I love the colour combinations clients come up with! From New South Wales’ glorious central west came a request for a lemon and lime tutu! The starting point was cool lemon ballet net and a gold and lime lace.
I teamed this with a beautiful lemon lycra. The dancer is only young so there is no nude insert. The colours and the floral motifs are perfect for a young girl. To give the skirt a bit of movement I used white netting in the second and fourth layer (I count layer 1 as the top layer). I really love the puff stage. It’s pretty and untamed.
My studio has been in chaos this week with 3 projects on the go at once. The wee Spanish tutu is just sneaking into the picture here. I’ve lined up the net layers around the leotard to get a picture of where I’m going. At this point I get some validation that the skirt colours will work. If it’s not looking OK it might just be a matter of changing one layer to a slightly different colour.
My US tutu-making friends refer to sewing on the tutu skirt as “wrasslin’ the tulle alligator”. The Australian version of “wrestling the net crocodile” has more fear and less whimsy. To keep the alligator subdued I steam the net before sewing it onto the leotard. I then give the skirt a quick steam again once it’s sewn on. To tack the skirt I hold the layers in with some elastic and work on a few layers at a time.
To keep the tutu light and fresh I decided that a net plate was best. I used a flat layer of the lemon net and a layer of glimmer tulle to give a delicate sparkle and then placed the scalloped edge of the lace around the edge. The linear edge had to be tweaked a bit to fit the flattened oval. I then added some of the centre panels of the lace to fill the gap between the scalloped edge and the hip line of the bodice.
I added some brighter blue-green to the skirt with some resin stones and crystal AB rhinestones to lift the colours a bit.
The lace background is a warm beige colour so I had to trim it very closely so it wouldn’t detract from the fresh colours of the tutu. Choosing components of the lace to make into an appliqué involves a lot of cutting up, arranging, rearranging, walking away, rearranging and then some tweaking. When it’s done then I add the rhinestones and let them sit for 24 hours on the window ledge to dry well. This is the time the cat wants to sit in the sun. She has radar!
And to finalise the tutu a little matching tiara! I love to collect pretty beads and tiara making has “enabled” by addiction. Tremendous thanks to the wonderful and talented Dani Legge for her instruction on this technique.