A Trio of Flower Faeries

As you can tell I’ve been too busy to blog lately and I’m cheating a little by just uploading photos of completed tutus. Bear with me. there will be a complete construction blog coming up soon. For the next few weeks however,  I will just post the tutus I’ve finished to show you what I’ve been up to.

I’ve recently made a number of solo tutus for dancers from a Cechetti School in the foothills of Sydney’s Blue Mountains. The school director then asked to make her a trio of tutus for their wardrobe. I call these my flower faeries.

ready for construction

It still amazes me that a bundle of pieces of fabric can become something as iconic as a classical ballet tutu and that this jumble can be transformed to this:

decorated leotards

I decorated the leotards before I sew on the net. It’s much easier than bending over a 40cm skirt to get to the bodice. If the appliques can survive the rigors of sewing on the skirt they will survive the rigors of eisteddfods and rehearsals.

The tutus all have white or ivory skirts (with a coloured layer a #3) so the panties are the same colour as the net.

120 linear metres ready to gather

Bluebell faerie was constructed on a cornflower blue lycra with an embroidered lace of pale gold, turquoise and sky blue. I used crystal AB rhinestones with a pink cast to bring the cornflower and other blues closer together.

plate detail

I used small motifs from the lace on the bodice. Where I had to cut through the embroidery I used a rhinestone to secure the cut ends and then expanded the rhinestone design from there; form following function.

bodice decoration

And the first of the faeries emerges

Bluebell Faerie

The Peony Faerie was made up of a rich coppery corded lace on dusky pink lycra.

plate detail

Crystal AB rhinestones did their trick and blended beautifully with these 2 rich colours.

bodice details

And finally, a pink layer of net added a soft blush to the skirt

Peony Faerie

And last but not least the Summer Rose Faerie using apricot ribbon lace on a sage green lycra. I wasn’t able to cut small motifs from the lace and I didn’t want a blocky design with no negative space so I fooled the eye a little by using rosebuds in 4 different colours to tie the plate decoration to the bodice. The rhinestones are unfoiled (transparent) so they took up the unusual colour of the lycra very well.


I’ve used the same rosebuds on the plate

plate detail

and the Summer Rose Faerie


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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