Sleeping Beauty

Last January I bought a beautiful piece of pink french lace decorated with seed beads and short bugle beads. The bugle beads give a lovely glimmer to the lace rather than the strong glitter you can get from sequins. I’ve been very pleased to use it in a tutu for a Sleeping Beauty variation. I’ve teamed it with a soft pink velvet.

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french lace and velvet

While the tutu will be an all pink affair the skirt does grade down from pink to white. I’m very fond of dyeing net to get customised colours. I’ve used Dharma Trading’s house dye in Flamingo Pink. It was a fairly light dilution. I actually used the rinsing bath as the dye bath for the very pale net.

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dye bath time

There’s a lovely subtle grading in the net. I dye the net once it’s cut to length, dry it and then scallop or feather it.

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sunrise clouds

I love the effect of coloured layers when they are al heaped together after being gathered.

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gathered and steamed net layers

The lace has a lovely scalloped edge I will use for the plate but also a number of motifs scattered over it that I can use for the bodice decoration. Unfortunately there are no mirror pairs so I’ll have to be clever in placing them to give the illusion of symmetry.

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lace motifs


I find it easier to decorate the bodice before I put the net on the skirt, so after I have made the leotard I stretch it onto a body board and pin out the motifs or appliques. This is very important as the appliques I use are non-stretch.

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motifs pinned to stretched leo

The final placement was a little different and I added some iridescent sequins to fill in the gaps and improve the texture.

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finished bodice

The scalloped edge was trimmed from the body of the fabric and any loose beads dabbed with fray check.

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scalloped edge

The edge is, of course, a linear piece and it needs to be placed in an ellipse around the plate. This meant a bit of fussing around to get it just right and a bit of jiggery pokery to make it sit flat … well flatish. It’s quite a textural lace so ultra flat is not so important.

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lace edge as an ellipse

The lace is hand sewn onto a net plate and then attached to the top of the skirt.

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skirt plate

And then she is finished!

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pretty in pink


2 thoughts on “Sleeping Beauty

  1. LISA MCQUEEN says:

    this is very pretty…love the ‘jiggery, pokery’ bit!

  2. jiggery-pokery is absolutely necessary to deal with the little puckers of fabric you get when you turn a long rectangle into a donut. The little teardrop beads on the skirt are there for both form and function!

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