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Tag Archives: Tutu Tacking

  • Tacking Your Tutu Part 4: Your Hoop

    Welcome to Part 4 in our series on Tacking Your Tutu.

    In this post, we want to talk a bit about the hoop layer.  What is hooping?  Where do I find hooping?  How do I hoop my tutu?

    What is Hooping?

    "Hooping" is a stiff wire or plastic inserted into one of the  layers of your tutu.  Hooping your tutu helps to keep the classical tutu flat and stiff.  This gets you the flat, "pancake" look and aids in keeping your tutus' shape even with heavy embellishment or after years of wear.

    (If you need a review on the different tutu styles, you can take a look on our "History of the Tutu" under the "Tutu Styles" section.)

    Where Can I Get the Supplies?

    Hoop wire  can be found from corset-making suppliers such as Richard the Thread (California, USA) or Farthingales (Ontario, Canada).   The hoop wire that we prefer is made of steel and is actually two metal wires covered with either plastic or fabric.  This tutorial shows the plastic coated type.

    Preparing the Hoop Wire

    For most classical tutu skirts, we split our wire into two strips.  Here is what the wire looks like when it is intact:

    Plastic Covered Hoop Wire


    Here is how we split it:

    Splitting Hoop Wire


    Cut a length of hoop wire long enough to fit into your tutus' hoop casing plus at least 8 inches.  If you are working with a white tutu, you are done.  Skip ahead to "Inserting Your Hoop Wire".

    Hiding Your Hoop Wire

    When working on a colored tutu, our favorite method of hiding the hoop wire is to cover it with a satin ribbon.  This is much less messy and less toxic than painting the wire casing.  In addition,  the satin helps the hoop to slide easily through your tutus' hoop casing.  We use a one inch wide ribbon to cover our split hoop wire.  Fold the ribbon inf half and stitch close to the edge:

    Preparing the Ribbon Casing


    Insert your  hoop wire into the ribbon casing:

    Inserting Wire Into Casing


    Inserting Your Hoop Wire

    You are now ready to insert your  hoop wire into your tutus' hoop casing.

    • Insert wire into the casing on your tutu.
    • Carefully pull out your ruffle so that it is straight and even.  (Strait out like the spokes of a wheel.)
    • Tack into place.

    This black and white example shows clearly the hoop inserted into the casing and tacked to the lower (black) layers.  Note how the ruffle just under the hoop layer extends past the hooping and help hides it.

    Hooping Inserted


    We secure our hoop wire by overlapping  at least 8 inches in the back and securing with clear packing tape.  Tape the center of the overlapped section and over each end.  You can tape right on top of the ribbon or, for a nicer finish, you can tape the wire and pull the ribbon over the taped portion to hide the tape.

    We hope you are enjoying our tutu tips!  Keep watching for more.

    If you have tutu tacking tips (or ANY tips at all) that you would like to share, let us know!

  • Tacking Your Tutu Part 3: Step by Step

    This is Part 3 in a series on Tacking Your Tutu. In Part 1, we talked about preparing your tutu for tacking. In Part 2, we introduced our favorite time-saving tool, the “Tagging Gun”.  We  explained the tools, where to find them, and how to get them ready. In this post we are going to take you step by step through one way of tacking a classical or bell tutu. We really want to emphasize that this is merely one way of tacking.

    How you tack involves:

    • your choice of hand tacking or tag tacking,
    • the size of your tack,
    • how many layers of the tutu that you include in each tack and
    • how closely you place your tacks.

    How you tack determines a large part of how your finished tutu will look. For example, using a short tack (1 inch) and tacking 3 tutu layers at a time, results in a tight, flat look (good for that “pancake” style). If you use a 2-3 inch tack, you will get a looser, fluffier look (good for a bell or “powder puff” style). We encourage you have fun trying different techniques. In this example, we are using a tagging gun.  Don’t worry! We will get to hand tacking in the future.

    The Supplies

    • A tagging gun.
    • Fine tags to match your tutu color.
    • Elastic to tie up your tutu layers.

    Tacking Your Tutu

    1. Turn your tutu top side up. Gather up all but the bottom 2-3 rows and secure with elastic.

    Tied up Tutu


    2. Check your tutu layers and make sure that they are alignment straight out from your panty (like the spokes of a wheel).
    3. Point the tagging gun down and “shoot” the tag through all layers.  Be careful that you are catching just one layer of each of the ruffles.  HINT:  Pointing your gun downward for all of the lower layers results in the smallest side of the tag visible.



    4. Continue tagging around your tutu skirt placing the tacks 2-3 inches apart and at least 1 inch in from the edge of the tutu ruffle.

    Tack all around your tutu


    5. Continue pulling down 1-2 layers and repeat steps 3 & 4 until you reach the top layer.

    6. For the top layer, “shoot” the tags from the bottom upward (so the smaller end of the tag is towards the top of the tutu.

    7. Hold your tutu upside down and right side up and check for “danglers” (pieces that dangle down).   If there are pieces hanging down, tack them in place so all is nice and flat and secure.

    8.  Celebrate because you re done!!!

    Next up, the hooped layer...

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