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.
Wow, Lilli! You look fantastic! I’m so impressed with you skirt making abilities 🙂
LOL, thanks Jo! (Just don’t look too carefully – my sewing’s not my greatest skill!)
I love the contrast with the stripy black and white top, making it less princess and more grown up. And I agree J looks great!
Thanks AnnaO. I knew I wanted to wear the skirt with the stripes right from the get-go… I can’t actually imagine how else I’d wear it now!
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.
Oooh! Good advice Holly – thanks so much!
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
Thanks Lola! I’m a curvy, curvy thwarted ballet dancer. I jiggle, lol, but I have a good time anyway 🙂
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.
I love this look, so frenchy, so chic!!!
The hair and makeup look gorge too!
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!
Okay, yours is WAY prettier than the inspiration piece. I love it, love it, love it!!!
Awww, thanks Cathy!
Are you absolutely sure it didn’t start a teeny wheeny bit with SJP in THAT tutu? x
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!
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!
Thankyou lesliele. I’m so in love with that gumball material I’m thinking of going back and buying some more. No idea what I’d make, but still!
oo I have been drooling over the Ouma store on etsy for ages now. Gorgeous. That looks fab!
LOL, not just me then! Thanks for commenting 🙂
You look very sweet and ballerina-esque! Nice job:) I saw that skirt on J and completely fell for it too, so you’re not alone there.
Thanks Veronica 🙂
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.
LOL, I’m so glad you like it anjali – I was a bit worries it’d end up looking too pretty-pretty, but i think it’s just about right 🙂
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 🙂
Thank you so much, ana 🙂 I could actually see you in one of these tutu dresses, very much the sort of thing for floaty afternoon tea parties 🙂
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.
Thanks Kat 🙂 I’m such a sucker for Ouma’s stuff. The black-skirted tutu dress in particular. SO CUTE!
I love it! I like it better than the other versions, because it is more “daily” wearable. Great styling too.
Thanks Jennifer – thanks was my theory, too!
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! 😉
Aw, thanks Papu. It was a pretty easy project – the hardest part was finding the right fabrics for the project, but once you’ve done that you’re most of the way there!
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!
You’re as pretty as a picture! Tell me about that lovely necklace you are wearing…
Isn’t it divine? My little sister bought it for me at Melbourne’s Nigh Markets, and I haven’t the FOGGIEST who the stall owner was, I’m afraid!
You look amazing in this! Love it. make me one? LOL
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 🙂
Love it! You look so happy and pretty!
I am definitely happy! Thanks for commenting 🙂
Thanks Erin 🙂
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!
Oh, thanks Bella 🙂
OMG, SOOOOO cute. The skinny girl has nothing on you :))
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