Jalie pattern review

Happy New Year!

I have been waiting to share this Jalie pattern review with you, until it was nice enough outside to photograph it. Finally, I gave up, and set up my indoor lights. Twice. You’ll notice two different hair cuts and colors (hair chalk).

Jalie Lillie gymnastics leotard pattern

Firstly, let me start by saying I love Jalie patterns. I also used one to make The Bee’s Black Widow costume and it was just as easy to use as this one. I will also say that my Falafel is…um let’s say, particular. And when I sewed up the pattern as it was written, she said it had “too many seams” on the inside. (????) So I merged two of the pattern pieces together, and instead of three stripes, there is only one on each side.

The other thing is, she has a very long torso and quite the backside, apparently. To compensate, I lengthened the crotch, and widened the back bottom.

On this first one, I forgot to bring down the leg opening in the front, though, and consequetly it is cut a little high.


For the second one, I remembered, and it fits better. Although, I think I accidentally used the wrong sized front piece (I tried two different ones), because the pattern isn’t actually supposed to bunch like that.

The thing about leos (as my gymnast calls them), even in RTW (ready to wear, or store-bought), is they all fit differently! I can never just pick her out one in her size, and have it fit in the arms and length and crotch area. Some are tighter, some are looser, even when dealing with the same size in the same brand. When I think about it, though, this seems logical. There are so many different shaped gymnasts, and the fit of the leotard has to be almost customized for each one, because they need it to stay in place when doing their routines.

I was on a mission to get hers as close to perfect for her individual body as possible. The Lillie pattern, made it easy to customize. I love Jalie patterns’ simplicity, and straightforward directions. Super comprehensive. AND not a whole lot to print. I really love that. They also offer paper patterns (opposed to PDF), if you don’t want to print at all!

The thing that took the longest was cutting out the pieces. Sewing it goes incredibly fast. You can whip one of these out in a focused hour. If you get one of those. Ha!

I was also on a mission because these suckers are expensive! Much more cost effective to make them.

There is a long-sleeved option included in the pattern, that I cannot wait to give a try, too!

Have YOU made leotards?

*Even though I was provided the pattern for review, as always, all my opinions are mine, mine, mine. I enjoy sharing the terrific finds I find with you.

4 thoughts on “Jalie pattern review

  1. Michelle, I made leos for a great niece (age 10 at the time) from Jalie 3241. She chose the pattern. A friend and I measured her and we made adaptations to the paper we traced the pattern on. Worked with black and blue fabrics so with the colourblocking, she had two different looks. She customized them with hot fix crystals (only fabric I could find locally did not have any sparkle). Both fit perfectly and she was the happiest gymnast. I agree, worth it to get the custom fit and individual look. BTW, always enjoy the photos of your daughters.

  2. These turned out great, Michelle! I love the sparkle in the fabrics. The closest I’ve ever come to makin leos is swimsuits (and that was years ago). I love looking through the Jalie Patterns even though we’re not involved in any of those sports. 🙂

    I would really love to know how you added width in the hip area. I tried that alteration once a long time ago (before the internet and Facebook) and remember getting it TOTALLY WRONG, lol. I’m still interested in redeeming that skill.

    I’ve never been involved in gymnastics, so I’d love to be enlightened on this–what are the differences style- or structure-wise between a one-piece swimsuit and a leotard?

    1. Thank you Krista! There really isn’t much of a difference! You can use swimwear/dancewear fabric (lycra spandex) and the patterns are similar.
      Gymnastics suits are different than ballet in subtle ways (ballet is usually pink or black, some have thin straps). Some gymnastics leos actually have long sleeves.
      The way I added it was to just take the line of the pattern and measure out about 1/2 inch. That was it! I followed the curve.
      Because every body is different, I was tweaking this particular pattern to fit my girl after I made a muslin and had her try it on. Then I could see where it pulled or didn’t cover as well as she likes.
      I hope that helps! The fabric is so forgiving, and fun to work with.

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