Friday, 22 February 2013

Faux tutu skirt

In our town, school swimming carnivals are a big deal. All the students dress up for them, in their House colours. My daughter has moved schools this year, for Yr11 and 12 subject choices, and her new House has the excellent colour purple.
SDC10719 
 Here is her costume for the swimming carnival. It was an efficient stashbuster, straight from the dressing up collection, circa 1999 poly satin with rainbow poly chiffon 2005 and bridal tulle 2012 formal gown remnant underlayers. 
Naturally a costume for the swimming carnival has to be easy to remove for the actual swimming, so a real tutu would not be suitable. However, daughter the second was very keen to have a throughly sticking out tutu, rather than the easier to construct romantic style. Never having made a sticky-out tutu before, I inspected her old purchased dance costumes with new interest (with only slight internal grumbling that these did not include a purple version). These are made with many layers of different thicknesses of tulle from the hip to the waist of a leotard, and rely heavily on the close fitting nature of the leotard to stay in place, so I knew I could not replicate them precisely. 
My quick and rough version was to make a tube from cotton lycra that extended from the waist to the hips, snug over the hips and with an elastic casing at the waist to draw in the band. I applied 3 layers of gathered fabric to the band, the first a doubled over poly chiffon, the second, doubled over bridal tulle, and the final layer the eye striking purple poly satin. Each layer is applied so that the gathered wrong side supports the underneath of the skirt, effectively doubling the pouf factor of each layer. By doing this, I have managed 7 layers of gathered fabric at the central tube with only 3 episodes of wrestling with dental floss gathering. I pat myself on the back a bit for this, as gathering polyester is one of my least favourite sewing activities. The poly satin is hemmed using my overlocker, to make the hem very quick light SDC10727 SDC10728 With the remaining polysatin, I made an extra long ribbon/sash, with bias ends. We had intended this as a giant hair bow, but my daughter loved the 50's vibe of using this as a scarf instead.Her new friends greatly admired her outfit. SDC10722 
Costume sewing is very rewarding!

7 comments:

Ross said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Judith said...

Half the fun of an (Aussie) school swimming carnival is dressing up like this!!! Both my kids have always been in a yellow house, with purple being the 'too die for' house colour! Great work on whipping this fun little outfit up for your daughter...hope she had a great day...J

Allison said...

I used to make tutus for my niece for dress up when she was younger and those layers can be a bear to wrestle with, can't they? This is a great result and what an added bonus to have used up quite a bit of stash fabric. Your projects are always so beautifully executed and your sewing is such an inspiration!

velosewer said...

I hope DD had a great day at the pool.

Suzy said...

I am stealing this idea for my daughters next carnival! Looks great and hope she had a good time.

Gabrielle said...

Very clever! I love reading how you analyse and put things together. Hope your daughter had a ball at the swimming carnival.

Hands Sew Full said...

Wow that looks lovely! I have yet to attempt a tutu. All the gathering makes me cringe! Hope she had fun!