Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Tutu For Darth Vader

A few months ago, my five year old daughter asked to be Darth Vader for Halloween but she won't settle for just plain old Darth Vader in black.  She wants glitter, sparkles, purple, and a tutu. Somehow she got me to agree to make her a tutu and bling out a Vader uniform.  I am so busy and I just didn't know how I would have have the time to do that.  She may have used the force on me because I agreed and will now move along to a blog tutorial on how to make a Blinged Out Sparkley Darth Vader in a Tutu costume.  I have to be careful about that.  This spunky girl has used the force before and isn't afraid to use it again. 

Apparently, she finally did "give herself to the dark side and learned the true nature of the force."  At least for Halloween.

First, let's learn how to make the tutu.  You won't even need to use the force on this one because it is so easy.  Since I can't sew and have very little time, I did this the easiest way I could figure out.  It was also very inexpensive.  To make this tutu, you only need two things: ribbon and tulle.  The ribbon can be any width you like.  You will be tying the tulle onto the ribbon.  If you use wider ribbon, the bow that ties the tutu closed will be bigger.  If you want a prominent, fluffy bow, use wider ribbon.  If  not, use thinner ribbon.  The easiest type of tulle to buy is tulle ribbon so you don't have to cut it into strips. Because it was on sale at the craft store, my tulle came on a spool and was 6 inches wide.  This is wider than I usually use but it still worked fine without being cut.

Then, I measured my ribbon for the waist band. To do this, I simple wrapped the ribbon around my daughter's waist and added some extra so it would tie later.

Next, I determined how long I needed to cut the tulle strips. I measured the length between my daughter's waist and the point just above the knee.  Then, I doubled it and added about an inch.  My tulle strips were about 20 inches. The length of the strips will vary depending on the height of the future tutu wearer.  If you make one of these, make sure you measure first because 20 inch strips might not work on your little one. I think as a general rule, that minions of the dark side get cranky when their tutus aren't the right length.  The real reason the Emperor has so few apprentices is that the Emperor couldn't make a decent tutu if his life depended on it.  He loses so many prospective evil followers that way. 

Now, you can cut all your strips.  How many should you cut? Well, that depends on the tutu.  The wider the waist, the more strips you'll need.  The more strips you use. the fluffier it will will be. For less fluff, don't add as many strips. This tutu had 25 strips.

We are now ready to make this tutu happen.   To do this, tie your waist band ribbon around a chair like this.  This makes it easier to tie the tulle onto the ribbon.

Fold your tulle in half.  You will notice my tulle is rather wide and stiff and makes this a little difficult.  As a rule thinner, soft tulle ribbon is easier to work with and will make more uniform knots.  My tulle is covered in purple glitter so it is a little stiff;  but this is the tulle my little dark lord chose, so I made it work. Working for someone that can force choke you at will without lifting a finger can be pretty stressful. "Look Mom, no hands" :)  Thankfully, this is so easy that even I am bound to get this one right!

Tuck your folded tulle behind the ribbon on the chair.

Fold over the top, so you can see a loop.

Tuck the hanging parts of the tulle through the loop, and pull tight.  Make sure you pull both ends of the tool through the loop so the your tulle pieces are about the same length. Your tulle is now tied securely to the ribbon.

Repeat this step with another strip tied next to the first.  Continue doing this until you have enough. If you put the knots very close to each other, the tutu will be fluffier.  If you spread them out a little, they won't. The good thing about this is that you can adjust them whenever you need to by sliding them closer or farther from each other.

Because Vader wears a cape, I made my tutu so it doesn't have much of a back and it wouldn't push out the cape.   To close the tutu, simple wrap it around the child's waist and tie.  You can adjust and fluff it after you tie it if you need to. You wouldn't want to appear to be a scruffy looking nerf-herder with fluffless tutu.

That's it, the tutu is made.  It's purple and sparkly and matches her light saber. As a graduate of the Jedi Training Academy, my 5 year old often uses the skills she learned in How to Use the Force and Look Fabulous 101 and you can see this in her bold style choices.  (Today she is wearing Toy Story Pajamas, mismatching socks, and a ski cap. Yoda would be proud.)

I wish my costume making could end there but this Vader can't destroy her enemies  unless she has some bling.  I bought a cheap box of assorted purple  jewels of various sizes and shades.  I also bought Aleene's Super Fabric Glue to attach them.  This glue is great; it dries slow enough that you have about 10 seconds to reposition a jewel if you need to.

To attach the jewels, I used a toothpick.  I dabbed the toothpick into the glue and used it to apply the glue to the back of the jewel so I wouldn't get too much glue.  Then, I placed it on the fabric.  I added jewels to her Darth Vader uniform, mask and cape.

Just a little sparkle so her enemies face their destruction with a smile...

Bold shoulders for the this Empire leader...It's all the rage.
All the storm troopers will be asking for purple jewels on their uniform in 2015.  
It is not complete without bejeweled cybertronic buttons.

My little Darth Vader can't wait to strut her stuff in the annual costume contest.  I can't post the finished project yet but it will debut on October 31st.  I'm sure her adorable tutu and bejeweled cape will strike fear in the hearts of Rebels everywhere.

Onto the next projects...Princess Leah hair for my oldest daughter and  a Luke Skywalker costume for my son.  A jedi mother's work is never done. #starwarsfamilyforever

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