Happy (late) Halloween, ya’ll! My house has been abuzz these past couple of weeks, not only because I decided to wait until the bewitching hour to start my Halloween costume (doesn’t that seem to happen each year?) but also because I’m MOVING TO AUSTIN! You heard that right, folks, I’m becoming a Texan.
I love to treat myself to an elaborate Halloween costume when I can and this year I decided to go big: a classical ballet tutu. That is, a creepy ballerina doll costume.
Cali Fabrics has the perfect materials for the tutu skirt:
I also used tulle, bengaline (for the bodice), muslin (for backing), plastic boning, 3/8″ elastic, ballet elastic, grosgrain ribbon, and hook and eye tape.
To make the basque pattern, I take my hip measurement where the panty and basque connect and make strips of paper that length. I then make slashes along my body’s curves and overlap the resulting strips until the top edges matches my waist measurement.
The bodice pattern is based on last year’s Maleficent costume because I already knew it fit well and it has a similar deep v neck line.
I use bengaline for the bodice because it is a very sturdy fabric, yet also elegant. Tutu bodices are made to be altered to different dancers, so for that reason, I add extra seam allowance to the sides and back. I also cut out 2 layers of muslin for each piece as backing.
On the center front of the bodice, I mark the line I’ll sew on when attaching the lining.
I flat line each bengaline piece to each two muslin pieces on either side and then serge the sides. I also stitch a line down the center front to keep the muslin from shifting in the next step.
In order to properly align the curvy side front piece to the straight center front piece, I start by pinning the bust point on my notch. I then pin the top, then the bottom aligning the edges where the seam line comes together.
Next it’s time to sew each layer onto the tutu! Around the legs I sew gathered tulle because it is much softer than the net. To stitch each layer of net of, I work with the seam allowance pointing down so each piece wants to spring upwards. The ruffles aren’t gathered to a particular size, so they are just eased in as I sew. After completing each layer, I safety pin it down with those before it to keep it out of the way while sewing the next layer. Only the top layer has it’s seam allowance pointing upwards.
Before the tutu becomes a circle, I attach the basque (which is a waistband of sorts, constructed in the same manner as the bodice.) The basque is a little bit larger than the panty because the panty will stretch a bit when worn.
I insert the hoop into the channel and evening space out the ruffles. The ends of the hoop overlap and secure them together with medical tape.
The final step is to tack each layer to the one beneath it by hand with a loose stitch. This keeps each layer secured together, but keeps the fullness of the skirt.
I was very pleased with the end result.
I went as a broken doll and it was a huge crowd pleaser.