Tutu Skirts- The Challenges Of Construction

Pale blue tutu skirt

How In The World Do You Make A Tutu Skirt?

I spent a little while this evening researching and trying to gather information about the tutu making process. There are hundreds, if not thousands of tutu making articles on the internet. I went through one article after another trying to get a basic idea of the steps involved in making a tutu skirt.

The articles that I found had titles like, “Make A No Sew Tutu In 30 Minutes, or, “How To Make A Tutu Skirt In 3 Easy Steps“. Illustrations for articles like this show pitifully thin strips of tulle hanging from a thick elastic waist band. These are not tutus. They are tutu-like play costumes for people who are just having fun.

The tutu construction methods I was seeking are for professional grade, real classical tutus that end up on the stage of the Kirov Theater. I should have known that  ballet costume designers for major theaters would be much too busy to be writing how-to articles about tutus. It’s hard to write when you’re up to your ears in tulle.

Classical ballet costumes of the professional grade can take more than 3 weeks to complete. Some tutu skirts have scalloped edges that need to be cut out by hand using a special edging template. Multiply that by the layers needed and you can plan on having a very busy day!

As you can see in the photo, the tulle layers of the tutu skirt have to be graded. That means that each layer of tulle has to be shorter than the layer above it in order to stand out firmly and not “flop”. The tutu has to be the correct width so the dancer can allow her partner room to come in close.

There is so much precision required of the person who aims to make a professional looking classical tutu. These kind of endeavors are better left to the nimble-handed and experienced tutu engineers!

spools of tulle fabric
Tulle Fabric Spools In Rainbow Colors
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3 comments

  1. You are so right on all of this – yes there are so many stages, and it is quite difficult to cut tulle accurately. I also agree with you in what you say about these – quick tutu articles. There is as you say no quick way to make a tutu.

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