So I get a discount on my daughters' ballet lessons in exchange for sewing some of the costumes. I mentioned to someone that I haven't sewn any tutus even though I've been doing this for three years. Mostly just fancy leotards. And within a month the studio director got a hold of me and said that she'd bought this great new pattern, and could I sew some tutus. Not just any tutus either. Real, stick-straight-out, pancake, classical tutus for teenage girls! I have to say that I was a bit trepidatious, but excited to try! And so the odyssey began....
I have to say that I never could have done it without the fabulous pattern from Suzanne Deickman! If you ever need to sew a legitimate tutu, check out her site "Tutus That Dance."
I was laughing my head off half the time because I felt like I was hugging a big ball of netting. Once you get all nine layers of netting sewn on, you press or steam them so they flatten out. But before that....
Now I know why tutus cost so much. Even the very plain tutus, without any decoration, too 17 hours to complete. They aren't super hard, just time intensive. And you can factor in that I'm a newbie, but still. I made five plain, white tutus for our swans.
There was a bluebird solo (a variation on the Bluebird pas de deux from the Sleeping Beauty ballet). It's got lace over a bright satin, with a sturdy twill lining. Fully boned, but only with the cheap poly boning from the store. I'm not brave enough to use steel, yet, but see that it'll be necessary in the future. Decorated bodice and tutu took about 30 hours, but I wasn't so good about keeping track of my time there near the end.
And we had a firefly solo. This was my favorite tutu, as was the dancer. The tutu is already sagging, but I made it with a hoop casing, so that won't be hard to fix.
These, with a few leotards and odds and ends, took about three months, working what amounted to part-time. At one point, I tried to tell a lady from church that I was spending all my time making tutus, but somehow I said tatoos!