Apricot and Ivory

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.

Apricot RTW (1)

I’ve added apricot, topaz and jonquil rhinestones to enhance the pattern and break up the cream background a bit.

Apricot RTW (4)

The long points are arranged to give a star effect over the ivory and champagne skirt.

Apricot RTW (3)

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.



Ivory and Cream Tutu

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.

bodice detail

bodice detail

I also used a very sparkly gold glitter tulle in the skirt … you can see how far the glitter creeps past the skirt.


Bodice decoration

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.


plate detail

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.




Ivory and Gold Championship

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.


bodice CU

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.



skirt detail

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


plate CU

plate detail

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.

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Apricot, Ivory and White tutus

My last multiple post will be those enduring colours of the ballet world, white, ivory and apricot.


Elegant simplicity

A lovely white tutu with silver venise lace, crystal AB rhinestones and a simple overlay of silver white lace.


Ruched white bodice

This design took a lot of to-ing and fro-ing but I think my client and I came up with a real winner. Silver venise lace and crystal AB rhinestones again team beautifully with crisp white. The ruched bodice and underbust decorations are now one of my favourite designs.



This lovely Paquita made her debut at the Sydney Eisteddfod this year. The ivory particularly suited the young dancer’s olive complexion.

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Gold and ivory

The ornate geometry of the decorations gave a baroque feel to this tutu. The skirt was a mixture of white and ivory to reduce the starkness of an all white skirt.

3Q profile

My favourite tutu this year

I know I shouldn’t have favourites amongst my “children” but this beauty still takes my breath away. The upper bodice is covered in stretch lace and the decorations are a combination of apricot, copper and gold. There is a single layer of apricot net that gives the skirt a pretty blush.


Close second

And this tutu is the very close second. It’s pretty and romantic. I had great fun constructing the ornate plate.


Gold Fairy Variation tutu

The Sleeping Beauty is a favourite ballet with a multitude of characters telling the story of the enchanted sleeping Princess Aurora. Among the jewel fairies in Act III is the Gold Fairy.


Starting Point

The lovely young dancer this costume was made for has a beautiful olive complexion and dark hair. The apricot lycra she chose was a perfect palette for the gold decoration.


steamed ruffles waiting to be attached

The ivory skirt was given a lift by adding apricot net at layer three. This gives a soft blush to the skirt without making the whole tutu too much of one colour. You can also see some subtle glimmer tulle at layer 2.


baroque gold

The embroidered gold appliques added the right amount of Baroque charm to the tutu.


plate trimmed to appliques

The matching plate was about 1/3 the width of the plate. This proportion of thirds is more pleasing to the eye than diving the skirt in half. Fifths also work quite nicely too. The appliques had a lovely shape which I wanted to make the most of so I trimmed the lycra as neatly and as close as I could. But remember, perfect clipping is not really necessary as this is a stage costume so the degree of perfection has 5 metres to attenuate.


lace edge

A wide band of intricate gold lace mounted on fine tulle was added as an overskirt to the plate. This made up another third of the top of the skirt.


skirt detail

The combination of ornate appliques and lace band give the tutu a rather grand appearance.


bodice detail

Teamed with the bodice decoration the whole effect is rather stately but still delicate.


Tiny Tutus

Occasionally the dancers I make tutus for are very tiny. Here are 2 tutus both size 4; a tiny Aurora and a tiny Bluebird.


bodice decoration

This little one has a Russian style bodice with an ivory centre panel, pink middle front panels and the rest of the bodice is a lovely soft apricot.


gold lace overlay

The overlay is 2 types of embroidered tulle sewn together with gold thread.


tiny little aurora

The little blue bird has a hand dyed lace overlay.


ribbon roses

The corded lace motifs were cut from the lace and spangled with rhinestones before being sewn onto the bodice.


bodice decoration

Both of these tutus were so tiny they were only just big enough to fit onto my smallest mannequin.


tiny bluebird


A trio of traditional tutus

I’ve been flat out lately and forgetting to take photos but I’m sure you’ll forgive me just posting some pictures of finished tutus rather than construction steps.

I often will buy a couple of metres of beautiful fabric if I can see a tutu in it. I could not resist this beautiful embroidered taffeta. It is green and is shot with a purple-fuchsia colour. The dancer who chose it has flaming red locks and ivory skin. It was a perfect choice for her.


bejewelled venise lace on green shot fuchsia taffeta

The plate was made with long points that echoed the bodice decoration.


plate decoration

And for a soft effect the skirt was cream. White looked too harsh and ivory wasn’t right either.


Green taffeta tutu

The next tutu was another pink Aurora. This one was pink and silver and had a delicate feel. Both of my recent Auroras were for the same ballet school so I wanted them to stand apart but both be lovely.


bodice edge piped in silver

The pink silk we chose was a little too light when it was lined so I put a layer of darker pink poplin between the silk and the drill to give a little more strength to the colour.


plate and lace overskirt

The silver overskirt and venise lace gave the tutu an airy ethereal look.


lovely pale pink

And finally a little tutu for a very dedicated young 10 year old. We used royal blue dupioni and gold corded lace for a regal look.


corded lace bodice appliques

There was no plate but I matched the colour of the skirt to the bodice so that the line of the bodice carried down onto the skirt. I used the corded lace to make a flay lace overlay. I used blue rhinestones on the lace to increase the negative space in the design and break up the sold stretches of gold.


lace overskirt

The whole effect was rather regal


Royal blue and gold

and I finished off the ensemble with shoulder frills and a tiara.


hand-made to match the tutu