Ballet dress designer Clare Boldon is delighted to be appointed as the official tutu maker at the Tring Park School School for Performing Arts.
Clare, 43, who also runs the DanceWear shop in Chippenham, has been creating bespoke tutus and designing beautifully crafted dance costumes for five years.
The former waste management engineer fell into her new career nine years ago thanks to her daughter Charlotte. Then just four, Charlotte began dancing and Clare turned her hand at making a dance dress – and discovered she was rather good at being a seamstress.
Clare went on to create her first tutu four years ago. For the last two years she has been working full time designing bespoke ballet tutus and dance costumes. She opened the Dancewear shop in Chippenham a year ago and now sews from the premises.
She said: “It was simply an enjoyable hobby at first. Yet it was something I discovered I could do with natural flair. I adore working with beading and diamantes to create something totally unique. Today it usually takes 70-80 hours to make a tutu from scratch. The skirts are made up of nine layers and I order the netting from a fabulous supplier in Scotland who sources it from Italy.”
Clare’s daughter Charlotte, who is now 13, also attends the Tring Park School for Performing Arts. Rachel Rist, director of dance at the school had been looking for a tutu maker for some time to create each year group’s dance uniform.
Rachel said: “Clare’s work is exceptional and our high expectations have been more than fulfilled. She has provided a high-quality, bespoke tutu at a competitive price and has been able to offer a personal fitting service for each girl throughout the creative process.
“A tutu is the traditional costume for every ballerina throughout the history of ballet. Every girl is thrilled to be given an opportunity to wear one. It’s a magical moment!”
Clare said: “I’ve been making regular visits to the school to measure and fit the dancers. They’ve enjoyed the process and I have too. I recently delivered the fifth form students their royal blue coloured tutus. They loved them!
“I adore seeing the girls’ faces when they put on their tutus. In that moment, all of the battling with the nets, needles and the sewing machine are worth it!”