Les Sylphides 2011

Most years I make costumes for our dance studio concert. In 2011 the main ballet was Les Sylphides. We are only a small studio so the piece involved all the dancers from the littlies through to the oldest students.

Miss L-M, the teacher, wanted a romantic tutu type look…but not full tutus. So I made seperate leotards and skirts, which will be able to be used in the future, as some were in 2012, or with a different skirt over the leotard.

White Matt Nylon Lycra, with a skintone lining. The larger sizes had shelf bras in as well for extra support.
A view of the back, and below the skirt which was full circle chiffon over 2 layers of net.
The next picture shows the combination together.
There were 19 of these altogether ranging in size from a childs 4 to a women’s medium…quite a bit of draughting!  I worked from a base Jalie pattern and then adjusted it to get the look Miss L-M wanted.
I also had to make tunics for the three guys, once again a learning curve as I hadn’t made one before. I did a toile (mock-up) in calico first which is great as you can draw on it etc and adjust it before you cut into velveteen fabric! They are lined with a sturdy drill to support the top layer of fabric.
The back closes with hooks and hand-sewn eyes plus a few strategically placed popper studs to prevent it opening on stage. Over all they looked pretty good. Miss L-M was happy too, always very important especially as a high standard is expected. Miss L-M danced professionally in the Royal New Zealand Ballet so knows a lot about costume construction and how they should look.
I also made the white tights the guys had to wear with the tunics. Next time I’ll remember that two layers of lycra don’t have the same stretch as a single layer…but the guys did not want their butts on view which can happen with a single white lycra layer!! Hence the two layers.

Costumes never look as good on a hanger so I have included a couple of shots from the concert. The first is an “action” shot just as the ballet is finishing.

The last shot is as the cast are taking their curtsies and bows. Miss L and Master J, my two lovely dancers, are the two under the white arrows.
As always with projects I haven’t done before I make mistakes, learn a lot and try to remember for the next time. I’ve learnt to write things down and photograph as I go as this greatly aids my memory!
That’s it for this entry, thanks for visiting 🙂

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