CriticalDance Forum

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Author:  hoxy [ Fri Jan 18, 2002 4:29 am ]
Post subject:  tutus

I have two questions, sort of related:<P>How many pieces are professional tutus in? Is the bodice separate from the skirt? And do you have separate knickers or are they attached?<P>Is it very hard to make a tutu skirt? I don't need one but I just wondered how difficult to would be to make just the skirt bit without the top and all. I don't mean a professional plate-like one, but a good amateur version!

Author:  Maggie [ Fri Jan 18, 2002 5:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: tutus

Hoxy, probably more information than you need, but actually a good site about making a tutu with some good links. Also, LMCTech probably has some good information.<BR> <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <p>[This message has been edited by Maggie (edited January 18, 2002).]

Author:  LMCtech [ Fri Jan 18, 2002 10:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: tutus

The sewing techniques requires to make a tutu aren't that difficult, but they are a little cumbersome and time consuming.<P>The bodice is usually separate from the skirt, but attached by tapes so they don't come apart while dancing.<P>The skirt consists of the basque (the part that goes around the hips abouve the skirt)and a panty which also has the ruffles attached to it. The basque is sewn to the top of the panty to create a finished, clean edge at the top of the skirt.<P>The most difficult part of making a tutu is making a pattern and calculating how much netting you need for the look you want.<P>There are a couple of books out on the market that give a good overview of how to make a tutu, but you should know your way around a sewing room before you attempt it.

Author:  hoxy [ Fri Jan 18, 2002 10:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: tutus

I would be very interested to know about those books, if only for information. I have made dresses and skirts before and a pair of curtains ( Image ) but never anything for dance. I imagine the hardest bit would be working out what diameter you wanted to skirt to be, as compared to your height, so you didn't look like a flying saucer or a puffball!

Author:  Basheva [ Fri Jan 18, 2002 12:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: tutus

I found the most difficult part was the room to spread out the length of material one is working with. I guess I mean just how cumbersome it is rather than how difficult it is. All that net.

Author:  LMCtech [ Sat Jan 19, 2002 9:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: tutus

Basheva, you have hit the problem on the nose. It also becomes hard to get all those layers of netting under the foot of the sewing machine.<P>Hoxy, my suggestion would be to go to where you can buy books and instructional vidoes. I think you might be able to buy supplies as well.<P>Are you only trying the tutu or the bodice, too?

Author:  hoxy [ Mon Jan 21, 2002 5:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: tutus

Well, I was only semi-thinking about making anything! It was just out of interest really. If I were to give it a bash, I would just go for the skirt to begin with, that one could wear over a leotard. I had a look at and I think it might be a bit of overkill for my purposes - expensive too! Do you think anything in the local library (i.e. a costumes for stage type book) might provide a cheaper option?

Author:  Basheva [ Mon Jan 21, 2002 6:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: tutus

Well, I have to tell you what I did once when I wanted what I think you have in mind, Hoxy.<P>I went out and bought one of those kiddies tutus - the ones that look like a puff ball. I then bought a very wide - several inches wide - elastic and sewed that on the inside to give the panty body (no pun intended).<P>Then I cut the net that was already on there to the size of small ruffles. Then I bought about 20 yards of net double the width of what I wanted the final tutu width to be. I laid it out across the entire length of my house folded lengthwise in half. On the folded edge I basted in a very strong double gathering thread. I measured my waist and gathered it to that measurement - going around my waist twice.<P> I pinned it to the panty with the fortifying elastic and hand sewed it on. That gave me a panty with ruffles (the kiddies original ruffles), the elastic strengthening inside, and four (since the net had been folded lengthwise) layers of fully gathered net. Then I took a long piece of dental floss and loosely basted it in very long stitches (like running tailor tacks) through the skirt of the tutu about 3 inches from the sticking out edge. Then I pulled up on those long gathered stitches. That pulled the tutu up and fortified the net, so the net didn't droop. <P>I was always careful to hang the tutu upside down, or if I layed it down, I spread it out like a doughnut.<P>It worked very well as a practice tutu. My object was not a fancy performance tutu - but one for practice. It is a really interesting experience the first time you dance with a tutu - you can't see your feet and when you turn the tutu gives some added force, and doesn't quite stop when you do. <P>Oh yes, I forgot to say, when you spread the tutu net out across the length of your house, put the kitten in a room behind a closed door. I forgot and the kitten had a wonderful time bouncing on the net.<p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited January 21, 2002).]

Author:  BabsLights [ Mon Jan 21, 2002 3:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: tutus

Yeah, the kitten thing would be something you wouldn't think also holds true for ferrets. I once tried to sew eight sets of sheers for a film, with a ferret as assistant.

Author:  LMCtech [ Tue Jan 22, 2002 10:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: tutus

Improvisation is an essential skill for the independent costumer.<P>My motto is usually, "Whatever works for the time and money you have".<P>

Author:  hoxy [ Fri Jan 25, 2002 4:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: tutus

Me again! Again, just looking for information - having never worn a tutu I am intrigued by them! Are long tutus (romantic) made the same way as classical ones, and would they be easier or harder to make? Do they have the same sort of constuction with shorter layers underneath? I don't think I'll be attempting to make anything, just for general info really!

Author:  Basheva [ Fri Jan 25, 2002 6:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: tutus

I am not a costume authority like LMCTech is, but I can give you my personal experience, having made both long and short tutus.<P>I found the longer ones much easier since the tutu doesn't have to stick out. How many layers the long tutu has can depend on a number of things besides the cost. It can depend on the lighting design. Sometimes it's quite beautiful to have the long tutu translucent so that the lighting can be seen through the skirt. This is especially effective for Giselle second act.<P>Other times the skirt needs to be more opaque. Length is also a consideration. Some lengths are more flattering than others.

Author:  LMCtech [ Fri Jan 25, 2002 10:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: tutus

Basheva has good info.<P>The romantic tuts are easier to make. There are less rows of netting and you can eliminate the panty if the dancer will be wearing trunks or a leotard. The bodices are basically the same.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Dec 11, 2002 3:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: tutus

“Tulles” Of The Trade
Tutu or tunic—everything you need to know for the perfect made-to-order costume.
By Sigrid J. Aarons for Pointe Magazine

To get started, dancers who have had costumes custom-made recommend looking at books, magazines, videos or live performances for design inspiration. You can often find materials on the specific role you will perform. Once you have an idea of what you want, get savvy about the construction. For tutus, familiarize yourself with different types of fabrics for the bodice, skirt and knicker (the costumers’ term for panties). Talk to experienced ballerinas about the pros and cons of stretch fabric bodices versus those made of woven fabrics with boning for support. Woven fabrics tend to be more resistant to perspiration and hold their shape better over time, but many dancers prefer the snug fit and flexible feel of stretch fabrics.

click for more

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