How to Make a Leotard? – Free Instruction Guide

How to Make a Leotard- Free Instruction Guide

How to Make a Leotard? – Free Instruction Guide

Learning of how to make a leotard is surprisingly easy. Next time when your daughter or sister asks for a new leotard, and if you don’t have enough budget for that, then you can still complete their wish while not need to empty your pockets. You know why? Because you can make it on your own, and that too with just a half or even less amount than the market price.

The leotard is a fun costume. It is very versatile. You can wear it with shorts, pants, skirts, etc. and of course, the single piece always looks cool and fancy. Apart from gymnastics and ballet dancing, you can use leotard as your bodysuit, and sometimes as a swimsuit if the fabric is suitable for swimming.

So here we are providing you a free instruction guide of DIY leotard… Read on…

First of all, collect all the necessary items from the market which might be helpful to you to make a leotard. Let us give you a list of needed materials;

  • Stretchable fabric
  • Elastics – 3/8 inch or 10 mm
  • Ballpoint needles
  • Matching threads
  • Sewing machine
  • Cutting map
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Pins & pin cushions
  • Chalk pencil (optional)
  • Leotard pattern (optional)
  • Seam ripper (optional)
  • Rotary cutter (optional)

Moving further… Now here is the step by step process of How to make a leotard!

Step 1: Measurement –

It is quite obvious that the initial step to make any costume is the measurements of the person who is going to wear it. So before doing anything else, use a measuring tape to measure the neck, bust, waist, thighs, and hips of that person. These will help you to choose the stretchable fabric of the right size. You will also need some elastics for tightened the neck and thigh lines.

Step 2: Leotard Pattern –

If you are choosy for your designs, there is a good news for you. You can make your pattern or even can purchase one from the market. If you already have a leotard, you just can stretch around and create your unique designs.

You can even use two or more fabrics of even mismatched elastics to make it more attractive. But if you are new, don’t experiment much with using more materials may confuse you with the sewing patterns.

Step 3: Cutting –

Now, cut your pattern and fabric. You can use pins for the precise cutting. Just be careful that your pins don’t move away from the marks. The pattern weights can also help you to hold the pattern down.

Scissors play a significant role in cutting. Always make sure that your scissors are sharp. And if you are comfortable with the rotary cutter, use a cutting mat. (And take care of your fingers!)

Step 4: Sewing –

It’s time for sewing. You don’t need any hi-fi sewing machine to sew a leotard. You can also sew it with a regular machine with a narrow zigzag stitch. It will retain the elasticity of the fabric.

Don’t forget to use the matching threads and stretch needles. Sew on the wrong side of the fabric, so the threads don’t show on the front aspect of the costumes.

How to sew a leotard? Here is the answer.

  1. With the RIGHT sides together, align front and back shoulders. Pin it and sew shoulders. Professionals suggest having a seam allowance of ¼”, around 6 mm.
  2. Measure and cut the elastic – the length of the entire neck opening. (1/4”)
  3. Sew in a zigzag pattern across the neckline.
  4. Now sew the sleeves (if you want to add them) with the same method you have used for the neckline. Just zig-zag across, catching the raw edge.
  5. After that, match the arms and crotch and RIGHT side together. Fold the leotard and stitch the side seams.
  6. Sew crotch seam with a ½” seam allowance and stitch elastic into each leg opening the same way as you did with the neckline.

So… finally your leotard is ready to rock. You know you can make your leotard in your bodysuit pattern too, by using your old tank tops or swimsuits. As that process will be ‘best out of waste,’ it will be more economical.

By concluding the article, we want to give you few points which should be kept in mind while making a leotard.


  • You should choose the fabric with at least 75% stretch.
  • If you are trying for the first time and you don’t know how to make a gymnastic leotard or how to sew a leotard, then select a matt finish fabric. Sewing of such fabrics is much easier.
  • If this is your first-time creativity, avoid sparkles and sequins so that you can sew the fabric without any disturbance.
  • Leotard fabrics are expensive. So make sure you cut them well otherwise it will be wasted. You can test on a scrap of fabric before cutting the actual one.

I hope this instruction guide is helpful for you and you will make many designer leotards and become a professional one day. Be creative and keep experimenting. All the best!

Author Info

Sarah Acton

My name is Sarah Acton. I am a professional fashion designer. My hobby is also to design try new apparel and renew it with a twist. Visit my website.

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