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 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.
It really was a very busy year for me so blogging has had to take second place to actually getting tutus made. I promise to be a bit more organised in 2016 and blog a bit more detail rather than just photos.
In the meantime, here are 5 traditional tutus I completed in the second half of 2015.
The diamond fairy was made with a lovely “dragon-skin” brocade from a favourite fabric shop in Sydney. The skirt was hooped to support the weight of the full lace overskirt.
The Lilac Fairy was made from shantung and dupioni and decorated with French lace. Glitter tulle in layer 2 made this Lilac Fairy really sparkle on stage.
Lilac Fairy I
Another Lilac Fairy was made from aqua/pink shot dupioni and aqua corded lace.
I also made 2 lovely royal blue tutus, one with gold and the other with silver.
Silver and blue
Gold and Blue
I’ve had a bit of a love affair with ribbon roses this year. I adore using them. They are simple and provide texture as well as colour.
The silver and purple corded lace was a perfect match for the deep purple lycra. The rhinestones and ribbon roses complemented it beautifully.
The bodice looks like a garden of violets
I shadowed the plate with a narrow band of glitter tulle edged with a delicate silver trim.
The corded lace forms a pretty tracery on the lycra plate.
Pretty in silver and purple
And the tutu was finished off with a small purple tiara
This is a simple little tutu for a very young dancer. Pastel and white with a little glimmer is a good choice for a first tutu.
corded lace with pearls
The leotard has a simple sweetheart neckline which is suitable for a young dancer. The skirt will grade from lilac to white so the panties on the leotard are white as the lowest ruffles of the tutu should match the panties.
Once the leotard is finished the appliques were sewn on with the leotard stretched over a bodyboard.
The net has been feathered or ‘dagged”. This gives a very soft edge and is perfect for birds and fairies. Layer 2 is a very sparky glitter tulle and the following layers alternate between orchid, pink and white.
The net is attached from the top down. The first layer is attached at the high hip. In this picture you can see layer 2 pinned under layer 1 ready to be sewn on with a zigzag stitch.
The plate has 6 appliques arranged around the plate in soft points. I’ve used crystal AB rhinestones for bit of sparkle. The centre hole is an ellipse rather than a circle.
The inside circumference was clipped to allow it to fit neatly around the high hip above the first layer of gathered net. I sew the turned under seam allowance to the net as close to the bodice as possible.
The lycra plate has been trimmed to match the shape of the appliques.
tiny Lilac Fairy