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Tag Archives: Tutu Embellishment

  • Quick Tip: Get More out of your Tutus

    Mix, Match & Share!

    Your tutu bodice and skirt separates should be attached together after they have been fit.  This is essential so that there is no gaping during performance.

    Want to get more out of your tutu bodice and tutu skirt purchase? Use this trick to pair your bodice with different skirts. This way you can pair one bodice with more than one skirt to change:

    • Tutu Style
    • Tutu Size
    • Tutu Skirt Length
    • Tutu Colors

    Use Buttonhole Elastic & Suspender Buttons

    Secure your bodice to your skirt using buttonhole elastic for the tabs. Place small, flat buttons on the inside of the waistband. These buttons and "buttonholes" can be placed all around the tutu skirt and bodice. We place our buttons and elastic at the center front, side front, side and side back seams. That way, skirts & bodices can be easily switched.

    Buttonhole Elastic

    At Class Act Tutu, we are now offering Buttonhole Elastic/Button kits. Check it out!

  • Urban Nutcracker

    We are sharing this fun post from Dustin Todd Rennells that talks about creating all new costumes for Tony Williams', Urban Nutcracker.  Enjoy!

    by Dustin Todd Rennells

    Katrina Gould in Tony Williams' Urban Nutcracker Photo: RavenWolfe Photography Katrina Gould in Tony Williams' Urban Nutcracker Photo: RavenWolfe Photography

    This was one of my favorite overall projects to do for Urban Nutcracker. This tutu came to us at a great price from Class Act Tutu when I begged for a good price for our amazing show. It came naked just wine and black. Through the help of numerous volunteers all the gold window panes and sequined borders were sewn on and tacked down. First is Katrina Gould as Sugar with her backup of Sugar Plum Attendants in several beautiful images by RavenWolfe Photography. Next is my original drawing of the piece that I had envisioned. This is most likely the closest to my original idea. Lastly is the tutu we had used for 6+ years. Definitely a new concept here! Sugar embodies the city of Boston, wine/brick red like the buildings with glowing lights of a city during the holidays. Thanks to Anita Handy-Velasquez, Amanda Lapham, Yara Figueroa, Molly Mclaughlin-Drubin and Judith Alvarez for their additional work to this costume and headpiece. Based on original drawings by Rebecca Cross.

    Katrina Gould in Tony Williams' Urban Nutcracker Photo: RavenWolfe Photography Katrina Gould in Tony Williams' Urban Nutcracker Photo: RavenWolfe Photography
    Katrina Gould in Tony Williams' Urban Nutcracker Photo: RavenWolfe Photography Katrina Gould in Tony Williams' Urban Nutcracker    Photo: RavenWolfe Photography


    Katrina Gould in Tony Williams' Urban Nutcracker Photo: RavenWolfe Photography Katrina Gould in Tony Williams' Urban Nutcracker    Photo: RavenWolfe Photography


    Concept for Urban Nutcracker's Sugarplum by Dustin Todd Rennells. Concept for Urban Nutcracker's Sugarplum by Dustin Todd Rennells.
  • Quick Tip - Let the Fabric & Trim Do the Work!

    Hand work can be delightful if you have time, but in a crunch, it may not be an option. Here is what I do:

    Find nicely embellished fabric so that little or no adornment needs to be added.
    Find fabric that needs no edge finishing (that is, no hemming).

    My favorite choice is embellished (sequined, beaded, embroidered) tulle like we used in this “Spanish” tutu design:



    To create an overlay for your skirt:

    • Cut a “donut” shape with the “hole” the measurement of the bottom of the tutu basque.
    • Choose the length of the overlay.
    • Cut an 8 inch slit at the center back.


    If needed, use a coordinating trim to edge the outside of the skirt circle.  This trim can be hand stitched or machine sewn.


    For the bodice, cut a shape that follows the lines of the bodice. Again, if needed, outline the fabric with a co-coordinating trim.


    If time and budget permit, add beads or crystals.


    Tack bodice & skirt overlay in place so that it is secure but easy to remove for cleaning.

    Voila!  An elegant tutu embellishment without a lot of stitching time

  • Quick Tip: Easy Tutu Skirt Embellishment

     Lilac Fairy Tutu design© CJDL Design

    Make your tutu skirt embellishment easy to place and to remove by attaching it to a lovely trim!

    1. Stitch your appliqués, petals, or whatever decorative pieces you are using to some coordinating trim.  Here we have used a metallic gold.
    2. Sew or glue some gems, beads, sequins, etc.
    3. Hand stitch the trim to the bottom of the tutu basque or waistband.
    4. Tack pieces to the tutu skirt if needed.


    Lilac Fairy Tutu design ©CJDL Design

  • Tutus for a Princess

    At Class Act Tutu, we have had a run of requests for tutus inspired by Disney characters.  From "Belle" (Beauty and the Beast) to The "Queen of Hearts" (Alice in Wonderland), we have come up with some simple and cost saving solutions for the perfect tutu for your Princess!  Here are just some of our ideas...

    Disney Princesses


    Use Colors

    Start with a basic bodice and add color blocking.  For our Queen of Hearts, we used a Black Sweetheart style Tutu Bodice with Red Center Front Panels and Red Cording.

    Queen of Hearts Tutu
    Queen of Hearts Tutu

    Add Some Options

    Add Arm Puffs and "Petals" (like our "Queen of Hearts" tutu above) or Sleeves (Yellow for our "Snow White" tutu below).

    We added a Lace-up Front and a Bow to our Scoop Neck Tutu Bodice , some lace trimming and an Apron to finish off that "Snow White" look.

    Snow White Tutu


    Play with Color Layers in your Tutu Skirt

    All of these designs feature our Romantic Style Tutu Skirt.  You can get a "petticoat" look by using several layers of color (yellow for Snow White, blue for "Alice") on top of 2 layers of white.

    It's amazing what you can do a lot with a few options and some color, don't you agree?

    If you would like some design assistance for this or any of our other tutus, please do not hesitate to CONTACT US.

  • Quick Tip: Adding Some "Pearls"

    Whether you are getting ready for Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP), New York International Ballet Competition (NYIBC), Prix de Lausanne (Prix), International Ballet Competition (IBC), or some other ballet competition a beautiful, one-of-a-kind tutu is essential.  It can also be a real challenge.  We love to share our tutu embellishment tips and tricks to help you.

    "Pearls" for Your Tutu


    To add an elegant and lightweight "Pearl" to your tutu embellishment, just coat a cork ball with pearl nail polish.

    Nail Polish

    Voila!  You have the look without the weight.

    Class Act Tutu's "Happily Ever After" tutu was featured in the October / November Issue of Pointe Magazine and is currently for sale and on Display at the Russian Pointe Dance Boutique in Chicago.

    "Happily After Ever" Design ©CJDL Design for Class Act Tutu.

    If you are interested in design assistance for your competition tutu, please contact us.

  • Sightings: Pointe Magazine, October/November 2010

    In the Costume Shop:  Magic is made behind the scenes.

    Thank you so much, Pointe Magazine, for featuring our "Happily Ever After" tutu in your article, In the Costume Shop:  Magic is made behind the scenes.  [ page 38]

    "Happily Ever After"


    This Classical Tutu design was created by CJDL Design for Class Act Tutu.  It features a Sweetheart Tutu Bodice style with a fabric upgrade (Gold/Silver Brocade), a Classical Tutu Skirt with Hooping and  Scalloped Edges.  The Embellishment is an amazing array of  hand-made fabric shapes with crystals, beads & painted accents.

    This is definitely one of our all-time favorite tutus. Just imagine how this gorgeous "Beauty" would look on stage! Whether you're dancing Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty--or any other Princess role--no Prince Charming could possibly resist!

    With all of its lavish design features and incredible "wow" factor, our Happily Ever After is more than just a costume--it's a fairytale dream come true!

    For information on how to purchase this tutu, please contact us.

  • Dior Roses

    A couture touch, a designer detail, a signature:  designers since the dawn of haute couture have made flowers and trims from ribbons and fabric, but none is as famous as the Dior rose.  Dior allowed his roses to cascade down ball-gown backs; he used them to call attention to the nipped waists on suit jackets and evening dresses...

    From:  Distinctive Details:  Great Embellishment Techniques for Clothing p. 62

    I first used "Dior Roses" to embellish tutus more than a decade ago.  I love them.  They are fun, simple and a wonderful use for all of those little scraps of fabric.

    Here is a recent post from Threads Magazine that does a perfect job of explaining how to Create a Detachable Flower Embellishment.


    This is the perfect finish to your "Rose Splendor" tutu ensemble.  At Class Act Tutu we are happy to provide you with extra fabric for your tutu finishing needs (available only with tutu purchase).  Just contact us!

  • Planning Your Tutu

    octnewsgraphicBuying your tutu at Class Act Tutu with all the selection in colors, sizes, appliques and more, means you can get the EXACT tutu you want. You get to pick every little detail!

    BUT how do you come up with the inspiration?

    AND THEN, how do you communicate your idea?

    First, finding inspiration. This first step stops many at the outset. Don’t fret! There are many sources of inspiration for your perfect tutu:

    Look at art. Remember, “art” can range from the Masters to an illustration in a children’s book. Here is an illustration submitted by a professional costume designer (Genevieve Tyrrell, Walt Disney Pictures & Television, used with permission).

    Look at nature. You may find the perfect colors for your tutu by looking at the colors in a flower or a hillside. Look at this photo and see how the autumn tutu matches the leaves on the branches. (Model: Rachel Smith / Photographer: Jerome Tso)

    Look at fashion. A current fashion trend may lend itself to a contemporary look for your tutu. Bridal styles often work well for ballet. Look at necklines, sleeves, embellishment, colors, etc. What looks do you like, dislike, work for the piece, etc.?

    Look at dance. Check out magazines, videos/DVDs, libraries & book stores. When I enter a used book store, I head straight to the dance aisle and look for bargains in books with lots of pictures. They can provide great direction for tutus for a role that dictate a specific style.

    Look at costume. A good historical costume reference helps not only with inspiration, but can provide a guide for getting a period piece correct.

    Now that you have a design concept in mind, how do you communicate those thoughts? Through a picture, a sketch or a very detailed description. Remember the old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” While there are copyright laws that prohibit exact replication of a design, a picture or photo can be used nicely as a starting point. Specify the pieces of the design that you like and those that you want to change. You can also piece together more than one example to convey what you want (i.e. "The skirt on this tutu, the sleeves on this tutu., etc.")

    A picture doesn’t necessarily have to be a tutu. Here is an example of a picture and design submitted by a client for their Design Concept.

    (Used with permission from Genevieve Tyrrell, Walt Disney Pictures & Television)

    Don’t feel that you need to be an artist! There are schematic figure forms (children’s, women’s, men’s) available on the Internet or you can trace the outline of a picture.

    Happy tutu planning! And when you're ready for help, whether it be design advice, or a little added inspiration, feel free to contact us.

    Planning Your Tutu Checklist:

    Choose Your Bodice

    • Fabric/Color(s)
    • Neckline Shaping (Sweetheart, Scoop, Boat, Other)
    • Bottom Shaping (Point, Straight, Dropped Waist)

    Choose Your Skirt

    • Fabric/Color(s)
    • Style (Romantic, Classical, Bell, Flat, Full, etc.)
    • Skirt Length
    • Choose Your Size
    • Get Measurements
    • Decide upon Custom vs Standard Sizing (if an option)


    • Sleeves
    • Wings
    • Headpiece/Tiara
  • Waltz of the Flowers

    The Nutcracker Ballet's Waltz of the Flowers ...

    Waltz of the Flowers Group 72

    Romance. Beauty. Joy. These are just some of the words that come to mind when we think of the Waltz of the Flowers and--more specifically--our color-layered "Flower" tutus!


    Because our designs are plucked directly from the meadows and forest glades of dreams, bursting with color and light. From the Amaryllis to the Zinnia, from the bold to the delicate, Class Act Tutu has collected a stunning bouquet of inspiration that will help you create the most visually captivating Nutcracker ever!

    Over the next several weeks, we'll be sharing some of our favorite floral designs. These choice tutus are sure to whisk your mind off to an enchanted garden where lilacs and roses dance in delight!

    But before you take off on a fragrant "flight of fancy", we want to hear from you! Tell us which flower(s) have given you inspiration or what flowers you would like to see us "collect"! We may share your ideas in an upcoming post.

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