Tasmanian Blue

I make tutus for people all across Australia. Stretch tutus are perfect for remote clients as just a few easy measurements are all that I need for a great fit. This little blue tutu is going to Tasmania.

DSC_0084 (1)I’ve used a dark aqua velvet with the nap running upwards for a good rich colour. With the nap running in the opposite direction the colour is softer with that typical velvet sheen. I’ve teamed it with silver venise lace and a selection of blue rhinestonest.

skirt layers
scalloped skirt layers

The skirt has alternating layers of baby blue and duck egg blue. The scalloped layers here look like banks of clouds.

pale blue pants

The pants of the tutu should match the colour of the lowest ruffles so I have added pale blue pants to the bottom of the velvet leotard.


All of the pieces were lined with lightweight swimwear lining. I cut roughly around the outside of each piece and then overlocked the pieces together.

lined pieces
pieces ready for flatlining

By overlocking the pieces together the lined pieces are easier to handle.

flatlining with an overlocker

Once the bodice is completed the appliques were sewn on. I like venise lace because it can be easily cut up and recombined. Here are elements from 4 different types of lace.

exploded appliques
applique pieces

These pieces go together nicely to give a unique bodice applique.

final shape

After the venise lace was decorated with rhinestones I stretched the bodice over a body board and pinned the appliques on. The stretch velvet needs to be stretched to the extent it will be when worn otherwise the appliques could be sewn on too tightly.

appliques pinned to bodice

The plate decoration uses the same applique as on the bodice. I usually play around with placement for a while, squint at it, walk away from it and finally get the inspiration I need. So I started with 4 appliques.

DSC_0080 (1)
first placement

I tried a few different appliques to fill in the gaps but I finally decided just to use the same ones again but inverted.

DSC_0081 (1)
final placement

I pinned the appliques in place and machine sewed them with metallic silver thread, trimmed aay a bit of the plate and then added the rhinestones. While the glue dried I gathered and steamed the net layers.

plate detail

The plate has a varying depth rather than just a simple round shape but to the eye takes up about 1/3 of the skirt.


The skirt is tacked with fine polypropylene tags which are invisible in the photograph so also not visible to the audience.

bodice decoration

The bodice and plate decoration have enough similarity to bring the costume together as a whole.

lovely little blue 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.

4 thoughts on “Tasmanian Blue

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: