Royal Blue Velvet and Old Gold

 

I found a beautiful corded lace earlier this year and couldn’t wait to use it on a RTW tutu. The lace and the velvet worked beautifully together and instead of the traditional white skirt I opted for powder blue. It was such a successful combination the tutu sold in a few hours.

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corded lace and AB crystals

The lace was a lovely warm old gold with pretty champagne embroidery. I loaded it up with lots of blue stones and a few crystal AB rhinestones for little flashes of pink.

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bodice decoration

There was plenty of scope with this trim for embellishment.

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Flames of Paris

Most Australian eisteddfods and dance competitions don’t ask for variations but I do get a lot of requests for variation tutus from the US. Flames of Paris is very popular.

I used a Dani Legge’s peasant pas dress pattern for the bodice and attached the skirt at the high hip rather than the waist. The slightly bell shaped tutu has a layer of white and silver chantilly lace that I used as the foundation for the blue and red ribbon trimming.

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Flames of Paris

Apricot, Ivory and White tutus

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

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Elegant simplicity

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

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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.

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Paquita

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.

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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.

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Close second

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

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Red, Pink and Coral Tutus

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been asked to make some beautiful coloured tutus this year. Here is a series of red, pink and coral tutus

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tiny pink

Let’s start with this tiny pink confection with the soft white feathered skirt revealing a pink underskirt.

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Fairy Doll

Next is a cute little character tutu for the Fairy Doll. She always features ribbons and bows and lots of sparkle. I did quite a lot of ruched bodices last year. They’re not difficult and look quite lovely.

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Magenta and Silver

This tutu was quite simple but had quite a dramatic effect with the white corded lace over the small magenta hip plate. Pink and crystal AB rhinestones gave it some lovely sparkle.

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dusty rose and french lace

This soft pink colour was beautifully enhanced with silver french lace. I had a small amount left over from another tutu and there was just enough to encrust this tutu.

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Fuchsia and gold

The embroidery on the lace was a perfect match for the fuchsia plate. I firmly believe you shouldn’t be permitted to use fuchsia fabrics unless you can spell it. The colour refers to the vibrant pink of the Fuchsia flower named after Herr Fuchs, the 19th century German botanist.

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coral tutu

The top layer of the skirt if slightly shorter than layer 2 so the bright orange net peeks through. This tutu gets great comments from adjudicators.

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Watermelon and Gold

The colour of this tutu is divine. I teamed it with gold venise lace and the top layer of the skirt is a soft champagne colour.

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Silver, white and red velvet

This tutu teams bright red with crisp white and silver for a stunning effect. Depending on music or choreography this tutu could be so many different characters.

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A touch of Spain

And the last of my red/pink tutus is this ornate red, white and gold that has a light Spanish flair about it.

Purple and Burgundy Tutus

Purple and burgundy are beautiful rich colours that make for stunning stage costumes.

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Burgundy and Gold

The combination of burgundy velvet, venise lace and a full lace overskirt is a perfect Paquita.

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Cherry burgundy and silver

Changing the colour tones slightly to cooler silver and purple gives a tutu a whole new character.

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Aubergine and Purple

The colours in this tutu were beautiful. I even included some red in the skirt for an extra bit of zing.

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Iris and Gold

My clients provided this beautiful ornate lace and asked for a deep purple velvet to accompany it.

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Light Purple and Gold

 

 

 

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Lilac Tutus

Last year seemed to be the year of the Lilac Fairy. Here are 6 variations on a theme.

 

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delicate

This tutu was very pretty with pinks and mauves moving against each other in the skirt. The lilac corded lace spills onto the skirt where you can see the multiple skirt colours.

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Emily’s Lilac Fairy

This tutu was embellished with silver venise lace and rhinestones. The top layer of net is sparkle tulle and it is a little shorter than the next layer to give a soft colour shift at the edges.

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Lilac and white

This is a tiny little lilac fairy for a 4 year old. It is embellished with white corded lace, pearls and rhinestones.

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Lilac Fairy

This Lilac Fairy was made as a RTW tutu. It uses the same lace as the first tutu but I used the selvedge to trim the plate and it gives the plate quite a different look.

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White and Lilac

This tiny tutu uses the same lace as the tutu above but you can see on a white background it has a different effect. Compare it to the next tutu using the central motifs of the same lace.

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another lilac fairy!

 

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White and Silver

This delicate little tutu has been a team effort between a grandmother, a mum a young dancer … with me as facilitator. Together we’ve created a delicate white tutu that still has plenty of character to support the choreography and music.

The blank canvas for the tutu is this simple white leotard made from Dani Legge’s brilliant pattern. It’s self-lined with lycra and ready for decoration.

leotard finished

We chose a silver and white corded lace for the design. This type of lace has motifs embroidered onto a net background. These can be cut from the lace and the edges won’t fray.

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Silver and white corded lace

I have also trimmed the motifs into smaller shapes and secured the cut ends with small ss16 crystal AB rhinestones. and then pinned them into place.

pinning on front motifs

bodice motifs ready to be hand-sewn

I used a body board to stretch the leotard and so that I can hand sew the motifs in place. You can see the small rhinestones that have already been attached to the lace.

pinning on back motifs

back motifs

The young dancer has a lovely supple back so we decided to show it to best advantage by lowering the back a little and also decorating it with some motifs.

treasure chest

treasure chest

I augmented the bodice and back designs with a few sew-on rhinestones to complete the final design.

plate construction

plate construction

This tutu will have a small plate about 1/3 the width of the skirt. In the picture above I have placed 10 motifs (5 pairs of mirror images) around the central section that will be cut out to fit around the high hip. The white lycra will be trimmed close to the edge of the lace to give a finely dissected and delicate plate.

sewing on appliques

sewing on appliques

Tutus are stage costumes not couture pieces. They have to withstand robust treatment so secure machine stitching can keep things effectively in place without diminishing the general effect. I used a fine metallic silver thread to catch the edges of the motifs and then glued ss16 and ss20 crystal AB rhinestones to the appliques to secure them further.

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trimming the plate with applique scissors

I trimmed away just enough of the lycra so that the lace edge defines the plate. The inside circumference of the plate was clipped so it could fit around the leotard neatly.

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finished plate

I put the plate aside and started on the skirt. The 7 net layers had been previously cut, gathered and steamed. So starting with the longest layer I started to build the tutu.

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first layer of net

Layer 2 was glitter tulle. Its much softer than ballet net but with stiff ballet net through the rest of the tutu the softness is accommodated. Glitter tulle at layer 2 gives a soft ballet glimmer. For a sparkly Sleeping Beauty Fairy I’d use glitter tulle as the top layer.

pinning layer 2

pinning layer 2

After all the layers were on I tamed the tutu by tacking the layers together; 7, 6 and 5, then 5, 4 and 3 and finally 3, 2 and 1. These 3 rows of tacking hold the tutu into a classical shape but still allow for movement. My tutus are an English classical shape rather than the ultra flat pancaked style.

plate

plate detail

The mannequin has a funny little pot tummy. This tutu is for a very petite dancer so the tutu will have quite a different silhouette on our petite dancer.

bodice detail

bodice detail

I’ve lowered the back a little and added some appliques. You can see here how the plate has a lovely delicate tracery to it rather than a formalised shape.

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back detail

We’ve also added some delicate little arms frills in glitter tulle to the ensemble. They have been decorated with matching corded silver lace and rhinestones. I’ve used nude coloured elastic so that there isn’t a strong white line of elastic against the arms.

arms frills

arms frills

And finally the full reveal

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completed tutu