How To Create A Jingle Bell Tutu Skirt

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How to make a jingle bell tutu skirtMy daughter and I recently completed the Santa Hustle 5K in Indianapolis. My daughter had been looking forward to it for months and trained right beside me two times a week for months as well.

Since she was so dedicated in her training I did a few things I don’t normally do when I run races. One was I got really into dressing up with the theme of the race. I have done the Santa Hustle race before with friends and wore the shirt and hat and even the beard before the race, but never have I ever in the history of all my races worn a tutu, nor have I ever agreed to wearing red and white Christmas  knee high socks complete with fur ( in the end I didn’t have to wear the socks because it was so cold we had to wear sweats over our compression pants so they didn’t fit).

I got to tell you, dressing up was so much fun (don’t let my tomboy side know I said that). The whole 3 miles our skirts jingled as we ran along, mother and daughter side by side.

The skirts were a lot easier to make than I thought. I used this pin as a rough guide, altering it quite a bit to fit our needs.

materials for the jingle bell tutuI got the materials on sale for 50% off, making each skirt  under $10 each. I used Christmas ribbon instead of tulle because I find tulle very scratchy and my daughter is super sensitive about the feel of fabrics . I also used wider elastic than most tutorials for tutu skirts call for because I wanted it to have ample space to put the jingle bells on and for it to lay flat against our waist. So I used 1 inch wide elastic.

sewing elasticI placed the elastic around our waist and cut it wear the two ends met. I then over lapped it about an inch and a half , and then sewed it shut by making a square around the overlapped area. (Yes the square corners are crocked but I knew they were going to be covered by the ribbon and jingle bells).

deciding on lengthI figured out the length by pulling the end of the ribbon through my daughter’s elastic and then pulling until it met her knee, then I cut the other end. I used this piece over and over as a guide until all the pieces were cut.

burning ends of ribbonThe only downfall of using ribbon instead of tulle is that the ends fray. So I took the time to burn the ends of every strand of ribbon. This is a time consuming step that you could skip if you plan to toss the skirt after the race. I however knew my daughter would get hooked on these races so I wanted to make it last. I was right 2 minutes after finishing this weekend’s race, even though it was freezing she turned and said to me “mom can we sign up next year?”. So far I told her, no, but I did say we could do another themed race, just not one so deep into December. It was FREEZING!

looped ribbonOnce the ends were all brunt I then divided up the pieces into two baskets and let my daughter make hers, while I made mine. The ribbon goes on fast and easy just divide the piece of ribbon in half. Place the loop over the elastic and shove the ends in the bottom and pull tight. Sort, of like the same knot you do when tying a scarf around your neck.

thread and needleI tried regular thread for the jingle bell but it didn’t feel  secure to me, and my daughter was having a problem with it tangling, so I switched over to using a yarn darning needle that fit through the hole of the jingle bells. I used cotton yarn doubled up and then knotted at the ends together. This made it really simple for my daughter to put the bells on. Once we pulled the needle through the elastic, we slide the bell on,  poked through the elastic with the needle again and then tied a knot.

bell knotHere is a picture that shows you what our backs looked like. The ends quickly got lost under the ribbon. I was a bit worried we would feel the knots on our waist but since we wore the skirts over our pants it was not a problem at all. We put one jingle bell between every 2 strands of ribbon. So our pattern was, red ribbon, white ribbon, jingle bell, red ribbon, white ribbon jingle bell……and on and on the whole way around the skirt.

my santaHere is a picture of my little Santa all bundle up for a cold blustery 5K race. She loved her skirt. We saw other runners wearing other variations of tutu skirts but none had the same amount of jingle bells ours had. We made our own music the whole 3.1 miles.

Looking for more simple sewing projects? Follow my Simple Garment Sewing Board or my Simple Sewing Projects Board on Pinterest. 

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