Monday, 11 March 2013
This is my first attempt at a tutu, which is another reason it waited so long to be put together.
I was quite excited at the prospect of making a tutu when DD's teacher decided she was ready for a classical solo, but all those layers of net are more than a little bit daunting.
I decided to use Claudia Folts' patterns for the panty and bodice from tutu.com. They come with no instructions. Everything you need to know about making a tutu the tutu.com way is in the book "Classical Tutus for Children" written by Claudia Folts herself.
I read the book cover to cover twice at least before cutting out, then referred to it often during construction, and mostly followed her advice.
The panty is made from a double layer of nylon Lycra (foil printed, from stash). I sewed the gethered net on using topstitching thread and needle to give it extra strength. On this tutu there are 7 layers of net, which I gathered using a method I read about on a Pattern Review thread. Rather than use the tram-tracks gathering method, which I susupected would be tedious and painful on my fingers, I sewed a zigzag over dental floss, and the net gathered really easily along the floss, and after the net was sewn on, I pulled the floss out. This worked really well. I don't have a ruffler or gathering foot, so I was seeking a manual method which was fast and effective.
The bodice was run together very quickly as I was more concerned about learning the skirt technique. I didn't join the bodice to the basques as this one's really just a test run, and she can take the tutu skirt to her lessons now and just pull it on.
The verdict from her teacher? The top ruffle needs to be wider - it needs to meet her fingers, so maybe another 3 inches or so. No butt ruffles required - Yay! Her teacher also told me how to attach the plate for a nice clean finish.
1. Make the top layer wider and alter the lower layers accodringly.
2. See if 5 or 6 layers will do the trick
3. Try to make it in the round, as finishing off the legs was very difficult with all that net and I did a pretty bad job.
4. Use a different pattern for the panty. This pattern was too big for DD (I expected it to be only slightly bigger for some growing room). I'm going to make a double layer panty from a leotard pattern that fits her.
5. No butt ruffles.
6. Add a plate
7. Join the bodice to the basque.
8. Do a good job!!!!