Sewing leotards can save you a lot of money particularly if your kids are regularly competing in dance, skating or gymnastics. It is also extremely rewarding and really is much easier than you think. Once you have made a couple of leotards or swimsuits and learned some simple techniques, you will be confident enough to start creating unique costumes you will be proud of. If you are looking to sew some leotard or swimsuit patterns, here is a guide to get you started.
Sewing Leotards and Swimwear
First, you are going to need a leotard pattern. Once you have the basics mastered you will slowly get confident enough to hack patterns to make your own custom creations. If you are a first-time leotard sewer I recommend #4 for a leotard or #1 for swimwear as they are a great basic pattern with nothing tricky.
There are more to choose from in my pattern shop. Shop ALL leotard sewing patterns.
If you are stuck where to buy Spandex and Lycra for your leotards and swimwear then why not buy online. Here is a guide to some great online shops selling stretch fabrics.
You don’t need a fancy serger or cover stitch machine to sew leotards. Learn all the tricks and tips to get great results with just a simple zig-zag stitch and your regular machine.
If you are ready to start sewing leotards or swimwear then read this basic guide to construction.
Read: How to make a leotard
After you have constructed your leotard you will need to attach elastic to the legs and neck area.
Read: How to sew elastic in leotards to get a professional result.
Fold over elastic is also a great way to finish necklines and can be used for thin straps. My easy tutorial also has a video.
Binding is great for a pop of color on leotards and gym wear.
Read: How to sew binding in just a few easy steps.
Learn how to sew Spandex straps 3 ways – turned, folded with a zig-zag and folded with a twin needle.
Decorating Your Leotards
Once you have finished it is time to decorate! Here are some fun decorating techniques to experiment with.
- How to Sew Sequins – Hand Sewing Sequins
- How to sew sequin trim on your machine
- How to Sew on Sequins – Scattered Effects
- Sewing Sequins by Hand: Overlap Method
- How to Sew Tulle
Good luck in your quest for sewing leotards and swimwear! I look forward to hearing about what you have been sewing.