Magenta and Silver Stretch Tutu

I usually have mothers and daughters visit me in my studio but occasionally dads will come along as well, and when dad is an interior designer he can’t help but weigh into decisions about colour and design. This tutu was a team effort between Liv and her Dad. Her mum was a wonderful sounding board too.


We came down to 2 colours; this beautiful magenta and an equally beautiful dark red. Both colours suited Liv’s skin-tones but we decided the magenta would lend itself to more ballet moods than the red and they wanted the tutu to last through 2 dance seasons. we teamed it with a light silver corded lace.

2 colour pieces
knickers in pale pink

The skirt graded from a pale pink through to white on the top layer, with a layer of glitter tulle just peeking through at layer 2. The lowest ruffles were pink to match the knickers. Here You can see the knickers pinned to the basque and the back. They are just zig-zagged on as the ruffles cover the stitching lines.


Liv requested a small swoop at the front of the plate. I used some of the “tendrils” on the corded silver lace to form this swoop and then laid out the flowers from the lace to form an irregular border. I used mirror pairs so the plate is symmetrical about the middle axis. I’ve trimmed the lycra as close as I could to the lace.

close up of trimmed lace appliques

You can see in this extreme close up that the lace is built onto a net background. This makes it perfect for cutting out small pieces for the decoration that won’t fray. This net background can’t be seen when you stand away from the tutu. It’s not haute couture. It’s costume making and costumiers have their own little tricks … the 5 metre rule rules! If you can’t see it at 5 metres it’s not there!

bodice detail
bodice detail

You can see here as you step further away the net back ground becomes less noticeable.

plate detail
plate detail

Even here where there are larger expanses of the net it disappears somewhat into the busy design. Step further away and it’s not there at all. Trickery trickery trickery!

appliques on bodice and plate

This is a new lace an I was very pleased with it’s first outing. It would have looked just as lovely on a red bodice and plate too I think. I’ll keep that in mind for the next bold ballerina who wants a strong colour.

tutu floating on my back steps

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.

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