Princess Tutu



Another classical tutu! Though time-consuming, these are fun to make. This time around I wanted to use a few new techniques, and I consider Odile to have been a great learning experience in how to improve with my next tutu project.

The anime based this tutu off of the one worn in the Third (Wedding)...(Read More) Act of Sleeping Beauty, specifically it appears to be inspired by the production done by the Royal Ballet in 1994. I did use a little bit of that exact tutu for reference, but mostly went off the art and re-created it as a real-life classical performance tutu.

The tutu itself is 10 layers of double-hand pleated diamond net. The longest, topmost row is 17" wide - I wanted something big for this costume, because tutus in Sleeping Beauty do tend to run along the bigger end of the spectrum, and it's a wedding tutu! So big and ruffly, it is! Because Rue's tutu is yellow, and I don't really think of that as very 'wedding-like', I alternated ivory net with yellow to soften up the appearance of it while stay maintaining accuracy to the original art. The layers are hand-tacked together - tight enough so they stay, but just loose enough so they will move gracefully when in motion/dancing. The tacks were applied with button craft thread, and each tack was tied in individually, with four sets around the tutu (rows 2-4, 4-6, 6-8 and took forever go around the tutu four times like this). This tutu is not hooped, as I wanted it to have a slightly sloped appearance and not be as flat as Odile - I felt it looked more 'wedding-like' this way, too. The rows are sewn onto a custom-made panty which is made out of Powernet, in the front they are sewn in a bit of a slope to create a lower look in the front than in the back. There are three sets of ruffles added to the seat of the panty on each side, as is customary with performance tutus.

The bodice is 12 panels - I used bengaline fabric and it is flat-lined in coutil, each panel is serged with the lining before being sewn together. I used steel boning within the seam allowances to give more support and structure to the bodice, with the exception of the back seams to allow flexibility in the back. I made cording for the bodice edges, then sewed trim around the edges as well as handsewn pearls. The back of the bodice is attached with hooks and bars like a regular ballet bodice would be - zippers are too risky, so while it is more work, individually sewn hooks and bars are the way to go. The front of the bodice is decorated in lace overlays with an extra overlay of glitter yellow tulle over yellow diamond net - the nets were joined with spray adhesive. Then they were attached to the bodice and hand-beading and applique was done for more details.

The tutu peplum (not a full plate) was done in a floral motif to go with the rest of the costume's theme. Even the lace used for the overlays is a floral print. Individually hand-sewn sequins make up the border, and the yellow petals were done in the same fashion as the yellow bodice overlays. The edge features hand-sewn pearl trim. The peplum was carefully measured and hand-sewn to the top edge of the tutu panty. I then added the basque, which is not seen at all when wearing the costume because the bodice goes right over it. The basque features a corded bottom edge, and four sets of hooks and bars attach in the back. The bottom edge also has hand-sewn pearl trim in case it peeks out when stretching. The bottom edge of the peplum was then carefully pinned to the actual tutu and hand-sewn to it all the way around.

The tiara is shaped wire covered in silver filament, with rhinestone chain wired around it. Rhinestones were then added in places, and floral sprays taken apart for extra detail. Pearl and clear bead trees were wired to the frame to give it a very ethereal, fantasy look.

The hair bun is made by cutting a foam ball in half, and sanding it down to size. Then I applied wood glue to keep it from getting eaten by the spray paint, then once it dried, I sprayed it dark brown. I then looped through wefts from Sally's that matched my base wig and added some sequins with stick pins for extra detail.

The necklace is made of clear monafilament wire and pearls of various colors and sizes. I used crimping beads to create the 'floating' look. There are three rows to the necklace.

The arm 'poofs' are made of two rows of ivory tulle and one of yellow glitter tulle sandwiched between them. I dagged the edges and there is elastic to keep them on. I sewed in pearls around the elastic and also added a flower to each one.

I used the same Sansha demi pointe shoes I used for Odile - they are not fully functioning pointe shoes, and lack a shank on the bottom that would give a dancer support when going en pointe. The box is also softer, so they are more comfortable to wear by far than real pointe shoes, too.


Views 1643
Last Updated 8 years ago
Created 8 years ago
Series Princess Tutu
Character Rue
Variant Aurora Act III (Wedding) Tutu


Xavietta I really admire the work and detail you put into your costumes! I love reading your construction notes; all the little extras you include when you put together a costume is amazing ^^