Tutu much

Top: Glassons

Skirt: DIY

Shoes: Zu


This DIY has been on my to-do list for months and months and months! I’m so pleased to have finally done it, and even more pleased that it actually looks more or less how I expected it to!

It started with my obsession with the Cirque Party Dress from Ouma on etsy:

No, actually, it probably started earlier than that.

It’s a little known fact that I am – or was – a frustrated ballerina. My beloved Auntie V was a prima ballerina with the Australia Ballet, and I was determined to follow in her footsteps. As a unrelentingly girlie girl (the kind that had tantrums when Mum tried to put her in trousers, and whose skirts always had to twirl) I did ballet class twice a week until it became apparent that I was developing the kind of, ahem, figure that simply didn’t work on the ballet stage. Tragically this happened before I was old enough to graduate from a pancake tutu (the kind that sticks right out) to a romantic tutu (the kind that drapes oh-so-elegantly down). Ever since then I’ve had a kind of thwarted desire for long tulle skirts, so when I spotted Ouma‘s I was a goner.

But before I had the chance to convince myself that it wouldn’t be a ridiculous waste of money to spend hundreds of dollars on a dress that I didn’t really have a proper excuse to buy simply because I could swish about the apartment pretending I was a busty Anna Pavlova they started popping up in chain stores. Yep, the tutu was back.

But, typically, they were too tight, too short, too small, or the wrong colour.

I started going back to Ouma, especially after seeing J from Fatshionable flaunting hers on the streets of New York:

It might not be everyday wear, but surely it wouldn’t raise that many eyebrows… right? Right?

Finally I spotted a slightly less theatrical skirt in a magazine…

which, of course, proved impossible to find anywhere (it’s from Princess Charlotte in case you’re interested).

So, I threw my hands up in the air, decided to stop faffing about, and simply bite the bullet and sew one for myself.

I used the same circle skirt pattern that I used to make my gumball skirt but knocked about a quarter of the circle out of the bottom layer of satin, so the top layer of chiffon would sit separately on top rather than following the same contours. I also sewed a ribbon around the waistband that could be done up at the back or the front.

Overall, I’m pretty happy. I think if I made it again I’d actually gather the top skirt to give it some real volume and oompf, and the hem definitely needs to be tidied up – perhaps with some bias tape – but it’s satisfied my obsession for the moment, and at a fraction of the price.


50 thoughts on “Tutu much

  1. That is just so pretty – you look amazing!! I’ve been wanting one since I first saw the etsy one on your lust list. I made dance skirts for my daughter, which kinda zapped my will to make my own. Before you fix the hem let it hang for a week or two. Sometimes that chiffony stuff can drop and ends up all uneven.

  2. Oh Lilli, look at you- this is lovely! You look like a ballet-dancer (if real women would be allowed to dance ballet, instead of those tiny sick waifs that the theatre directors seem to prefer, inapprehensively). – Lola

  3. GORGEOUS! Its far too girly for my own personal taste (I’ve rejected buying the Beth Ditto Polka Dot dress from Evans for that very reason – have to keep some of my tomboy roots!) but on you it looks simply divine! You are a clever (&patient) bean. I keep saying I want to make my own clothes but I know I am too lazy and impatient to actually do it…!

    BTW are you going to purchase anything from the Beth Ditto collection? You must be the only blog I read who hasn’t mentioned it yet…

    • LOL, I’m such a girlie-girl, but it’s juuuuust on the edge for me too. How’re you liking the Beth Ditto range this year? I thought the heart cardi & the bubble skirt looked pretty cute 🙂

      • I’m in two minds about Beth Ditto – I loved the last collection but finances meant I could only buy one item! BUT I’ve bought two items in this collection and love them both! I got the denim skirt and the velvet dress.

    • It’s so rare you see me properly made up, isn’t it, Cilla! I’m so lazy about that kind of thing (I shouldn’t be, I know!) The hair’s actually care of an amazing set of $5 bumpit rip-offs I bought. Great purchase!

    • Naw – Somehow I missed the whole SATC thing! I think it was on every night I had classes, or maybe it clashed with something, but I never used to watch it regularly. Scandal, I know!

  4. Oh my GOODNESS! You are a vision! 🙂 I LOVE how happy you look in these pics! Positively radiant!

    And I covet your gumball skirt. So pretty!

  5. Oh Lilli, you are wonderful! I love your inspiration (I have already had petticoats and tulle on the mind for the last few years, but now I feel I neeeeed a full-on tutu skirt) and I love your own skirt. Very sweet and ballerina-esque without being too over the top at all. Great job on constructing it, I’m so impressed! Also, you know *all* the best shops for custom dresses on etsy. My wishlist always grows when I visit.

  6. Very pretty. It’s all like casual sailor chic on top, Gisele prima ballerina girliness on the bottom. It’s been a while since I stopped by and I apologise. So lovely to see you looking amazing as always and the blog looking great 🙂

  7. That is adorable! I love ouma’s stuff. I have had some of her skirts and dresses in my etsy favs for over a year now. I love your skirt! It is adorable.

  8. I love tutu skirts and last year I tried to find one that fit me, but I didn’t… so I loved this one you’ve made and I think it’s more “wearable” on a daily basis and I will sure try to make one myself! Thanks for the tip, you look lovely! 😉

  9. love the look-you look so gorgeous and girly but not silly! I think this is my fave outfit here!!! So much so it made me comment! I bought an alannah hill black tutu type skirt years ago but never wore it cos i felt a bit silly but so loved it! You look so pretty!!!!!!

    • Aw, thanks Rochelle! I’m always buying things then feeling too self conscious to wear them too – hopefully you still have it, no-one would even raise and eyebrow, tutu’s are so prevalent today!

    • LOL, you know – I would, but my sewing’s actually really, really dodgy! I’m not confident to makes clothes for other people yet. My seams are still too wonky for general consumption 🙂

  10. I can totally relate to your frustrated dreams of being a ballerina. Alas, I too wished to be one but given I was so clumsy, it was not to be. 🙂 That said, you look feminine and absolutely charming! Lucky you to possess such clever sewing skills!

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