It’s important for a costume maker to know as much as possible about the dancer, the choreography and the music for a piece. Recently a tutu was requested for choreography to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, more specifically for Winter. Immediately my thoughts turned to icy blues and whites and lots of crystals but the dancer’s teacher saw the tutu in apricot and decorated with ribbon. Even an Australian winter wouldn’t be this warm but I still needed a way of introducing warmth into the tutu somehow. Both my client and I played around with lots of ideas but she eventually had a stroke of genius (I wish I could say it had been my idea, but all credit must go to her) to make a cool minty green tutu with the second layer from the top of the tutu skirt baby pink. Here it is in its puffball stage.
Sewing net onto the leotard has to be the most tedious and agonising part of making tutus but the little pink layer made it fun (sort of) watching the colours shift and then steaming and tacking the skirt into this beautiful Winter pastel tutu was a complete delight. I absolutely must do this again. My mind was racing with all the possibilities.
Once the netting is on the leo, steamed and tacked, the plate can be put together. It’s not strictly a circle but more an ellipse. The wee pink ribbon roses will highlight the pink layer in the skirt. I added a sprinkle of crystal AB rhinestones. They have a lovely pink and green cast so were perfect for this colour scheme.
I didn’t want too much of the pink in the skirt showing through so a lace overskirt was added with just a little bit of subtle sparkle from the tiny sequins.
The bodice decoration was a combination of 2 types of venise lace with slightly different colours. By cutting the lace up and rearranging the difference in the colours can add to the intricacy of the design. I’ve added my favourite Preciosa rhinestones in pretty rose for the bodice to bring the pink up from the skirt.
I’ve also added some pearls for a nice texture on the leaves and then a few pink ribbon roses to tie the skirt and bodice together.
The whole tutu came together beautifully and is off to Victoria for a Championship.