Romantic tutu for AHA

Earlier this year I was approached by a dancer’s mum about making a costume for her daughter for the Alana Haines Awards. I was excited, and also a bit nervous, as this would be my first tutu for this biennial competition which is highly regarded “down under”, the competition that is! I made a costume 2 years ago for the last competition which I posted about here.

After a bit of research and thought I decided to go with a bodice pattern from Tutus That Dance partly because time was a little short. I chose the one that best fit Miss K’s measurements and then lengthened it to suit.

I had some invaluable help from Margaret who I did a workshop with about 5 years ago. There were a couple of techniques I wasn’t sure of and Margaret generously shared her knowledge with me. You can find Margaret here and here. Thanks so much, Margaret 😂

Miss K’s dance was from Flower Festival in Genzano. It required a peasant girl style romantic tutu. Once all the materials were to hand I made a start on a toile/mock-up to ensure the best fit.

Pattern pieces traced off and lengthened. Once the toile was right I got onto the actual bodice.

Laying out the pattern pieces. Note to self:- 0.75mtr or 1mtr of fabric for older girls especially if a basque is needed . . . 0.5mtr was just enough! It’s a gorgeous colour, which changes shade with the light. It is silk and was lovely to work with.

Tracing round the pattern pieces before I cut them out – the weights are fishing weights 🙂

This is what was left over! Enough for piping so all good.

 Circular skirt all cut out. There will be only one seam down the back of the skirt.

I decided to sew a French seam for the skirt as it encloses the raw edge and for the sheer chiffon looks neater than overlocking I think. Not that it will be seen from the stage but I’ll know!

French seam completed and edges of opening turned under.

Here is the front of the bodice and I’m playing around with the inset which needs to look like a peasant blouse.

The back bodice.

Keeping the bodice covered! There is a small grandson in the house, he was under four when I was making this so I kept the bodice covered, pushed to the back of my table going with the out-of-sight-out-of-mind principle. Also his mum told me she has told him Grandma will be very angry if he touches her sewing things! Dragon-granny! He does leave things alone but likes to help grandma sew or “zo” as he says 🙂

Piping for the base of the bodice. Trimming the edge to an even length. It’s the first time I’ve made piping and attached it for something like this so I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Piping attached. I took my time doing this, basting it before sewing it. There was no more silk so I had to get it in one go!

Lace attached to the top edge. The lace provided was a straight piece so I pleated it to add a bit of detail and depth to it. Stitch, fold, stitch repeat . . . until done.

Gathering the net for the underskirt.

Hooks and thread eyes for the bodice. Also a bit of the trim that went around the top and “vee” of the bodice.

Small plastic snap to keep the skirt opening closed.

The finished bodice.

Not the best photo with the lighting, but this is one I got before I handed the tutu over.

Photo credit :- P Pang

This photo shows the the lovely Miss K, as well as the back of the bodice.

Here are two photos of Miss K performing her dance during the AHA awards.

Amber Griffin Photography
Amber Griffin Photography

I really enjoyed making this tutu for Miss K. As usual I learned a lot. Miss K was happy with it as were her mum and the dance teacher.

I was able to see photos of other dancers costumes in the photos and thought Miss K’s measured up pretty well against the others  😃

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