Tutu-making Classes in Sydney

I am very grateful to my dear friend Danielle Legge who has given generous permission for me to use her patterns to teach others how to make classical ballet tutus. Dani has been my tutu mentor for many years and I would now like to share the benefits of what I have learned to others, just as Dani did with me.


Dani’s pattern is extremely versatile and designed for stretch fabrics such as lycra and stretch velvet. The great benefit of stretch tutus is that the tutu will grow with a dancer over a couple of seasons. In addition, stretch tutus have terrific resale value as they will fit a number of different body types and still look like the tutu was tailor-made.

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I will be running classes from my studio in Sydney. They will be one-on-one over 2 days. The scheduling of the classes is flexible and I will endeavour to fit classes to suit students’ own busy lives.  You may buy your own materials or I’m happy to make up a kit for you. It is important to purchase materials that are fit for purpose so you should consult with me first. You will, however, be required to purchase a pattern from Dani. She can be contacted via her FB page Tutus By Dani.

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To undertake the course you must have intermediate sewing skills. Stretch sewing skills are handy but not essential as the basics will be taught. It is important though that your sewing machine has a good straight stretch stitch.  Unfortunately, this is not a course for beginners.

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You will be supervised through fabric cutting, garment construction, shown quick and easy ways to cut and shape your net, learn stress-free ways to gather 45 linear metres of ballet net, and importantly, how to tack your tutu into a classical shape from the puffball that emerges from your machine. After 2 days of focused work and personal instruction you’ll have a lined, 6-8 layer classical ballet tutu, tacked and ready for decoration.


If you would like further instruction in how to finish off your tutu, additional half day courses in Tutu Embellishment and Tiara making will also be available.

3Q profile

Ivory and Copper Aurora

The Embellishment Course will teach the basics of good design and ballet aesthetic,  explore the materials that can (and can’t) be used, plate design and how to attach it to the tutu, creative ways with lace, beading and rhinestones, and how to make arm puffs, frills or drapes. Information on sourcing trims will also be discussed.


points attached


arm drapes

The tiara course will teach you how to make a tiara on a frame (basic) or a more advanced fully beaded tiara. Both techniques use wire wrapping, jewellery findings and crystal beads. In addition I will show you 2 effective techniques to attach the tiara to the dancer’s hair without having to pin over bulky frames.



As the instruction is one-on-one scheduling is very flexible. Please contact me for additional information.


2-day basic tutu-making course           $500 (excludes materials)

1/2-day Embellishment course             $175 (includes trim for basic plate and bodice)

1/2-day Tiara Making course                $135 (includes materials)

Advanced Classes                                     $POA


Purple and Silver

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.


starting point

The silver and purple corded lace was a perfect match for the deep purple lycra. The rhinestones and ribbon roses complemented it beautifully.


Bodice decoration

The bodice looks like a garden of violets


plate detail

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



Pink and Pearls

Pink and white are traditional colours for a young girl’s first tutu. This one is teamed with pearls and a sprinkling of rhinestones for some subtle sparkle.



Here’s the starting point for the tutu.



The skirt is a slightly paler pink than the bodice so I made lower part of the leotard in pastel pink. I’ve placed the appliques on the bodice to get an idea of final placement.


sewing on appliques

decorating bodice

I glued rhinestones to the appliques. While the glue dried I finished the bodice and attached the elastic straps. This allowed me to stretch the leotard over the body board. The bodice was decorated after the leotard was finished.

clipped plate


I added more half pearls to the plate. The inner circumference was clipped to allow a tidy fit around the high hip.


sewing plate to tutu skirt

I sewed the plate to the very top of the skirt as close as possible to the bodice. The curved needle made the job less fiddly. The very edge of the plate was also loosely sewn to the skirt as well.


finished tutu

I also made a beaded tiara to match.