Princess Tutu (Swan Lake) - Princess Tutu


Hyper Japan July 2014

3rd place EGX Grand Championship 2015, CosIsland Showcase 07/09/14

Showcased 7th September 2014 What is this?


I lost track of the time taken/costs completely as I tried to keep this fairly low key, therefore didn't have handy CosIsland journals to keep track of it all! All rough estimates however, I started planning the skit and researching of the costume in November time 2013, started making it around February 2014 and then carried on until Hyper Japan in July 2014.

Everyone knows I love Princess Tutu, I really wanted to give the ECG qualifiers a shot again and to put on a decent performance so we rattled ideas around and eventually landed on Princess Tutu! I've always wanted to do a performance regardless as I can actually do ballet and strangely enough, I've never worn a pancake tutu before, only ever romantic tutus.

I bought the Russian ballet bodice pattern off tutu.com and luckily I fit the size that I bought perfectly so I didn't have to do any modifications to the pattern whatsoever. I made a mock up out of calico first to check the fit. Then I cut out the panels for the duchess satin top layer and the coutil lining, used the zig zag stitch to go around the edges so that the satin had weight to it for the structure of the bodice. I sewed on boning tape to the seams, inserted boning to the front and side-back panels (leaving the back and side free for ease of movement) and finished it off with hook and eye tape and satin bias binding on the top and bottom.

I drew out the embroidery pattern onto A3 paper, scanned it in and then photoshopped it to make it cleaner ready for the embroidery machine. I used Bernie's embroidery machine to make it, her dad and I programmed it into the machine and then Bernie set the machine running whilst she was working on her own costume and then posted it to me. It took a few tries to program but in the end we managed to get it all satin stitched. Bernie gave it two layers of thread with interfacing on the back, which I peeled off and covered in PVA glue to seal the embroidery. I handstitched it on with metallic thread to give it a slight shine when looking at it close up. Then I gave the embroidery a "highlight" in photos by adding small beads only around the top sides of the embroidery. I thought it would look incredibly tacky if I had beaded around the whole of the embroidery.

The feathers are rooster feathers I got off eBay and I glued and stitched them on to ensure they won't fall off. I then stitched on the gem that I bought from Tutus and Textiles.

The tutu pattern was bought from Tutu Patterns, it's the pancake tutu. Very easy to follow and really relaxing to make! I watched a lot of anime and TV whilst making this. It's made from 9 layers of tulle with hooping (bought from Tutus and Textiles) in the 7th layer for support. There are optional butt and leg ruffles, I ignored the butt ruffles and just went for the leg ruffles as I felt it was poofy enough. I made the panty from plain cotton with bias binding to finish and the basque was made from duchess satin, medium weight iron on interfacing and cotton as lining. I followed the pattern and used grosgrain ribbon to finish.

The overskirt is a circle skirt with an invisible zip, made from duchess satin. I had to handmake feathers out of satin back dupion by cutting each feather and melting it with a candle. I chose this fabric as I liked the contrast to the duchess satin. I hand stitched each feather with white thread and then tacked each one down with invisible thread. I used white thread first as it's a lot stronger but I didn't want it visible hence why I used both kinds of thread. I then hand stitched the lining to the skirt which was also made from duchess satin, the weight of the duchess satin means I didn't need to use interfacing! I used bias binding to finish off the inner circle.

I hand stitched the overskirt directly onto the bodice where the two pieces of bias binding meet.

The wig was made from two wigs. An orange wig from eBay and a white 'Ash' wig from Coscraft. I cut both wigs in half and sewed the top half of the orange wig onto the bottom half of the white wig. As the orange wig was so long, I trimmed it afterwards. I used a wig over feathers because I honestly really do not like it when I see other cosplayers use feathers. I've always preferred the look of a feathered wig instead and so I purposely chose this method. Although I think I will sew in the remainder of the white wig into this wig because I don't think it's fluffy enough.

I bought a tiara base from FabricLand and used 0.4mm wire to thread beads (with a hole of 1mm diameter) to create the tiara. I bought some trim from FabricLand which had diamond gems in every other pearl which I really liked the look off so I glued this onto the tiara base.

Tights and pointe shoes I already owned.

I'm not going to lie, this costume is boiling! People thought we were really cool in our costumes but I honestly overheated loads in this cosplay. By far not a cooling costume, however still fun to wear. I just can't wear it for long because honestly, I don't have the stamina to wear pointe shoes for long periods of time, even in class we only ever wear them for 30mins and then it's into flats! So I tire really easily, but I like pretending I'm a ballerina for the amount of time I'm in it regardless!

Need to do a proper shoot at some point, at Hyper Japan we all just wanted to get out of the costumes ASAP after our performance :P

InfiniteJester posted on 14 August, 2014 - 13:09
This looks lovely!

Amy-Lou posted on 14 August, 2014 - 20:42
So pretty! That tutu is a beast, you did an amazing job making this :D

Ranma1-2 posted on 14 August, 2014 - 20:49
Wow, beautiful!

Sephirayne posted on 14 August, 2014 - 22:33
This is amazing. You look really beautiful.

MoonLily posted on 15 August, 2014 - 07:05
You can tell the massive amount of work you put into this and it looks gorgeous! You should be very proud :3

otakugirl posted on 15 August, 2014 - 13:40

TheStarlightFairy posted on 15 August, 2014 - 19:15
Utterly stunning <3

Pandora-Chi posted on 15 August, 2014 - 20:25
Missy you cannot stop looking stunning <3 You did Tutu justice so much and I loved your performance!

Moonchild posted on 15 August, 2014 - 21:23
This turned out amazingly well as i knew it would do, you looked stunning <3

quixoticschlemiel posted on 17 August, 2014 - 12:31
I really love how you did the wig for this, it all looks gorgeous <3

TheStarlightFairy posted on 7 September, 2014 - 21:30
Congratulations on a well deserved showcase <3 this is a beautiful cosplay!

Sephirayne posted on 8 September, 2014 - 03:11
So happy that this got showcased. Such a lovely costume. Congratulations <3

Siouxsie James posted on 8 September, 2014 - 07:51
This is so beautiful Grats on the showcase :)

Mr. Sat-Ash posted on 8 September, 2014 - 12:30
This is such a beautiful cosplay. Totally worthy of being showcased. ^^

Angelphie posted on 8 September, 2014 - 15:34
This is clearly a labour of love, it's turned out beautifully!

Tracy posted on 8 September, 2014 - 19:01
Wow, I would love to see a full tutorial one day on how these pancake style tutus are made. Yours is beautiful.

Kei Lin Sama posted on 8 September, 2014 - 19:34
You are so elegant! I love you!

Mungojerrie posted on 9 September, 2014 - 07:04
So proud of you for getting a showcase! You look so beautiful in this <3

Freyarule posted on 9 September, 2014 - 18:01

Kacela posted on 12 September, 2014 - 15:50
Congrats on the showcase! Perfection through elegance. Such a beautiful cosplay.

Sasashie posted on 12 September, 2014 - 19:02
Congratulations on the showcase! stunning work honey as usual :D

Panda123 posted on 30 September, 2015 - 21:29
Wow so pretty! Congrats on the showcase (and for withstanding the heat of the costume and the pointe shoes!!!) :)

2x30g 2mm silver lined seed beads

Total cost: £0.00

30th September 2015


I decided to rewear this cosplay for the EGX Cosplay Grand Championship because I liked the 1st place prize and this was my best costume that I had readily available as I didn't have the funds for anything new (nor the time!). I'm usually very against doing anything anime related at a gaming event and so I wore this for a grand total of less than 2hrs, haha! (It's also incredibly uncomfortable and I can't pee in it, sorry not sorry for the TMI ;P) I decided to fix up the things that required improvements from Hyper Japan. This included adding even more sparkle to the bodice with some beading! This was my first time beading, please forgive me if it looks terrible in parts but I'd like to think I got better as I went along! Not in the photo I also glued on more feathers to the bodice as the glue I used discoloured, I used hot glue this time as I know that does not discolour (I don't think I owned a hot glue gun back when I first started the costume, I rarely use it, ever). I also re-tacked down the top layer of the tutu as I took it off as I did it too tight originally but forgot to re-tack it for Hyper Japan, oops xD Unfortunately, I lost an incredible amount of weight and I have no idea how (I guess it's because I was preparing for Rikku from FFX-2, but I then stopped dieting and thought I gained the weight back...) and so the bodice and tutu are a little too big. I had a /massive/ breakfast before wearing it which helped, but it's still a little too big xD;; I think this costume needs a photoshoot and then needs to be retired unless I can put the weight back on again v.v;;;

14th August 2014

Overskirt II

All hand stitched on with white and nylon thread.

14th August 2014

Overskirt I

I cut out over 200+ feathers...

14th August 2014

Tutu VI

It was a bit of a monster before I tacked it all down. I've also shown a picture of the hooping. Sadly I took no pictures of the panty or basque, it's not very exciting to look at anyway.

14th August 2014

Tutu V

So much poof the sewing machine sported a fetching tulle scarf.

14th August 2014

Tutu IV

The layers, the layers!

14th August 2014

Tutu III

Look at all the poof!

14th August 2014

Tutu II

I used two layers of straight stitches and gathered them altogether. Look at how much space it was already taking up and it wasn't even all of them...

14th August 2014

Tutu I

12 layers of tulle (although I only used 10), all labelled and ready to use!

14th August 2014

Details on bodice

All done - embroidery sewn on with metallic thread. Feathers glued and sewn on, gem sewn on.

14th August 2014

Embroidery II

Bernie created the embroidery for me and posted it. I've never done this sort of thing before and she told me to cover the back of it with PVA glue before stitching it on, and so I did.

14th August 2014

Embroidery I

Tidied up and then filled in with no gaps so that it's easier for the embroidery software.

14th August 2014

Bodice IV

I was so proud of how neat I sewed on the bias binding I decided to take a picture of it...

14th August 2014

Bodice III

Final version with hook and eye tape.

14th August 2014

Bodice II

Drew on the mock up for the embroidery pattern, then I traced over it with A3 paper before scanning it into the computer and editing on photoshop.

14th August 2014

Bodice I

Made a mock up out of calico to test the fitting of the pattern. The pattern is from tutu.com and is the Russian bodice style.

International Competitions

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