Learn how to sew a bodysuit from the Treasurie bodysuit pattern. This great pattern is available in girls or women's sizing and is a great base for dancing, gymnastics and even costumes. The pattern contains all the written instructions but I have made a video showing you all the steps as a complimentary tool so even beginners can sew this!
How to Sew a Bodysuit - Supplies
- Dance or swimwear lycra with at least 75% stretch. Test the amount of stretch in your fabric by downloading my stretch factor chart. Choose matt fabrics if you are a beginner as really shiny or embellished fabrics can be harder to sew. (Read my buying guide for Spandex and Lycra)
- Stretch needles in an appropriate weight. (Read sewing machine needle guide)
- Invisible Zipper. Your pattern will specify the length you need for your size.
- Your sewing machine and basic sewing supplies. You can learn how to sew a bodysuit with a regular machine using a zig-zag stitch. A serger is a bonus but is not strictly necessary. (Read sewing Spandex and Lycra and with a regular machine)
- The bodysuit pattern. You can make your own pattern by tracing over a bodysuit you already have, or purchase the one from the Treasurie shop.
How to Sew a Bodysuit - Cutting Tips
When cutting your fabric here are a few useful tips.
- Accuracy is really important since you will be making a fitted garment. You don't want it to end up the wrong side.
- Pins may leave marks in the fabric so do a test first. Instead of pins, hold down your pattern with pattern weights or cans from the pantry.
- Use sharp scissors that will produce clean edges.
- Keep your scraps for applique and smaller items like a bikini bottom.
How to Sew a Leotard - Stitches Used
When sewing bodysuit fabrics for the first time it is important to realize that the seams need to have some stretch so they don't break when your body is bending and stretching.
Serger stitches have built in elasticity so no changes are needed.
If all you have is a regular sewing machine, then put your stitch on a zig-zag setting. Zig zag retains some elasticity and is commonly used for tight garments.
- NEEDLES - Use stretch needles to prevent skipped stitches.
- FOOT - For most fabrics, an all-purpose foot can be used. For sticky or difficult fabrics, use a walking foot or a Teflon foot.
- STITCH - Get a scrap of your fabric and do a test. Try a zig-zag of a width 1.0 and a length of 2.5. If you stretch the fabric, the stitches should not break.
- SEAM FINISH - Finishing the edges is not usually necessary as it will not fray. If you do want to finish the edges or do a second row of stitches for added durability, finish them with a wider zig-zag of width 4 and length 3.
See how this looks:
How to Sew a Bodysuit - The Video
Here is the video on how to sew a bodysuit. Enjoy and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more sewing and craft videos.
How to Sew a Bodysuit - Instructions
- With right sides together, stitch the front to the backs at the shoulders. The seam allowance on the Treasurie patterns is ¼ inch (6mm). This is fairly narrow but reduces bulk in the final bodysuit. If you are using a serger, this means you will be trimming the absolute minimum.
- Mark the center of the sleeve cap and match it to the shoulder seams with right sides together.
- Stitch the sleeves to the armholes.
- Match the front and backs and sew under the arms and all the way down the side seams.
- For the smaller children's sizes, it is easiest to sew the sleeve hems and leg hems now. For larger adult sizes, hems can be done at the end. Hems are best sewn with a wide zig-zag stitch.
- Fold the neckband in half and attach it to the neck with right sides together.
- Insert the invisible zipper at the back and sew the back seam. If you are new to this, watch the video carefully and read how to sew an invisible zipper.
- Turn up the sleeve and leg hems and zig-zag.
How to Sew a Bodysuit - In Conclusion
Thanks for reading how to sew a bodysuit. I hope the added video has given you all the confidence you need to start sewing.
Here are more sewing articles on leotards:
- What is Spandex? All You Need to Know About It
- How to Sew Stretch Fabric | 12 Easy Tips
- STRETCH Factor of Fabrics | Printable Chart
- How to Sew Elastic in Leotards
- How to Make a Leotard | LEO#4 | SEW ALONG
- Sewing Leotards & Swimwear – The Ultimate Guide
- How to Make Spandex Straps for Leotards & Swimwear
- Binding Leotards and Swimsuits