Ivory and Gold Stretch Tutu

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.

day 1
second tutu for the week

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.

dani's pattern
Tutus by Dani pattern

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.

cutting out bodice pieces

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.

front sectiom
front section of leotard

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.

crystal lycra

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.

nude insert
nude insert

After cutting out the deep V for the insert I elasticate the tip of the leotard to the point where the insert starts.

pinning in
pinning in the crystal lycra

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.

front imsert
nude insert

Then I just neatly trim away the excess crystal lycra.

trimmed insert

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.


deciding on trim
deciding on trim

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.

extra trim
finishing trim

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.

fina trim
final design

It’s hard to believe that this came out of the chaos that was on my sewing table for a day!

bodice detail 2
bodice detail

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.

first plate layoy design
trimming the plate

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.

additioanl trim
additional trim

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.

bodice detail

The decoration on the bodice and plate ties together beautifully.

final tutu
finished tutu




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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: