L&P #1072: Corps de Ballet Fitted Bodice and Romantic Tutu with Basque and Panty — Dance Performance Pattern for 18 inch dolls

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Make this just-like-the-real-thing ballet performance ensemble for 18 inch dolls, featuring a seamed, pointed front BODICE with a demure scoop neckline set off with self-piping, and a detachable ROMANTIC TUTU — in your choice of two traditional lengths — with attached PANTY and BASQUE.

Our BODICE with its elegant curved front seams, flattering neckline, low back, neat self-piping and waist-enhancing front point replicates the fitted bodices worn by ballerinas in actual performances.

Unlike the stretchy leotards worn for class and rehearsal, real ballet performance bodices are made of sturdy woven fabrics, patterned for a close fit and built using techniques borrowed from the 18th and 19th century corseted dresses from which they evolved.

We have created this pattern along the same lines and using the same techniques. Our BODICE features a beautifully-seamed snug fit and our pattern shows you construction techniques like self-piped edges and recommendations for flatlining delicate fabrics. We have also added a neat bag lining to keep everything as lovely on the inside as on the outside.

Our ROMANTIC TUTU is made exactly like the real thing, from gradated lengths of tulle, gathered and stitched in rows to a hidden BASQUE — a wide, fitted band from waistline to hip — that fits smoothly under the bodice and is itself attached to a tailored PANTY with elastic leg openings.

This authentic tutu construction creates a perfect bell shape — slender at the waist, then swelling into a full and floaty skirt.

A skirt designed for and dedicated solely to the ballet in 1832, the ROMANTIC TUTU is still worn by principal dancers today, particularly in the early-to-mid 19th century Romantic era ballets. But it is on the corps de ballet — the sylphs, swans, snowflakes and flowers brought to life by dedicated company members in beautifully synchronized group choreography — that the graceful lines and floating tulle of the ROMANTIC TUTU have found their primary place.

We have included cutting directions for two traditional ROMANTIC TUTU lengths: the mid-calf length favored for early-to-mid 19th century Romantic era ballets like La Sylphide, Giselle and Coppélia, and the below-knee length preferred for late 19th and early 20th century Classical era ballets like Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker.

As an added bonus, we've included a tutorial for turning knee-high trouser socks into doll-size DANCE TIGHTS, and information on the ballet slippers and leg warmers we show in our pictures throughout the pattern.


NOTE: this listing is for Pattern 1072: Corps de Ballet ONLY. For the BALLET PERFORMANCE BUNDLE that also includes Pattern 1073: Prima Ballerina — at a significant discount— CLICK HERE: https://www.etsystudio.com/listing/271748202/ballet-performance-bundle-for-18-dolls


The FITTED BODICE WITH PIPED NECKLINE is rated INTERMEDIATE for the self-piping construction and insertion, a few small curved seams and limited hand finishing.

The ROMANTIC TUTU with BASQUE and PANTY is rated INTERMEDIATE for limited hand finishing work, elastic insertion on the panty leg openings, and working with tulle — particularly as we strongly recommend the use of a rotary cutter to cut the skirt tiers, and rotary cutters should only be used by careful sewists, and never by or around children.

As usual, Lee & Pearl's photo-illustrated directions and computer-drafted, guaranteed-to-fit-together pattern pieces make each step as easy as possible.



6" high x 18" wide piece of woven fabric, plus extra fabric to make bias piping

6" high x 18" wide OPTIONAL interlining fabric

6" high x 18" wide piece of woven fabric for lining

1/2 yard 1/8" cord for piping

Hook-and-loop fastener (such as Velcro™)

Matching thread

OPTIONAL: 2 large (size 1/0 or 2/0) snaps instead of hook-and-loop fastener


10" high x 15" wide piece of woven fabric, plus extra fabric for waist facing bias strip

10" high x 15" wide OPTIONAL interlining fabric

1 1/4 yards to 1 1/2 yards of 54" wide tulle or nylon net

(Or 3/4 yard 108" wide tulle or net. Avoid using 72" wide tulle as it will make the tutu overly fluffy.)

1/2 yard 1/4" elastic

Hook-and-loop fastener (such as Velcro™)

Matching thread

2 small (4/0) snaps

OPTIONAL 1/2 yard of 1 1/2" wide elastic to shape and safely store the skirt

OPTIONAL: 2 large (size 1/0 or 2/0) snaps instead of hook-and-loop fastener


These are theatrical costumes, so let your inner costume designer run wild with beads, sequins, pearls, crystals, ribbons, bows, feathers, flowers and any other trim you like. Genuine ballet costumes can also feature lace appliqués, flatlined decorative or sheer fabrics and alternating or ombré effect tutu layers.

For the "Peasant Style" Romantic Tutu and Bodice shown in one of our pictures — perfect for Giselle or Coppelia, as well as your own fantasy or folklore maidens, gypsies, fairies or princesses in disguise — replace the top layer of tulle with very light fabric like chiffon, and add craft store eyelets and faux lacing to the bodice.


Complete your little dancer's wardrobe with our ultra-realistic (and easy to sew) Pattern 1075: Ballet Slippers for 18 Inch Dolls, available HERE: https://www.etsystudio.com/listing/600591709/lp-1075-ballet-slippers-pattern-for-18


Sign up for our mailing list at www.leeandpearl.com, and you'll receive our newsletter full of FREE pattern tweaks, tutorials, crafts and printables. PLUS, you'll get the link for our annual FREE MEMBERS-ONLY PATTERN.

In 2017, that's Pattern #1025: She Blinded Me with Science Unisex Lab Coat (or Unlined Coat) and Safety Goggles for Dolls. This is our first multi-size release, which contains patterns drafted for 18” dolls, 16” dolls and 14 1/2” dolls — because we think every child, and every doll, should know the thrill of launching a chemical reaction or spotting a single-cell organism in a drop of pond water!

Do not miss out on this pattern — join our mailing list today at www.leeandpearl.com.

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To see our other patterns, visit the PATTERNS section of our Etsy store at https://www.etsy.com/shop/leeandpearl?section_id=15862176&ref=shopsection_leftnav_1

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This pattern will be delivered as an instant download. After purchasing, you will receive a link to a PDF copy of the file. No paper copy will be mailed.

This pattern may be printed solely by the original purchaser. It may not be duplicated, redistributed, posted or resold without prior authorization from Lee & Pearl™. If you use this pattern to make items to sell yourself, we ask that you give Lee & Pearl™ design credit in the description of those items. Thank you!

Lee & Pearl™ is not affiliated with Mattel, American Girl® or any other company or organization.

Average review
I love this pattern also. It is so much easier and looks nicer then the pattern and outfit I made up myself. Thank you
Jan 22, 2018 by Monique Gravelin
Absolutely LOVE this pattern have made it twice and more on the way.
Dec 5, 2016 by Denise
I will be making many color combinations of this beautiful combination. Thanks for the great designs.
Jul 31, 2016 by Donna E.
Well written directions. Exquisite detail. Plan to use the patterns to make Christmas dresses for my daughter's dolls this year.
Jul 21, 2016 by Pamela Pettigrew-Duffield
This pattern is exquisite! Can't wait to make it.
Apr 15, 2016 by nanajan5

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