In 2018 I have resolved to make a few more RTW tutus to test new design ideas on the ballet community. This one was a classical colour combination but with a new lace type that my fellow tutu-maker Danielle Legge brought to my attention. It’s a net based trim that has tiny sequins adhered to it in beautiful baroque-style patterns, just perfect for a tutu.
I’ve added apricot, topaz and jonquil rhinestones to enhance the pattern and break up the cream background a bit.
The long points are arranged to give a star effect over the ivory and champagne skirt.
Most of my RTW tutus are sold very quickly after they are released for sale. I sell them on my FB page and Tutus Off the Rack and a few other FB ballet costume platforms.
One of my clients asked me to make a championship tutu for her daughter with just a few colours a no-go and the brief … lovely, layered, textured and romantic.
Here’s my interpretation of her brief …
I used a combination of 2 different laces on the bodice and a range of blue rhinestones.
The main applique was white with light gold cording. To bring a textural effect I used bright gold venise lace and some topaz horse-eye navettes.
I used the same applique on the plate with a few touches of venise lace. Between each of these appliques I placed a diamond of blue net edged with soft gold lace with a venise lace applique in the centre.
You can see the effect of the three different gold colours is quite loves and provides depth to the design. Here is picture of both parts of the late together.
I was very happy with the design and the overall effect. I think It has attracted the most likes of any of my posts on FB.
This is one of my most requested colour schemes/variations. Lilac comes in quite a few shades and this one was on the deeper end of the spectrum with the addition of a ruched corselet bodice.
The top if the bodice is ruched with hand-dyed stretch mesh made to look like a little chemise above a corset. Rather than applying the applique in the usual V-shape I have inverted it and take it around to the back of the tutu bodice.
It can be a little difficult to sew a non-stretch trim around the underbust with enough latitude for the dancer to squeeze it past her hips but I put a little bit of slack in the sewing and used a number of pieces rather than one continuous piece all the way around.
The plate is made of matching lycra with a soft lilac lace and silver venise lace spilling onto the skirt. I’ve added rhinestones in purple, lilac and light magenta to give a bit of sparkle.
The silver venise lace was a feature of the skirt but I wanted to mute it a little with lots of rhinestones.
soft lilac and silver
The plate was really quite sweet and delicate. This lace had no bling so I had a lot of fun making it sparkle.
The back featured a central motif as well as the underbust decoration that was carried all the way around.
I bought a cream coloured lace recently that had no bling whatsoever on it but the pattern was very attractive and I thought I’d be able to improve its stage-presence with a few (ahem) rhinestones to it to make it shine.
I also used a very sparkly gold glitter tulle in the skirt … you can see how far the glitter creeps past the skirt.
You can see how pretty the lace is and why I couldn’t resist it despite its lack of bling. The warm creamy colour is beautiful against the ivory lycra and below, against the ivory net.
I was very pleased with the way the tutu came together and I won’t hesitate next time I see a pretty non-sparkly lace.
I like to buy lots of different trims for my inventory so my clients have plenty of choice. One trim I bought online recently was quite an old gold colour with greenish undertones. I really wasn’t sure anyone would really like it so I thought I’d try it out first as a ready to wear tutu to test the waters. It sold so fast I didn’t have time to upload it here to my RTW page.
The trim was a lovely complement to a warm dove grey lycra I recently acquired. I used a favourite combination of topaz, citrine and crystal AB stones to embellish the appliques.
I then discovered I had another trim stashed away with the same old gold tones. It was perfect for the plate but I needed a little something extra for some nice long points.
I used another trim of a lighter gold to complete the design I had in mind. I don’t mind using trims of slightly different colour as I think it can add some light and shade to the design.
The skirt was ivory and white with a layer of glitter tulle for a subtle ballet sparkle.
I was very pleased with the overall design. I think it sold within a few hours! I can’t wait to do some more RTW tutus. I’m planning on doing 1/3 of my work in 2018 as RTWs.
I love collecting pieces of lycra in unusual colours so that I can offer my clients something a little different from the colours available from retail fabric suppliers. However, that means I can sometimes paint myself into a corner trying to find the right trim. I was just about ready to ring my client and throw myself on her mercy for a colour change when I found the last few pieces of a very pretty pink French lace. This trim usually attracts a premium but I was so grateful to the Embellishment Gods that I used it on the tutu at no extra charge.
I used the motifs on the lace to make a delicate irregular border on the plate and to float from the plate onto the skirt. The lace really didn’t need any more sparkle but I added some crystal AB stones for a little colour shift.
The effect of the plate was a very pretty soft and intricate edge. This perfectly suited the choreography and the dancer’s temperament.
Skirt and plate
The skirt itself was a mixture or lilac, pink and white. The feathered edge complemented the delicate design and colours.
Ivory and gold are classic colours for an elegant and sophisticated tutu. Here I’ve used gold venise lace with crystal AB, citrine and topaz rhinestones, and added pearls to lighten the effect of the heavier parts of the gold applique.
Close up of bodice
My client wanted the tutu to have rich embellishment without being too heavy so we decided on a small plate but added the trailing jewels on the skirt for a bit of added interest.
I used a few different venise lace trims to get just the shape and effect I was after. Venise lace is a very accommodating trim as it’s easy to piece and re-piece. The slight difference in the gold can’t really be seen and I think it actually tricks the eye into seeing texture rather than colours. I loved working with the venise lace to create the points on this petalled plate
You can see here the skirt isn’t just plain ivory but it has a layer of glitter tulle for subtle sparkle and under that a layer of champagne to give a little warmth to the skirt.