I thought with this tutu I might take you through a bit more detail of the construction elements. If that’s not interesting for you scoot through to the end for the finished tutu.
I was asked for an ivory tutu with light gold embellishment in a Baroque style. My client sent me though 1 picture but basically left it in my hands. I ordered in some of my favourite Eclipse Italian lycra “arborio”. It’s a beautiful soft colour.
My go-to stretch tutu pattern is Dani Legge’s pattern. If you’re considering making a stretch tutu for your girl I can’t recommend Dani’s patterns highly enough. She also runs tutu making courses from her studio in Central Victoria.
I usually line the tutu bodice with lightweight swimsuit lining but in this case because the top fabric was so light I lined it with medium weight white lycra. Tybalt wanted to be a pattern weight but he was sidelined.
Stretch tutus are built on a leotard base. This pattern has a faux basque design to make it resemble a traditional tutu basque.
I use one way stretch crystal lycra for the insert with the stretch going downwards. I fold a piece in half using the dull side outermost. I usually baste the edges to stop the 2 pieces sliding against each other.
I cut out the nude insert after the leotard is made up. The insert will be another 1 cm deeper than the cut section as I fold the lycra under for a neat edge.
After cutting out the deep V for the insert I elasticate the tip of the leotard to the point where the insert starts.
After the crystal lycra is in place I fold over the elasticated raw edge and then zigzag the whole of the top all the way around and down into the nude insert.
Then I just neatly trim away the excess crystal lycra.
When the leotard is finished I decorate it before sewing on the net layers. I struggled through metres and metres of trim for this design but finally decided on 3 different trims and an assortment of rhinestones.
Because the trims are non-stretch the leotard needs to be stretched out before they are sewn on. Here is the first layer of trim. It’s a light coffee colour and has a beautiful shape.
I tidied up the bottom of the cut edge with a small piece of the ivory and gold lace. In the picture below the rhinestones have already been added.
I laid the second trim outside the first and squeezed in a third type to frame the nude insert. I added a few other bits and pieces later to complete the design.
It’s hard to believe that this came out of the chaos that was on my sewing table for a day!
The plate was cut into 6 scallops. I used the coffee coloured braid for the edge and placed the ivory and gold trim just inside it. The next step was to sew down the trim using the sewing machine. The rhinestones were added afterwards.
In the morning I had another look at the plate and decided it needed just a little more trim. I also hand sewed on a few large gold rhinestones.
The skirt was a mixture of ivory and white. I can’t resist combining colours. At a distance you can’t really see the colours but it gives the skirt a bit of movement.
I usually roll up the net after I’ve sewn the pieces together. When I gather the net it can then neatly unroll instead of getting tangled up under the sewing table.
The decoration on the bodice and plate ties together beautifully.