A leotard for my tiny dancer


Back to school means back to ALL the activities and crazy nights of shuttling kids to and from each lesson and practice.  This girl is a die-hard dancer and loves getting back into the studio.  She spends a couple of nights each week with her dance company and is one of those kids that just dances through life.   Her studio requires black leotards so of course, she needed a fresh one to start the dance year off right.

Side note- she’s been taking modeling ques from supermodels lately, lol.  It’s always funny to me to see her pull her angry model face.  I promise she was happy during this shoot.  She really wants to hit the runway!


I used the Raise the Barre Leotard from Striped Swallow Designs.   It comes in sizes 2t-14 and features an open v-back.  It’s basic without being boring.


She requested a high neckline so I knew this pattern would be a winner. I did leg bands instead of elastic in the legs for comfort.  It comes together quickly and I really love Striped Swallows clear and easy tutorials.


This is the first real dance leotard I’ve made her and I’m so thrilled with how it turned out.  There were always a few things holding me back.  1- Who wants to make a boring black leo?  2- She’s tall and I knew I’d have to make adjustments to a pattern to get it to fit her right.  3-  Where do I find good quality fabric to make something she’ll feel comfortable in and will last?

That last one was easier than I thought.  When I saw this Premium Midweight Cotton Lycra Jersey, I just had to get it and give it a try.  It’s nice and thick but still has enough stretch to make it comfortable.  It feels like so many of her store-bought leos and really worked great for this project.  I also used it for a pair of leggings for her sister and they were so loved that she wore them to the first day of school! I’ll need to pick up all the colors so she can have a rainbow of leggings.


The back v pieces are such a great place to play with different fabrics.  I used a flocked scuba knit I got from Cali a few years ago but I think this floral power mesh would be beautiful too.  I’m sad we couldn’t do something fun with this Stretch Fishnet– talk about a pop of color!



Now that I’ve tackled one leotard I think my thoughts have changed a little.  Black doesn’t have to be boring.  How pretty would a Stretch Velvet and Stretch Lace version be?

Are there any basics that you’ve put off sewing?

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