Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My First Tutu!

Well, look at me.  Two posts in 3 days.  What?!

About 6 weeks ago, I was asked to make a tutu for the company associated with my daughter's ballet school.  True to my personality, I of course jumped at the opportunity and completely ignoring that I, in fact, have never. made. a tutu...ever.

Let me tell you, there is very, very little information about tutu-making out there.  It's like this secret that nobody wants to share.  The one resource I have came with the tutu-making supplies I ordered and it has almost no pictures!  There is one diagram about drafting a basque (the waist structure of the tutu), and that's the one thing I actually could have winged because it's similar to drafting a yolk on a skirt.

So what is a motivated girl who loves ballet and a good challenge to do?  Fake it 'till you make it.  Here goes...

Here is my first muslin that I fitted on the dancer before cutting out the regular material.  It was pretty close, but I'm so glad I made the muslin.  Tutu bodices are so specific and must fit the dancer perfectly.  For professional dancers, everything is custom--tutu to pointe shoes.  Yes.  Custom pointe shoes.  

The bodice is made of Bengaline, a cotton/rayon blend material that is very strong.  It is then lined with Cotton Coutil, another strong material.  In the bodice directions, I was instructed to underline the Bengaline--in other words, the inside of the tutu should not have covered seams.  This allows for easier alterations, if needed later on.

And, voila.  Part one completed.  I will be posting more frequently as this project progresses!

 And here is a fascinating video on pointe shoes, as referenced above.  You don't need to be a dancer to appreciate this.

 Oh, how did that get in there?  This is embarrassing.

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