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Ballet Costumes

Andrea_Hiestand | Posted in The Archives on

How do I make a tutu? Any advice? Or does anyone know a good site or book that would give the instructions to make a tutu? Thanks for any help.


  1. Julia_Fletcher | | #1

    I made a purple tutu recently using Simplicity 7351 which is a pattern for leotards, skirts, a short tutu and some accessories. The tutu consisted essentially of 4 layers of highly-gathered net attached to a waistband made of stretchy fabric. The hard part was sewing the net to the tightly stretched waistband. I used a regular sewing machine and found I really needed about 4 hands to do it accurately! The result was not perfect but delighted my 5-yr-old DD who wanted it for dressing up.

    Hope that helps,


    1. Ghillie_C | | #2

      *My dancing days are long gone, but the one thing I remember about tutus is that the net 'skirts' (a lot more than four on a proper adult tutu, Julia,) are attached to the body upside down, i.e. with the seam towards the floor and the skirt towards the sky, and that tutus are always carried and hung by the crotch. (A corps de ballet dressing room looks most odd!). When the tutu is finally turned the right way up the skirts stick out much further and are more floaty than if they had been made like conventional dresses.Someone posted about the body part of a tutu a while back. It may still be in the archives.

      1. Sarah_Kayla | | #3

        *I just made a tutu for a favorite four year old. I found terrific directions in the Klutz Press Costume book. I cut a strip of elastic to fit Anna's waist. Then I gathered four 15 inch x 4 yard strips of netting using my gathering foot. I ran the gathering stitch right in the middle of the strip. (An aside; I used a mix of magenta, hot purple, baby pink & black netting ) . The klutz book recommends stretching the waistband tightly around a chairback or a piece of cardboard and hand stitching the netting with a lock stitch. I did some by hand and some by machine and there were definite advantages to each method. Hand work is slow but only needed two hands. Machine work is speedy, but I found aside from the usual one of not having quite enough hands, the result was a bit less stretchy.Anna was happy with the results. It was totally over the top in the way that four year olds love to dress like hookers. For them more is more. They haven't heard of Calvin Klein or minimalism. I guess my son's friends will benefit from the fact that my daughter is now too old to wear a tutu for dressup.I plan to make a few more of them. We are buddies with several girls who think they should spend their lives fully ador

        1. Ghillie_C | | #4

          *How serious are you? I have found two small books which should do the trick, but they are out of print and probably difficult to come by.they are:Conrad, Kathryn Kilner Romantic tutu construction published in 1987 and Conrad, Kathryn Kilner. Classical Tutu Construction Revision published in 1980.(I use challenges like this to test out the considerable IT resources I have at work. I found a glitch so two jobs got done at once!)

          1. Andrea_Hiestand | | #5


          2. Andrea_Hiestand | | #6

            *Thank you for your help. I will definately look for those books, anything to do with costumes I buy! I'm working on a play and it required tutu's for adults so your info help a lot! Thanx again.

          3. Ghillie_C | | #7

            *I have another book for you.Mary Kent Harrison How to dress dancers has a detailed chapter on tutu making. I have only seen an older edition, but there is a recent one available from Amazon.Rather a nice little book.Get gathering those frills!

          4. Tami | | #8

            *I have, this season, spent a great deal of time sewing dance costumes for a local dance studio. I worked on only a few tutu's and the netting can be quite silly to work with. I have received a loaned copy of a book from the dance studio's coordinator titled "Classical Tutu Construction" by Claudia Folts. If you are looking to find how to create a "Classical" tutu this is an excellent source. There was an order form for this book at the back of the book stating that you could order from: Dancewear & More! 8612 Monroe Road, Charlotte, NC 28212 Credit Card orders: 1-800-330-3193. I found their website @ http://www.tutu.com.Be prepared, the book is priced @ $45.00. You do, however, get a pattern with this price. The dance studio I am sewing for produces over 400 classical tutu's each season and they are positively beautiful. Good luck!

          5. Christine_Dunn | | #9

            *I enjoyed your comment about your daughter's clothing tastes. I have three daughters who all loved feathers and sequins. The youngest especially. We used to call her the "dwarf hooker." One of our favorite babysitters passed down several pairs of old stilletto heels in a size four. They were my daughter's favorite shoes. She could do anything in them from swinging to riding a trike. She certainly walked better in them than I ever did. She took classical ballet until she was 14 and at the top of her game (after years of regulation black leotards and pink tights) wore toe shoes and a professionally made tutu. I think it was the most inexpensive on the instructor could find and it cost over $100.

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