Category Archives: leotard

Jalie 3136: winter leotards

There is something to be said about quality fabric. I made two little gym leotards not too long ago. They are already in a very sorry state. I probably should have been handwashing them, but I’ll freely admit that I’m not a handwashing type of person.


I spent the entire duration of my teenage years training 5hrs a day in heavily chlorinated swimming pools, so I think I have a discerning eye for good swimsuit lycra. Bathers never used to last long in my swimmer’s world. The elastic deteriorated within the fabric itself, the colours faded and the swimmers stretched out, turning see-through, until I had to wear two pairs together. It isn’t just chlorine that kills the fabric. UV light and sweat also contribute.

I’ve been so impressed with the swimsuit fabric I’ve purchased from both Tessuti Fabrics and the Fabric Store in Sydney. I’ve made several pairs of small people bathers (here, here and here) in the last few years. The oldest pair is faded and a little abraded on the bottom, but there is still no sign of the fabric deteriorating.

The same can’t be said for the metallic spandex I used for my big girls’ gym leotards (here and here). They’ve only been worn for a few months and the metallic coating has nearly all been washed off, somewhat unevenly. The actual fabric has also stretched out and lost a bit of it’s recovery in places. But those side panels of swimsuit lycra are still in perfect condition. I wonder if metallic coated fabrics are a just a little less hardy than what I’m used to.


This time round, I made the main body of both leotards up in swimsuit fabric and just used the metallic spandex for contrast on one arm. What can I say? I don’t like to throw away stash and my girls like shiny things. If one arm loses a bit of it’s sparkle, it won’t affect the rest of the suit.

The pattern I used was Jalie 3136. Miss Four’s suit was made up in rainbow fish scale mermaid lycra (new stock from Tessuti), cut to a size 5. I added 1.5cm to the torso length for her because she is a very long mermaid and I wasn’t quite sure about Jalie’s length sizing. As it turned out, I probably could have skipped this modification.

 
 

 

I’m going to call these leotards a win. Miss Four loves them and I can’t help but smile when I see those fabulous rainbow fish scales. The great thing about sewing little leotards is that they use up such a tiny amount of fabric. I still have enough leftover for Mummy gear next summer.

Miss Six’s leotards turned out just as well. I made absolutely no modifications to her version.

 
 

 
 
 
 
Aren’t those flowers just the prettiest? Gnome thinks so.

 

 


Of course there had to be TWO: Kwik Sew 2724

This is my Supergirl!
 


Otherwise, it’s also basically a replication of a very recent post. The pattern is Kwik Sew 2724, gym leotards again, but in a smaller size for Miss Four. This time, I learnt from my past mistake and didn’t make the tall timber adjustment (that I would normally do for this child). I sewed her a straight size 5 in the leotards, and a straight size 4 in the bike shorts.

For a cheap and cheerful stitch up, the fitting is near enough to good enough for me, although I still feel it is a tad too long in the back (sway back adjustment required?). I could probably also narrow the hips and bum a fraction next time to get rid of some of that excess crack fabric.

 So for others planning to use this pattern, the sizing is definitely long in the body.

Don’t you love the way kids have that ‘special’ smile they reserve for use in front of the camera! I’m pretty sure she is trying to cross her eyes too.

 
But she does have some swagger!
 

The fabric I used was the most gorgeous swimsuit lycra from Tessuti. Unfortunately it was the last of my stash. I’d previously used it here. The slick metallic silver spandex was from MOOD.

Little lady leotards and bike shorts: Kwik Sew 2724

Having seen what leotard options were on offer at our local gymnasium, (and gasping in horror at the price and glare) I quickly steered the girls away, promising them a me-made version very soon. Personally, I think t-shirts and shorts are perfectly adequate gym wear for four and six year olds, but when everyone else is in shiny pink leopard print spandex, I felt a bit miserable sending the girls along in their grey cotton tights.

Luckily, I had a great remnant of floral swimsuit lycra in my stash. It was a remnant I purchased from Tessuti last summer. I paired it with a little big splash of metallic spandex from Mood and chose the simplest leotard/swimsuit pattern I could find, Kwik Sew 2724.


I’ve sewn a couple of Kwik Sew swimsuit patterns up now (here and here). Both times I found the body length of the design to be incredibly short. Knowing this, I started out with a size 7 and lengthened it in the body by 1″ before I started. The end result is a leotard that is quite clearly too big for my tall Miss Six. She’s not too fussed though. The width is ok and it seems comfortable enough on her without gaping immodestly. It just has a lot of unsightly wrinkles, particularly at the back. I probably should have just sewn a straight size 7, but I’m wondering if I should have also made a sway back adjustment and narrowed the bum width a little.


I also bungled the neckline a little. For some reason, I thought the back was the front when I was attaching the elastic, so the slightly warped starting point of attachment is smack bang in the centre front of the neckline. Really, I should have hidden that point under the shoulder seam anyway. I’m also not sure I love the look of that zig zag stitching, or maybe it is the metallic spandex that shows up every glaring mess you make.


I made the bike pants up in a straight size 6 with no adjustments. I ignored the elastic waist guide because it is easier and more precise to simply measure the child you want to fit! These bike pants are actually awesome. They fit her PERFECTLY and took a whole 15min to cut AND sew up. I might make them in some longer versions in winter.

Little leotards and bike shorts: Kwik Sew 2724

Having seen what leotard options were on offer at our local gymnasium, (and gasping in horror at the price and glare) I quickly steered the girls away, promising them a me-made version very soon. Personally, I think t-shirts and shorts are perfectly adequate gym wear for four and six year olds, but when everyone else is in shiny pink leopard print spandex, I felt a bit miserable sending the girls along in their grey cotton tights.

Luckily, I had a great remnant of floral swimsuit lycra in my stash. It was a remnant I purchased from Tessuti last summer. I paired it with a little big splash of metallic spandex from Mood and chose the simplest leotard/swimsuit pattern I could find, Kwik Sew 2724.

I’ve sewn a couple of Kwik Sew swimsuit patterns up now (here and here). Both times I found the body length of the design to be incredibly short. Knowing this, I started out with a size 7 and lengthened it in the body by 1″ before I started. The end result is a leotard that is quite clearly too big for my tall Miss Six. She’s not too fussed though. The width is ok and it seems comfortable enough on her without gaping immodestly. It just has a lot of unsightly wrinkles, particularly at the back. I probably should have just sewn a straight size 7, but I’m wondering if I should have also made a sway back adjustment and narrowed the bum width a little.

I also bungled the neckline a little. For some reason, I thought the back was the front when I was attaching the elastic, so the slightly warped starting point of attachment is smack bang in the centre front of the neckline. Really, I should have hidden that point under the shoulder seam anyway. I’m also not sure I love the look of that zig zag stitching, or maybe it is the metallic spandex that shows up every glaring mess you make.

I made the bike pants up in a straight size 6 with no adjustments. I ignored the elastic waist guide because it is easier and more precise to simply measure the child you want to fit! These bike pants are actually awesome. They fit her PERFECTLY and took a whole 15min to cut AND sew up. I might make them in some longer versions in winter.