That Old Denim Tutu

I dusted off my original denim test-tutu last week and did a little work on it, mostly because  I was doing a talk on denim for the Chicago Haute Couture Club (that’s not intimidating) and I thought I ought to bring samples to show some of the awesome properties of denim.  And, you know, if you happen to have a denim tutu lying around, that seems like the right audience.

It's help up surprisingly well to a nearly a year of being randomly tossed around/buried in the garage.  There's no boning in the bodice - it's supported by the seams.  4 layers of denim in a fakey-welt is a fair amount of structure.

It’s help up surprisingly well to a nearly a year of being randomly tossed around/buried in the garage. There’s no boning in the bodice – it’s supported by the seams. 4 layers of denim in a fakey-welt is a fair amount of structure.

I’ve been a little stumped about where to go design-wise with the bodice, but I decided to embrace the denim and do a riff on those uber-deced-out back jeans pockets.  It works pretty well with the general highly decorative nature of ballet bodices.

A couple minutes of festivity with some white and gold acrylics, and I have a base design that I'll be adding studs and rivets to.

A couple minutes of festivity with some white and gold acrylics, and I have a base design that I’ll be adding studs and rivets to.

I had a great little design con-con with another instructor and our student aid, and the idea of leaving the raw edge of the bias piping out and fraying it emerged.  Totally not my idea, but I kind of love it and I think I’m going there.  :)

In other denim news…  Did you know there’s a painter from 1650ish know as the Master of Denim?  No joke.  Jean and Denim type fabrics have been working-class fabrics for a very long time.  And denim has frayed out exactly like we’re used to seeing now since then.  There’s actually some evidence that it’s appropriate to the late 1500s (if you’re a Genoese sailor), but before you think thoughts about making yourself a denim peasant costume, take a very good look at these pictures.  That little boy in the jeans jacket?  That’s the problem.  The first thing you see is a jeans jacket, rather than a 1650 style coat that happens to be made out of denim. Our association with denim is far to strongly rooted in our concept of modern times.

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