How to make a tutu with knit waistband

I was looking through my craft stash and found some tulle ribbon. I used to use this to make tutus – the tulle ribbon is simply thread through a stretchy crochet headband to make a really fast and easy little child’s tutu.

My daughter used to love wearing these hand made tutus and had a quite a collection of different colours in the end!

Anyway, I don’t have any of the crochet headbands that were used to make the tutu waistbands left, so decided to have a go at knitting a waistband instead.

This article contains the knitting pattern for the waistband, and instructions for making the tutu too.

If you don’t knit, simply use a ready made crochet band such as this to make an easy and fast child’s tutu. These ready made bands are really stretchy and will fit most waist sizes.

Materials needed to make a tutu with knit waistband

  • Small amount of chunky yarn – I used a self striping yarn but you can use any chunky yarn that works with 6mm knitting needles.
  • Knitting elastic (optional).
  • 6mm knitting needles.
  • Some tulle ribbon such as this one – you can use one or more colours to make your tutu. I used three colours, and used half a roll of each colour.
  • Scissors and a needle to sew up the seam.
This is the sort of tulle ribbon that makes tutu making really easy. it comes in strips on a cardboard roll and is fairly easy to source. You simply cut it into strips and thread onto your knit or crochet waistband.

Knitting pattern for a tutu waistband

Ok, so if you are knitting the waistband to make your tutu rather than using a ready made one, here is the knitting pattern.

The pattern is a simple one row repeat, and it forms a lace pattern with eyelet holes. This makes it easy to thread through your tulle ribbon to form the tutu once you have knit the waistband. The waistband also looks pretty and decorative.

Here is the knitting pattern:

On 6mm needles, cast on 10 stitches. If you are using knitting elastic, work this along with your chunky yarn. Information about working with knitting elastic is given below.

Now work this one row repeat until your tutu waistband is the correct length:

k3, yo, k2tog, k1, yo, k2tog, k2.

Once the correct length is reached, cast off. Mine measured 35cm, which is about right for toddler/small child size. For an older child, I would suggest 40cm, and for a baby 30cm.

How to work with knitting elastic

I used knitting elastic to make the waistband for my tutu. My gran (one of the world’s greatest ever knitters) used to use knitting elastic in her ribbing. She discovered this technique in around 1990 whilst knitting me a parrot t shirt (It was awesome!) and after that never knit a rib without knitting elastic ever again!

The knitting elastic used to keep her ribbing in shape and it prevented it from going baggy and out of shape.

Now, I am an honest person and I shall admit that I hate the stuff. Ok, it made this tutu waistband somehow stretchier. However, I find it a faff to knit with and don’t like the look of it.

If you would like to use the knitting elastic, I would recommended using a yarn bowl. Place the yarn bowl on the floor or on a table and put both the elastic and the yarn in there. This will prevent tangles and keep your tension right. Yarn bowls keep everything clean, too.

A yarn bowl is really helpful when knitting two strands of any yarn held together.

Then simply knit with both the yarn and the knitting elastic held together. You can see a photo of my knitting bowl with elastic and yarn above. I wound some of the yarn from the bigger ball around my hand to form a small ball. This made it easier to place into the yarn bowl with the elastic.

You are looking for an elastic such as this one here at Amazon UK.

How to make the tutu

Take your knit waistband or ready made band, and locate the bottom most hole. This is where you will thread the tulle ribbon through.

Cut the ribbon intro strips approx 70cm long.

You will now push these strips through the hole that you have located. You can either sew up your waistband first (a ready made one will of course already be sewn up) or sew up after the threading is completed.

Now, fold each strip of tulle ribbon in half and push it though the hole from front to back.

You will see that a loop is formed as you push the ribbon through the fabric. You then need to take the ends of the tulle ribbon and push these through the loop. Then pull to secure.

All you then have to do to complete your tutu is repeat this step all the way along the fabric strip. Sew up and sew in the ends, if you haven’t already done so.

Once completed, trim the ends of the tulle ribbon to give your tutu an even finish.

And that’s it. This tutu is a great dress up garment that any child will have fun with.

Thanks so much for visiting The Knitting Times today, I hope you enjoyed this post about making a tutu with a knitted waistband. Please do drop by again soon! have a super day!

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