How to Make (Your Dog) a Tutu for Halloween

Or, how to make your friends question your grip on reality…



Trust me.  There’s a good reason for this tutu.  I’m not (totally) crazy.  Sadie is a big dog.  She’s so large and black and fuzzy she can scare little kids until they learn she just wants to lick them.  I want to make sure she looks as cute as possible so she’s not intimidating to our trick or treaters as we sit on the porch. 

She’s 35” around at her chest and about 31” at her waist.  They just don’t make Halloween costumes for her size. She’s even small for her breed.  Poor girl. The only option I could find anywhere was a costume on Etsy that, while adorable, was $90!  Come on! 


I found some tutu tutorials (say that five times fast) through Pinterest and knew they could be modified for Sadie.  It was so easy (and cheap!) All you need is tulle, elastic and a sewing machine.  Actually you could even stitch the elastic by hand.  A rotary cutter will make this much faster but you could certainly use scissors.  All together, it probably cost me around $10-$15.

IMG_9559_edited-1She had to supervise

This process works for a child’s tutu also.  For a dog, you only need to fill the waistband with tulle 1/2 to 2/3 of the way around.  All these measurements are pretty rough – I wasn’t precise for this project!

  • Measure the following on your dog:
    • Her waist – this is for the elastic waistband.
    • Length from where the tutu will sit to the tail – this will be the length needed.
  • Sadie’s waist was 31” so I cut a piece of elastic about 28” long.   You want it to stretch to stay in place.  It will also stretch a bit when you put on the tulle. I overlapped it about 2 inches (the picture below was my first try – I shortened the elastic after trying it on). Sew ends together.


  • The tulle I bought was the type on the bolt and was about 54” inches wide. I cut 2-3” strips.     Or better yet, use the kind that comes on a spool.   I used about 5 yards, give or take. If you’re making one for a small child, you would want to use more strips that are cut shorter.


  • Continually try to keep your cat from snagging the tulle.  He’ll think it’s a fun new toy.IMG_9538_edited-1
  • Wrap the elastic around something stable.  I used a chair because the diameter was big enough.  Wrap each strip of tulle around the elastic and secure with a knot (I think it’s a slip knot.  I could be wrong.)  Push the strips close together.IMG_9548_edited-1
  • Keep doing this until you’ve worked your way around the elastic for a child or roughly halfway around for a dog. 
  • I took an additional 2 or so yards and doubled up the strips.  I placed those shorter strips on the sides and on top of the longer strips.
  • As it was, it was a little long so I just scrunched up the tulle to make it fuller and fluffier and trimmed any stragglers.
  • Laugh at how cute and ridiculous your dog looks. 


Tomorrow the whole outfit comes together…


About girlguydogcat

Living in the midwest, wife to a fantastic husband, mom/servant to two cats and a dog.

3 responses »

  1. Waiting to see what is planned for Sadie’s accessories!

  2. Sadie has a certain look on her face. How would that be interpreted psychologically?
    You go girls!

  3. Pingback: 2012–My First Year of Sewing « Girl, Guy, Dog, Cat

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