Lilac and Blue Romantic Tutu

Romantic tutus are lovely soft floaty confections. Generally they are made for Giselle and Swanhilda variations. Occasionally, however a request arrives for a romantic tutu that takes advantage of all those swishing layers of tulle. Multicoloured skirts in a romantic tutu have a gorgeous life of their own creating beautiful washes of colour.

starting point
blue-mauve shot dupioni for the bodice

Once we’d decided on the blur-mauve shot dupioni for the bodice the rest of the colours fell naturally into place. The precise shades of tulle weren’t available do I got out my dye pots and started dyeing!

top tulle layers (424x640)
top tulle layers

The skirt has 4 layers. the top 2 are tulle and the colour statement needs to be made clearly here. The next 2 layers are dress net which is soft but still with a little body. I discovered by accident a few years ago that nylon net from Thailand softens dramatically with dyeing or washing which makes it utterly useless for classical tutus but perfect for romantics< for this tutu I dyed it pale lilac.  The bottom layer was American diamond hole net which has perfect body for the lowest layer of a romantic tutu.

pinning on bottom layer (640x424)
American diamond hole net for bottom layer

The basque is similar to the basque on a traditional tutu but the net is attached from the waist and then in 2.5cm intervals below that. Each layer is therefore 2.5cm longer than the one below it so that all layers are the same height from the floor.

layers (640x424)
skirt layers

Once the skirt was complete I put the bodice together from some lovely blue and mauve shot dupioni silk. Silk is beautiful to sew with. In the picture you can see the silk bodice pieces serge lined to cotton drill.

bodice pieces (640x424)
bodice pieces

The top and bottom edges of the bodice are piped for a nice finish. There is spring steel in the centre front, and spiral steel boning in the bust seams and side seams.

placement (640x424)
starting to play around with flowers

The flowers were a lovely mixture of mauves and blues. Silk flowers from craft shops are perfect for this and they dye beautifully. I mixed some ribbon roses and ribbon carnations in there too.

bodice CU (640x424)
hand beading

I added some beading and sequins as well. I think they look like dew drops.

et voila  (424x640)
I think she’s really pretty!




Published by barbarasanders2077

I am a costumier living and working in Sydney's leafy upper North Shore. I specialise in dance costumes (particularly classical ballet tutus) but I also love the challenges presented by stage and film costuming and am always looking for new costume genres to explore.

4 thoughts on “Lilac and Blue Romantic Tutu

  1. I just found your blog and your work is beautiful! I’m working on sewing my graduation dress which is inspired by romantic tutus and I’m having a problem with the skirt. I was wondering if you would be able to answer some questions for me. I currently have 3 layers of tulle stitched onto the basque but you can still see the basque. Is it supposed to be hidden by the tulle or does it get hidden under the bodice? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

    1. My romantic tutus are 4 layers (2 tulle and 2 dress net). The basque colour needs to bland with the top layers. For this one the top half of the basque was a purple colour. You might be able to (hand) sew a strip a fabric in the space between layers 1 and 2 that disguises the basque. It will be fiddly but it will work … ask me how I know :). BTW I would expect a dress for formal wear would need to be more opaque so instead of added fabric to the basque you could put in 2 more layers between 1 and 2 and 2 and 3 .

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