Sassafras … Sassy by name, sassy by nature

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she tries to help

My erstwhile assistant Sassafras actually turned up for work today. She, however, thinks that tutu skirts are giant cat sized nests. For this reason they go straight from the tacking dummy to a hanger. Sassy is most annoyed.

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She actually tried to climb onto the the hooped layer … chuckle

Dancers’ Market – Kirrawee

1880899_orig HM Dancers' Market 3

I recently trooped all the way across Sydney from the North Shore to the “Shire” to participate in the Dancers’ Market. I spent the day talking about tutus, giving people hints on how to trim their own costumes and caught up on some hand sewing. It was a great day and I met some lovely people, stallholders and potential clients.

The lovely Holly Medway took these photos of my stall. She’s a brilliant young photographer specialising in ballet photography. Look her up at

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Three little tutus all in a row

Hand-beading a bodice

Hand-beading a bodice

Quick Change Costume – The Wedding Singer


Julia’s Quick-change costume


I received a message from a friend asking could I make a waitress costume for the Musical “The Wedding Singer” that could be changed to a wedding gown onstage in 2 seconds! Sure … I can do anything. This picture is just a bit of a teaser because I can’t put the video on this blog and you’ll have to go to my FB page so see the transformation. It was fabulous watching the costume change on stage … the audience was mesmerised. The first time I saw it in dress rehearsal the AD and I just skipped around clapping and laughing like a couple of crazy laughing clapping people!

Firebird Traditional Tutu



The moment I saw the cerise and orange shot dupioni silk I knew I had to make a firebird tutu. I set to work hand-dyeing the net for a gradation from hot pink through to yellow, being inspired by Margot Fonteyn’s Firebird tutu. I also wanted to try out Suzanne’s Dieckman’s new corselet bodice pattern to use a piece of tissue silk I had stashed away. I dyed the tissue silk and hand-beaded it as a labour of love. I’d already cut the layers ready for the skirt when Suzanne suggested that layers 1 and 2 (cerise and red) be swapped around, making the shorter red layer the top one. With the dagged points this gave a beautiful feather effect with a great colour transition. The finishing touch was a series of venise lace wedges around the skirt and matching beaded lace on the bodice.


underside of firebird skirt











Firebird embellished venise lace