Well, as it happens I have been helping to make some costumes for my daughter's dance show which took place this weekend. So there was a flurry of activity in the background but I didn't think it right to post the costumes until after the show!
It happened something like this if I remember correctly - dance teacher spots a dress that I've made and asks me if I'd like to make some costumes; I smile and nod; dance teacher mentions tutus; I say 'I could probably do that'.
You see, being largely self-taught, I don't know what I don't know when it comes to sewing. But I am oh so willing to give it a go and figure it out as I go along.
Make a tutu?
Let me at the lycra and ballet net!
(And yes, that is my sewing machine in amongst all that net!)
Luckily my daughter already had a ready-made tutu that I could look at for reference. Normally I would also do some research on the internet first for hints and tips but I didn't come across much of that.
Ok, Selena, so it looks like it's down to you...
a) Make up lycra body (it was to be an elasticated, pull-on skirt to go over an existing leotard)
b) then add net
Well, that sure sounds easy, right?
So I purchased a ruffler foot - an amazing gadget that really helps with getting the right amount of gather on the net. I also bought a rotary cutter and a cutting mat - a godsend when it comes to cutting acres and acres of net.
I figured out how wide the 7 layers of net had to be and I cut net for hours.
I then ruffled for Britain.
It was an experience sewing each layer onto the lycra. Net has this habit of boinging about and not staying where it's put LOL! I felt like a jungle explorer at times trying to make my way through the dense undergrowth in search of the needle!
Some things I learned along the way:
- Wear long sleeves - cut net is sharp!
- Make sure you only sew the net to the lycra body and not the gusset as well (I've lost track of the number of times I did that)
- Lycra feels kinda soft and silky
- Figure out how much net you think you need and then buy more - you will need way more than you think
- Your sewing machine will need a rest every now and again to prevent it from getting too hot
- You will need a rest every now and again - don't let it get the better of you!
- Ruffler feet respond well to gentle coaxing
Here is the end result. It goes nicely with a Girl Guide t-shirt doesn't it?!
Oh, and I didn't just make the one. I made three.
And when I watched the three of them dancing today I was so happy I had to wipe away a tear.
It really was a bit of a challenge. But I did it.