Turquoise Sugar Plum

Many of my tutus are made for remote clients but the Internet, Facebook and email help to narrow the distance between us. This wee tutu started with a request to buy one of my ready made tutus which had, unfortunately, just been sold. So instead we embarked on a long distance design that was named the turquoise sugar plum. We were after something pretty but also with rich textures. To me that meant venise lace and rhinestones. First we chose the key fabrics, a bright blueish turquoise and a sparkly matching lace.

start ing

starting point

Ballet net is a wonderful fabric to work with because of the way colours can be blended and melded. To bring out some of the greenish tones in the turquoise I used a jade green as layer 3.


ballet net in blue, turquoise and light jade

Each layer was 4 widths of stiff ballet net joined together and scalloped to give the edge a softer look. When they are all rolled up the colours can look a bit strong but they soften up when they are in the skirt.

starting point

8 layers lined up

colour line up

gathered and steamed

Steaming the layers before sewing them onto the leotard makes this job much easier. This part of the construction is referred to as “wrestling the tulle alligator”.


tutu puff

The colours soften up considerably once they are in the skirt. Here are all 8 layers on the leotard before the second lot of steaming. I do love the transformation that takes place from puff-ball to soft tutu skirt. You can see the light jade layer in the skirt below.

steaming and ready for tacking

A light steaming reduces the puff before tacking

I usually tack my stretch tutus with a tagging gun. The tags are those little plastic things that you see price tags on. They are perfect for tutu tacking. I do like hand tacking though and find it strangely therapeutic so I often hand tack the top layers.

hand tacking

hand tacking

Sewing netting onto a tutu can be a bit mind numbing at times so after I’ve done a couple of layers I reward myself by doing a bit of embellishment. Venise lace is lovely to work with as it is knotted throughout the design so it can be cut up and rearranged (and yes the spelling is venise not venice). This piece below has been changed from the original triangular piece to better fit a small (girls size 8-10) tutu. For this one I decided on just rhinestones in a range of blues.

blinged up venise lace

embellished venise lace

The lace was trimmed and reshaped to fit into the very traditional triangular bodice design. Swooped arm frills with matching trim complete the Sugar Plum look. I just love the rich gold and the turquoise together.


quite different on a turquoise background

The tutu was completed with a plate matching the bodice fabric and a pretty sparkly lace. Lots more rhinestones complete the picture. I love rhinestones. I have ADOS … attention deficit … ooh shiny!


and a pretty plate

pretty in the sunshine

I love the colours

And the whole picture. It was great fun making this sweet little tutu!


I’m sure this will be lovely on stage

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