{how to: race tutus}

The first (and so far ONLY) time I ever wore a tutu for a race was for the Color Run in 2012. They’re so cute, and feminine, and fun… and honestly, as adults, how often do we get to play dress up and look like enchanted fairies?

Well… as it turns out, I see women wearing tutus ALL. OF. THE. TIME. at races. Constantly! Why haven’t I worn one since 2012? I don’t understand. I really don’t. I need to fix this! Here’s my first race tutu:


I loved making this tutu. I had complete control over color, where it sat on my hips, the length… it was super fun and easy to make! As it turns out, I still have this tutu. It has survived at least four apartment moves with me – I dug it out (and finger-combed it) so I could do a quick tutorial on how to make race tutus! Since this tutu is already done, I am also including photos of the newest addition to my tutu closet, so that you can get a complete, start-to-finish how-to!

Step One: Select your colors and purchase your supplies
For my newest tutu, I’ve selected colors based on the costume I’ll be wearing for the Enchanted 10K at the runDisney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February 2017 – I’m going to be Kevin from the movie Up! Is anything more enchanting than a big, rainbowy bird? I think not!

Kevin Tutu

Are you going to be a Disney princess? Select colors based on her outfit. Are you running in a Halloween race? Go for black and orange, or purple and green! A Christmas race? Red, green, and white (or silver and gold!). The possibilities are ENDLESS!

Here’s your supply list:

  • A roll of tulle in each color you’ve selected (buy extra rolls of the color you think you’ll use the most) – I picked up my tulle at Michael’s, but you can order it on Amazon if you have time to wait for it to ship. Michael’s has colored tulle for $2.99 per roll, and tulle with glitter for $3.99… the glitter tulle is VERY messy!
  • 1/2″ grosgrain ribbon in any color (I selected black)
  • Scissors
  • Optional: extra swag like feathers, rhinestones and a hot glue gun, battery-powered twinkle lights, pompoms, etc.

It cost me $35 for all of the supplies in the photograph – I wanted to add feathers to my Kevin bustled tutu, so I needed some thread and needles to attach the feathers to the tutu. I have some left-over supplies, which I fully expected! (ie: MORE TUTUS!)

Step Two: Measure and cut your waistband

I took the ribbon and wrapped it around my hips where I thought I’d want my tutu to rest, and then gave myself a bunch of extra length before I cut it so I’d have plenty of length to tie a pretty bow. Once I cut (at an angle, so it’s pretty!), I took a lighter and lightly singed the edges so the ribbon wouldn’t fray. PLEASE be careful when you do this!

You might want your tutu to sit at your natural waist (closer to your belly button), on your hips, or somewhere in between. Just remember, if you’re running in this tutu, it might move around a bit.

Note: You can use elastic or crocheted ribbon instead of grosgrain ribbon and sew the ends together, but I’ve found that grosgrain ribbon allows me more flexibility with where I want to place my tutu.

Step Three: Let your cat play with the bag all the supplies came in

Note: This step is optional. 🙂

Step Four: Cut the tulle

Figure out what length you want your tutu to be. Think about it… do you want a powder puff that sits on top of your hips and hovers there? Do you want something with a bit more coverage? Also, do you want your tutu to be very full, or do you want it to look more like a flowy skirt? This will determine how short/long your pieces are, and how many you’re cutting.

I cut the pieces for my original skirt between 20in and 24in depending on the color, and a total of 70 pieces inclusive of all three colors. I wanted my skirt to cover my bum a bit, have some fullness, and look a little ragged and crazy!

Note: You’re cutting the pieces DOUBLE the length of your intended tutu length because you’re going to fold them in half to attach them to the waistband.

Note: If you’re planning to race in this tutu, you might want to wear your tutu higher up, or plan to cut shorter pieces that won’t get caught between your thighs while you run.

Step Five: Start assembling

I tied my waistband ribbon around a chair back so that I could easily work on my tutu, but you could also use a dress form (if you have it) or luggage. You’ll fold each length of tulle in half, loop it around the waistband and through itself, and tug it nice and tight. This takes a while. But it’s the most fun part of the project, because you can see your tutu coming to life!!

Note: As you’re looping and tightening, you have the option to spread out the pieces to have a little less fluff, or you can really jam them together to get more fluff!

tutu inspirationAll images were found on Pinterest

So there you have it, the steps to make your own race tutu!

I’d love to see pictures of YOUR tutu – send them to emilyblogged(at)gmail.com. OR… if you really don’t want to make one for yourself, let me know. I’d be happy to work with you on a design and discuss price based on whether or not you want extras added to your tutu.


One thought on “{how to: race tutus}

  1. Pingback: {how-to: kevin (the bird from up) costume}

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s