A Handmade Ballet Leotard: Jalie Jade Pattern

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This is one of those things I still can’t quite believe I successfully made. I’m not sure why it intimidated me so much, I have actually hacked some basic leotards into fancier ones before, but learning to add the elastic for some reason had me nervous about making them from scratch.

BUT, I have conquered the ballet leotard! Let me say right off the bat, there is no question when it comes to activewear patterns, Jalie dominates the market with good reason. I am not an affiliate with Jalie, I just love them so much, I have to spread the word. More about why I love Jalie further down, but here is my 14-year-old ballerina’s finished leotard!

Sewing ballet leotards with Jalie patterns || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

At my girls’ dance studio, they wear black leotards to class, any design. Natalie likes things with a high neckline and she loves a pretty back design, so when Jalie released this new Jade Leotard pattern recently, it was a no brainer. It went together perfectly and she absolutely loves it. The fabric is nylon spandex from Hobby Lobby, part of their new activewear fabric line and it’s to-die-for. Use the 40% off coupon and you can get it for less than $8 a yard. I also used this lining from Spandex World.

Sewing ballet leotards with Jalie patterns || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

Ok, here are the reasons why Jalie patterns can’t be beat.

  • Their sizing is spot on. When I was teaching sewing to kids, we made pajama shorts with this Jalie pattern and I took measurements of each student. Every pair of shorts fit perfectly. When you buy a pattern from Jalie, it comes with all the sizes, from children to adult and the sizing chart is right every time. I definitely cannot say that about most patterns, Big 4 or Indie. There’s usually some trial and error involved to find your size with other brands.

  • They teach professional techniques. I learned so much from using this pattern, especially about how to apply the elastic and finishes. They even include instructions for those who don’t have a serger!

  • They have great variety and modern designs. Jalie keeps up with the trends and goes beyond basic designs. I’m always excited to see what they’ll release next! They have patterns for all kinds of sports, including water sports, gymnastics and figure skating, plus designs for everyday clothing.

Now that I’ve learned these skills, we’re excited to design and make more leotards! I also have the basic leotard pattern, which will be easy to hack into other designs. I saved the following photo from Dancewear Solutions’ Instagram stories this morning. I love the twisted back, so clever with the two colors! They are allowed to wear colorful leotards to jazz and modern, so maybe I’ll some in colors too. (I should add, Dancewear Solutions is my favorite for ordering leotards if I’m not making them. They have the best prices I’ve found.)

Sewing for ballet, inspiration

I think one of the biggest hurdles to breaking out and trying other genres of sewing are gathering the supplies. Once I had the right fabric, some lining, the right elastic, the right needles, and the pattern, I was good to jump in. Half the battle is sourcing the more unique materials.

Next on my “learning new things” list, is a coat! But one thing at a time, ha!

I’d be happy to have you follow along with my sewing adventures on Instagram!

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A parade of handmade gifts

I was so honored to receive several handmade Christmas gifts this year! I took some photos of them today so I could show you (and just to show them off because they're pretty darn cool!) 

My friend Jenn made me this absolutely adorable mini quilt. Isn't is GREAT!? 

She said it should serve to remind us as we move over and over again, that "home" is wherever we're together. The house is pretty irrelevant, I have learned! 

Next up, my friend Felicia took the time to make me such a thoughtful gift! She made a little cork board for us to use as a prayer board: 

And then added these prayer cards from notconsumed.com, which she couldn't have known I've been wanting to order myself! I would really love to focus on prayer this coming year, it's the only New Year's goal I've come up with so far and I think these will be a great asset as we incorporate more prayer into our homeschool and our family life. 

Lastly, my very talented sister sent me a gift that I LOVE. She is a super talented water color painter and she created a beautiful set of Scriptures to be clipped to a clip board AND several smaller verses to stick around my house (anyone else have Bible verse index cards plastered all over their walls? These are so much prettier). 

So beautiful!! I know how special it is to receive handmade gifts and I feel so honored to have received such beautifully and carefully crafted things. 

Did you get any handmade things for Christmas? 

Cheers and Happy Sewing! :)

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