Red Queen

I don’t make a lot of costumes for end of year concerts, actually I duck for cover whenever anyone says the word “troupe”. I figure I paid my dues when my daughter was dancing. But occasionally a solo costume is needed and I’m very happy to help. This one was great fun. Karen and I are often on the same page with “less is more” and that the costume is there to support the dancer and the choreography not the other way around. Here is what we came up with for her daughter’s Red Queen tutu.

We chose a beautiful paprika red rather than the usual pillar box red and teamed it with black. But we needed a colour mid way between the red and the black for the middle side front sections. I placed some fine black mesh over the red and voila; perfect gradation.

you’ll have to scroll down for the final effect

Everyone knows that the Red Queen in the Queen of hearts so we felt we didn’t need to overplay the heart design so we insinuated hearts into the design with lovely baroque swirls.

playing with heart designs

I tried with a few more pieces and settled on this design. BTW, doesn’t the mid colour between the red and black look great?

final design … just needs bling

The skirt needed a little drama too so the top black layer was highlighted with gold glitter tulle and filled in with reds, plums and blacks.

gold glitter tulle in layer 2

Here’s a pictures of the underneath of the skirt with all the gorgeous reds.


I did struggle a bit with the placement of the appliques for the skirt so I played with a number of placements before I was happy.

design struggle 1

Too skimpy

design struggle 2

Too pointy

Goldilocks design

Just right, although I did tweak it just a little to make a bit more of the long points.

blinged up skirt

I think with a fancy tiara and some draped sleeves this could also be a very effective Spanish tutu.

et voila!



I was very pleased to receive this photo of the beautiful and vivacious Georgia in the tutu I made for her. We added the red hearts at the request of the teacher.

12309282_1242452692447741_1246571306_n (4)
poster girl Georgia


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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