Sewing, tulle, beads and a lot of love go into Jennifer Cowie’s beautiful handmade tutus worn by Wollongong Eisteddfod performers.
Ms Cowie studied fashion and owned a bridal boutique for 11 years but it was not until her daughter started dancing in eisteddfods that she saw a market for handmade tutus, demi-character and lyrical costumes.
‘‘It is great to see my tutus up on stage and the smiles on the girls’ faces when they see the costumes,’’ Ms Cowie said.
Ms Cowie researched and taught herself how to make a tutu for her daughter for last year’s eisteddfod.
When she completed a tutu making course Ms Cowie fell in love with making dance wear.
‘‘I love the construction and the unique final product,’’ Ms Cowie said.
‘‘My speciality is the finishes and bead work, which is great for tutus because they need to sparkle.’’
Tutu-making can be difficult because it requires strict measurements to get the tulle to stay flat including seven to nine layers of net that are stitched together.
‘‘I allow my daughter to have some input because she loves picking out the colours and designs,’’ Ms Cowie said.
‘‘The Wollongong Eisteddfod is great because it showcases local children and gives them an opportunity to compete.
‘‘It brings the community, children and parents together.’’
Ms Cowie still designs and makes bridal gowns but she hopes to continue the dance wear and expand her client base to other eisteddfods.
Ms Cowie’s business, Jenser Australia, is based in Woonona.