A Jazz leotard for Miss Z

It’s a long time since I posted anything . . . Life became busier than usual and I find writing a blog post seems to go in the “not enough time” basket! I realised when I was looking through old photos that I’d omitted to write about this make. So here goes.

Back in 2017 I was asked by a sewing friend, Mrs C, to make a leotard for her niece, Miss Z. It was for a jazz dance for her dance studio’s end of year concert.

It was to be a pretty standard leotard, with two spaghetti straps interwoven at the back. Once again I based the leotard on Jalie 2915 but using the lining patterns I created several years ago.

The main request was for a full shelf-bra in the leotard. I.e front and back to fully support the bust. I’ve made plenty of front shelf-bras in leotards so I figured a full shelf-bra wouldn’t be that much different!

Here is the shelf-bra ready to cut out. It’s out of black power mesh, a size smaller than the leotard so it gives better support. The dart is to give it some shaping, not needed for smaller cup sizes but definitely for larger.

All the pieces including a modesty panel ready to be stitched together. Since the shelf-bra is black I decided that black plush-back lingerie elastic would look much better than white.

Not having any black elastic I dyed some of the white I had 😁 I didn’t have the foil in the pot at the time of dyeing as I used a different pot!

When there are several layers I find it much easier to baste the outer shell and lining together. When a leotard is fully lined there are 4 layers, and if they’re all nylon Lycra they slip and slide all over the place. I could do the basting by machine but I find I get much better control if I do it by hand. I find hand stitching quite soothing so don’t mind doing it. I’m using silk thread here which pulls out easily later.

Here is the shelf-bra, sides stitched together and I’m about to stitch on the elastic.

All done. This is the right side that will sit against the skin.

The shelf-bra is attached to the main leotard and then overlocked, the point is stay-stitched and marked so I can add the modesty panel. It isn’t necessary to overlock the edges but I like things neat and tidy so I do.

Modesty panel basted so it’s edges stay together when I stitch it to the main leotard. The purple spot(s) are disappearing ink. Yup, one of them is not in the right place!

Modesty panel added and top-stitched down with a narrow zig-zag stitch. Front view.

And the back view. Just needs the elastic stitched on.

Narrow spaghetti straps added, and all the elastic is done.

The view of the back. The straps are just sitting inside at this point as from memory Mrs C was going to attach them when she added all the bling.

The leotard fit really well and the feedback I received was that the full shelf-bra worked really well and there was no bouncing around of the bust in the Jazz dance it was worn in.  Pretty much a win. 😃

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