promise that if you make this dress, your daughter will twirl within 5 seconds.
If any of this was unclear, let me know. We don't always see the comments on here in real time, so you are welcome to email us for clarification. Use the address ruffles(@)thehairbowcompany(dot)com. (Take out the parenthesis and change "dot" to an actual dot.)