London Leotard Pattern Hack


Blogger: Lacresha Lincoln


London Leotard Pattern Hack 

It's that time of the year again when school starts and after-school activities begin. During this time, one of the most requested items is leotards. Regardless of whether you have a gymnast or a dancer, they need plenty of leotards.

Luckily, Little Lizard King offers a beautiful basic leotard pattern, known as the London Leotard. It is a great base that can be customized even further. In this hack, we'll learn how to add mesh and strip bands across the front of the leotard.

When creating a leotard, there are no hard and fast rules. Feel free to experiment with designs as you please. To get started with customizing your own leotard, it's helpful to have a guiding point. For me, the first step was to visualize the leotard I wanted to create and gather some ideas. I found inspiration on Pinterest and printed out pictures of beautiful leotards that I liked. 


Once I had my ideas together, I sketched out what I wanted to create and focused on the necessary components I needed to work on. For this leotard, that was only the front leotard piece. 

To ensure a proper fit, make sure to measure your child accurately and then print and assemble the pattern. Please note, in the picture I used the sleeved pattern piece. If making a sleeveless leotard, print and assemble the sleeveless pattern piece. Now, it's time to make the cuts. Let's start with the shoulder piece. We need to make 2 markings on our pattern piece. The first marking should be approximately 2 inches (5 cm) down from the shoulder on the neckline and the second marking should be approximately 3 inches (7.6 cm) down on the armscye. Connect these two points using a ruler and draw a straight line from one point to the other. Also please note that your markings can be changed to your preference.


To create a color block waistline, begin by noting the waistline marking on the pattern as use it as a reference point. Measure up to 2 inches (5 cm) from the waistline marking and draw a parallel line. Likewise, measure 1 inch (2.5 cm) down from the waistline marking and draw a parallel line. Cut along both of the markings just drawn as well as the marking made from the neckline to the armscye.


Once you have cut the pieces, you should have four pattern pieces for the front leotard. Trace the pattern pieces and add 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) seam allowance at the cut line of all of the pieces. The seam allowance will be needed to rejoin the pieces to create the new leotard. Cut out the redrawn pieces. They are the new pattern pieces to be used. Using the new pattern pieces, cut the fabrics. The mesh pieces are the shoulder and waistline pieces.


For the thick straps that crisscross in front of the leotard, cut a second thick strap piece from the original pattern. Make sure it is long enough to lay across the front of the waistline at a diagonal and reach across each side of the leotard. Repeat with a second piece for the second angled strip. To assemble the strap, follow the tutorial instructions provided with one modification. 


To begin assembly, place the main bodice piece right side up and one shoulder piece right side down at the point of the shoulder. Using a stretch stitch and 1/2" (1.3 cm) seam allowance, sew in place. Topstitch the fabric towards the main bodice. Repeat for other side.

To complete the waistline piece, first place the main bodice piece right side up. Then, take the mesh waistline piece and place it right side down on the main bodice piece. Align the bottom of the bodice piece with the top of the mesh piece. Pin/clip into place. Sew to attach with a 1/2" (1.3 cm) seam allowance and a stretch stitch. Topstitch the fabric towards the main bodice piece. Next, place the main bodice piece right side up. Place the bottom leotard piece on top, right sides together. Align the top of the leotard bottom piece with the bottom of the mesh waistline. Sew to attach with a 1/2" (1.3 cm) seam allowance and a stretch stitch. Topstitch the fabric towards the lower leotard piece. 

Now it’s time to attach the thick straps across the front waist piece. Take one strap piece and attach it to the side where the waistline piece meets the upper bodice piece. Cross it over and down to the other side where the waistline piece meets the lower leotard piece. Pin/clip in place. Repeat the same process for the second strap on the other side. Baste the straps in place at the sides of the leotard.


With the front leotard piece now assembled, you can proceed with the next steps using the Little Lizard King pattern as your guide to complete the project.


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