Tinkerbell Tutu

Cosplay, Costume Construction

Hello folks! Despite the long blog hiatus I have, in fact, had a few sewing projects on the go – the first of which I shall share with you now.

A friend of mine asked if I could make her a tutu, like the one I’d made on my course, for a hen night Tinkerbell costume. I happily agreed, but as this exchange originally took place during the tipsy walk between venues on a Halifax night out, the reality of agreeing to make a tutu didn’t sink in until a few days later. A tutu? A proper one? Ready in two weeks’ time? Gulp. Okayyy… I’ll give it a go!

The History Wardrobe

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Today a lovely woman called Lucy Adlington came in to talk to us about 1940s fashion. She runs a company called The History Wardrobe, which puts on presentations that teach history through costume. It was only an informal talk she gave us today, but it offered some brilliant insight into the period. For example, we learned that on average women only had about 44 clothing ration coupons per year, which didn’t go very far seeing as a dress cost about 11 coupons. I was surprised that pyjamas cost 8 coupons and corsets cost only 3, until Lucy pointed out that you couldn’t just wear an old tee shirt to bed because you wouldn’t have had any central heating to keep you warm at night, or a tee shirt for that matter, and you’d want to be adequately dressed in case the air-raid sirens went off in the middle of the night. So there you go – the realities of rationing made evident through clothes.

After the presentation we had time to do research for our dresses, and as I had more or less decided what I wanted to make I had the rest of the afternoon to work on…

the TUTU.

I know the bodice is more important, but I was determined to sew the rest of those net layers on come hell or high water. And I DID!!

But it wasn’t easy.

By layer ten, you really do have to wrangle the net and force it under the machine, because it just does not want to go anywhere.

I’m sure the lat muscles on my left side are going to be sore tomorrow. But it was totally worth it.

BOOM.

There’s still a fair bit to do on it (french seam the knickers, sew on the basque, stitch up the center backs of the layers, stab stitch the waistband, let it settle, string it), but now I’m caught up with everyone else and can sleep easy knowing it at least looks like a tutu.

Bodice update from last week coming soon. Tomorrow it’s drafting patterns and making toiles of our 40s dress, which will hopefully all be done on time to go fabric shopping on Wednesday (meaning we’d be a day ahead!). Here’s hoping!

General Update

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10-hour days, naps on the train, issues with pleats, calloused and flaking fingertips… these are just a few of the defining features of my life on the course at the moment. And now added to that is a new and interesting frustration: tutu-making!

This weekend we had a lovely girl called Liz come in to teach us how to make tutus. This was all very well and good, except it means that we’ve now gotten to the end of our seventh day without a day off and we’ve got all of next week, which includes kicking off a new project, to face up to. I should also point out that this tutu workshop came at the end of bodice week, which meant lots of late nights and early starts (and still endless amounts of hand-sewing that have yet to be completed).

At this point, I’m spent. I can feel a sore throat coming on and I’m barely convinced I’ll finish my bodice on time, let alone a tutu or another dress.

But I think that’s just the exhaustion talking. Photos of last week’s progress coming up, as soon as I find myself at home before 7.30 pm (i.e., not very soon). Til then, thanks for reading!