At long last, a dream achieved........... but I hated it

For a very long time I dreamt of making tutu's and elaborate costumes. I have fond memories making doll costumes using my Holly Hobby sewing machine

                                                                            big steps little feet, leading the way in creative ballet

I toyed with the idea of doing costuming after high school, I nearly enrolled into the costume design course at NIDA before I started Big Steps Little Feet.  

Looking for a hobby after the birth of my second child, something that appealed to my creative desire to make things (obviously making babies wasn't creative enough), and way back when dial up internet rang supreme I bought a tutu making kit from America.  It was the pattern, instructions and all materials for a traditional classical tutu sewn onto a basque with a separate attached tailored bodice. Seems so easy.

But it was so hard ….. the metres of tightly gathered tulle didn't even fit through the arm of my ancient sewing machine.  I put it aside thinking that one day I'd try again, because I really wanted to make tutu's and elaborate costumes….

To my delight Facebook told me the above mentioned business that sells tutu kits were offering Tutu School here in Sydney.  I was quite excited my desire for a holly hobby was to be realised - Project Tutu here I come!

But it was so hard….over 60 hours over 4 days of sitting, sewing and pattern making. I was making the easiest thing on offer as I had 'learnt' from my past experience but it was way beyond my skill level.

There were some lovely moments amongst pins and needles and sitting for hours roll hemming metres of tulle - hanging out with amazing women who were sewing with so much love and care for their daughters in anticipation of the delight in seeing them on stage in these amazing handcrafted creations.  The tutor Claudia Folts was so generous and skilled and knowledgable she had many insider tips handed down from the grandmothers.  She was a dancer with the New York City Opera and knows Gelsey Kirkland, I love her.  In theory all of my failed ballerina dreams should have been satisfied.

Sadly not… as the week progressed and I had to tailor a 16 piece bodice made even harder due to my desire for petal details I witnessed my long held dream leave my psyche.

Here are some snaps…

The first - my petaled romantic tutu, the second - amazing work from the other attendees and the last - my new holiday challenge.Kate Barber, Big Steps Little Feet, kids dance, ballet, eastern suburbs, Bondi, Balmain, tutu schoolYes after vowing to never sew again, I have realised that I really should do something with the skills I learnt over the summer and I've decided to make 25 petal tutu skirts these holidays for free dancing in our Rainbow Ballet classes. The children are going to love them.  Whilst this one took me about 6 hours to make I think I should be able to get it down to four and that's it - no more - I'm on the search for a new creative hobby!

Here's a little video in celebration of my other childhood dream ..... to be a Solid Gold Dancer!


Have you achieved your childhood dreams? How was is for you?

S O L I D  G O L D


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  • "My two girls would love that tutu, so can you please make another two, one in a size 5 and one in a size nine, thanks Miss Kate, love you xxxxxxx"
    By Tarsh on Fri 12th, April, 2013 at 07:28 AM
  • "Love this Miss Kate!! You make me smile... a lot! xxxxx"
    By Talulah on Thu 11th, April, 2013 at 06:14 PM