Custom made classical ballet tutus and other dance costumes for competitions, festivals, performance and eisteddfods.
I provide a complete service from design through to stage ready with everything personally made by me at my studio in Woodend, Central Victoria. Tiaras and matching headpieces are also available as are tutu sewing patterns and tutu making classes .
As of 2013 a fully decorated, made to order stretch tutu will cost between $300 and $450, a matching tiara between $50 and $75.
For a gallery of costumes I have made, please scroll past all the posts.

Contact me at danilegge@me.com



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and all best wishes for the New Year.
I already have a couple of orders for next year, so will hopefully have some new photos to post soon. I spent hours yesterday trying to dye white lace royal blue for an order. Dylon dye used to work beautifully on nylon lace, but since they have changed from round tins to packets, it doesn't seem to work as well. In addition to that, the lace I am using around the edge of the top net layer has silver flowers woven into it, which I know from bitter experience go non-silver if the dye gets too hot. I now have 10 metres of royal blue lace with non-silver flowers and 10 metres of paler blue lace WITH silver flowers....obviously didn't learn well enough from my mistakes the last time I dyed lace like this!!

Here is a picture of a new traditional tutu I made recently, I dyed the top layers of net to give the shaded effect, then also added a couple of short scalloped layers of royal blue as well to give more depth to the colour. Gold lace is white lace spray-painted gold.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pictures of tutus made by my students!


I had just finished writing my previous post about hoping for some photos of finished tutus, when I got an email from Patti in Canada with these photos attached. The blue tutu was made by Patti and the black and purple one by Julie. We didn"t have time in Las Vegas to get onto decorating, so this is what they did after they got home. Patti has added to the interest of hers by painting some of the net to blend it in more with the leotard colour.

I think they both look fantastic! Beautiful photos too.

Patti is getting a website organised for her costume business near Toronto, so I will post the address here as soon as it is up and running.

Las Vegas!

I had an absolutely wonderful time in Las Vegas, met some lovely people and learned heaps. We worked really hard, in the seminar room by 8am and usually there until 8pm.

This is our sewing room at the Suncoast Hotel.

I had eight students for my stretch tutu class, from all over America, two from Canada and one from England. All of them ended up with a tutu at the end of the day and a half, although it was touch and go for some (yes I mean you Patti)! This tutu was made in my class by Tami and is being modelled by one of the lovely local ballet students who let us dress them up. And that is Suzanne! I am hoping to get some photos of the tutus made in my class once they are decorated so I can post them here.

Then onto the serious stuff with Suzanne generously sharing her knowledge of traditional tutu making with us. This beautiful tutu was made by Mary in Suzanne's class.

We managed a trip down to the strip to look at a couple of the bigger casinos,

this is INSIDE the Venetian!! and on the Saturday evening went to see the spectacular Cirque du Soleil show "O" followed by a backstage tour. Travis Halsey from the Joffrey Ballet costume department spent a day with us and let us play with air brushes and pattern making and tried to get us to think outside the box. He brought three of his fabulous tutus to show us, all rolled up and squashed into a tiny box! I think we were all totally horrified but his work is absolutely incredible.

Finally we finished with a day in a theatre seeing how lighting and distance affect colour and design. Suzanne also arranged for two professional dancers to talk with us about what they like and dislike about tutus, from the perspective of the wearer and her partner. All in all a fabulous course

Tutus for sale

As the end of the year is coming up I have decided to try to clean out my sewing room, the pile of tutus is getting ridiculous! A lot of these were made as samples or to try out a new pattern or way of doing something, a couple were ebay buys that I have decorated or tweaked. If anyone is interested in any of them please email me at danilegge@me.com for further details and more photos.

NEW Girls 12-14 blue velvet lycra, base tutu bought on ebay and decorated by me. Sleeves and headdress to match $375.00
New, Ladies 8, designed, made and decorated by me. Diamanté tiara to match $375.00
Bought new on ebay, I have done a bit of fiddling, sleeves and headdress to match. Worn once at a competition. Ladies 12-14

Never worn, bought new on ebay and redecorated. Traditional boned tutu, girls 12.

New mauve stretch satin tutu, Girls 14/ladies 8-10, there are lots of photos of this in one of my posts.

Worn once at South St comps in Ballarat, girls 10-12

I made this one to take to the Las Vegas seminar with me to show what I make. It has only been tried on a couple of times, Girls 14/ Ladies 6-8

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Off to Las Vegas tomorrow!!!!!!

Really excited but still seem to have tons to do. I have made two tutus to take with me, so not a lot of room in my suitcase for anything else!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A few more photos of costumes being worn

Just got a few more photos from comps of girls wearing costumes I have made, scroll to the bottom of all the posts, all the newest ones are at the top.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What is it about cats and tutus?

I have three cats who are firmly convinced that tutus are some sort of superior cat bed! If I leave a tutu unattended for a few minutes I will return to find a cat curled up asleep in the middle of it! They also like my scrap bag and of course ANY box!Needless to say I check every tutu carefully for any stray hairs and as my cats are indoor cats they are very clean, wish they wouldn't do it though!!




Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bird of Paradise tutu

I have just finished a tutu for India, she wanted something that looked birdlike, with red shading to orange and to turquoise blue at the edge of the skirt. She didn't mind a bit of bling either! I have had real fun making it. I used five colours of net plus sequinned turquoise, red velvet lycra for the leotard and "wings" and gold sequinned fabric that looks like gold cobwebs for the under wings. A sprinkling of Swarovski crystals in "fire opal" completed it. here are a few pictures.



Comp photos

Our mid year comps have just finished in Victoria and photos have started to trickle in of some of my new (and not so new) costumes. I managed to see quite a few of my latest creations on stage, always feel anxious until they appear and look OK, but I was generally pleased with how everything looked.Newest photos are at the top of the gallery after all the posts. After they have been up for a while I will file them into categories.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I'm going to Vegas!!

I am very excited because Suzanne from "Tutus that Dance" is running a seminar in Las Vegas in August on tutu making and I am going. I am also going to be teaching a unit on making stretch tutus which should be fun although I have never done anything like this before so I'll be learning as much as my students.

Anyone interested in attending check out her website, the link is in my list.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Gold and cream tutu

Just finished this one for an eleven year old dancer. As the lace is very pale gold I was concerned it would all blend together on stage, so I have put gold sequin dot material under the lace to deepen the colour slightly and to sparkle through the lace under stage lights. I also added some more bronzy gold sequins to the edge of the lace underskirt and to the lace pieces appliqued onto the overskirt and the bodice.

/> Here is a closer view of the bodice decoration, lace pieces cut from the underskirt material then decorated with swarovski crystals and sequins.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

More pictures

I have just added a new national photo to the gallery. I cannot claim any credit for the design as I was asked to copy an existing costume that was the wrong size, fun to make though and the most intricate national I have done so far. Luckily for me i didn't have to make the hat!!

Here is another tutu I have recently finished, looking forward to seeing it on stage as it will really stand out from the more usual pastels.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Costumes for May

I have been too busy lately to post here, but have time today to put up a few more photos.


Penny loved some lace I used on another tutu, but when I went to get more it was all gone. Luckily for me someone on the Sewing Forum had posted about an american supplier going out of business. Unable to resist I had a look and found this lovely embroidered organza at a bargain price. I have added about 2 gross of Swarovski diamantes to the skirt and bodice.


I love strong clear colours like this royal blue and was delighted when Anita chose it. I recently found a new (to me anyway) shop in Melbourne selling gorgeous sequin trim (Stagesassi in Plenty Road Kingsbury) and this is where the sequin motifs on the bodice and petals came from. I added some silver motifs with sequin and diamantes to tie in with the silver braid on the skirt.


Here is a close up of the bodice.


This tutu is for 7 year old Alivia,a very pretty, girly tutu in mauves and pinks. I dyed the overskirt and scalloped laces mauve as mauve is a hard colour to get for some reason.

I have another tutu finished that I will post as soon as I take a good photo.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Another tutu blog

A friend of mine in Perth who makes beautiful tutus has just started up a blog, I have put the link with the others in the list of links but will write it here too
http://www.sewdanceaust.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tutus made in April

I have been fairly busy and still have lots of orders for the next lot of comps in July. This tutu was made totally by email for Amelia who lives in northern NSW. Amelia and her mum chose the colour, decoration and design. Amelia is 9 and I think it is a perfect tutu for a young girl, the top layer of glitter net just gives it enough glitz without overpowering it.


These two tutus are for older girls to wear in ballet championships, so are a lot fancier. I have had this shot crushed taffeta in my stash for ages, waiting for someone who wanted a more unusual coloured tutu. I think it looks perfect with the deep purple velvet and greeny yellow oil slick sequins on this tutu.


I used lots of different colours of net, even adding a greeny yellow layer to pick up the colour of the sequins.


Here is a close up of the bodice decoration


and the headpiece I made to go with it


This one is in my favourite colours of red and purple


Here is a close up of the low back the teacher wanted. I like these backs especially with the drape type sleeves as they don't hang so low.


I dyed the lace to go on the overskirt as purple lace is hard to come by. Unfortunately as it is embroidered onto organza it made the bits in between the emnroidered parts really dull and the red velvet didn't show through. I ended up painting all the in between bits red, plus adding LOTS of sequins.


Here is the headpiece for this tutu.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fabulous photos.


Last year I "made" some costumes for a contemporary troupe my daughter had choreographed. She wanted them to look like princesses who had been locked in a tower for a long time waiting for Prince Charming...after they had realised he was not coming, "princesses who have been through the wringer' was how she described it.
I envisaged sleeping beauty covered in windblown leaves and dying flowers.
I bought a set of ready made tutus from a fairy shop on ebay and added flowers and leaves I had spray painted to look withered. Maddie made the headdresses from old christmas decorations, lace tights from ebay and I made the lace sleeves.

I was REALLY happy with the way they looked on stage, it's not often that things turn out just how you had envisaged, and just today Annie's mum sent me these gorgeous photos.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Two new tutus.

I have just finished two new tutus for sisters, very happy with the way they both turned out.

This one is black velvet lycra with eight layers of white net. The top layer is this very sparkly silver glitter fine black net I got from GJ's in Melbourne, just gathered. I used motifs cut from the net and white guipure lace flowers for the bodice decoration and lots of Swarovski diamantes - I have really got hooked on them lately!


The second one is an unusual dusky pink velvet lycra with beaded lace that was originally from Recherche fabrics in Sydney. I used about four different colours of net in the skirt.

I also made headpieces to go with both.



Friday, March 12, 2010

Non-stretch, traditional tutus.

I have made a few traditional tutus, so have just added a few photos to the gallery - scroll past all the posts -but I feel like I still have LOTS to learn here. They are fun to do as you can use any sort of fabric, but hard to sew together...as for sewing on hooks and eyes, not my favourite occupation!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Black and silver tutu



Just finished this one yesterday. It is for a fifteen year old and done totally by email. She wanted black and dark blue with silver. Bodice is doubled lycra on panels with short lycra overskirt. Lace motifs were spray painted and handpainted silver and the bodice decorated with Swarovski crystals in "comet argent" and "black Diamond" plus a sprinkling of navy sequins. The top layer of the tutu is a very glittery black on black net, I think it will look fabulous under stage lights.It has eight layers of net, four black and four navy blue.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New purple tutu

I have just finished a new purple velvet tutu for a ten year old,


It was a joy to make as everything I tried worked first time and came out looking how I wanted it - this does not always happen.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New tutu pattern by Jalie

Jalie patterns in Canada have just released a tutu pattern to be made from stretch fabric. As tutu patterns are very rare I decided to try it out. Here is a link to the pattern,
http://www.jalie.com/catalog/product/gallery/id/106/image/270/

The pattern consists of a leotard and a separate pull on tutu, the leotard is designed with a flap that is worn over the pull on tutu to give the appearance of a bodice sitting over a basque. It can also be worn over pants, leggings, a skirt or shorts.

I first made up the leotard pattern exactly as the instructions say, mainly to fully understand how it worked.This is the orange and red one pictured.



As the leotard has really lovely lines I decided to make a tutu from it and modify it a bit to suit my needs. I decided as I didn't want a separate tutu skirt, to sew the net directly to the leotard and also to sew the bodice directly onto the panty, eliminating the facing and also the waist sewing line. As I wanted the bodice to just sit below the waist at the sides and back, I shortened the bodice pieces here and curved them down to meet the front point. The second photo is of this leotard made in mauve stretch satin.









I sewed on eight layers of net (not the four the pattern suggests) and put four widths of net in each layer. After I had sewed all the net on, with the top layer going under the point of the bodice, I decided the line was a bit low as shown in this photo so I pulled off the top layer and sewed it back on higher, with the line of net going across the point of the bodice.







Next time I make a tutu from this pattern I will shorten the point of the bodice as I prefer the point to just touch the top net layer. I also didn't bother with the pinch front on the leotard and top stitched the bodice seam lines to make them more obvious. The stretch satin which is shiny on one side, so I used it shiny side out on the side front panels for interest.




This is the finished tutu.


















Here is a close up of the bodice, decorated with hand painted lace, sequins, pearls and diamantes.









Here is a photo of it on a real person. I did find the sizing quite generous, this is a Girls 13 on my fairly tall grown up daughter.









This pattern has a really nice neckline and the seam lines on the bodice are extremely well placed, I have since used it for a neo classical (lyrical) costume, again no facing and with the bodice sewn straight onto the panty but no other modification to the pattern.


I'd also like to thank Emilie from Jalie patterns who wrote back immediately with information when I emailed with questions about this pattern.