In this article I will tell and show you step by step the process of sewing a delicate and airy leotard “White Bird” for rhythmic gymnastics. This swimsuit I needed to sew very quickly, I only had one week, and this is also at a time when I was very busy with other costumes. Therefore, after developing a sketch, I had only a few days left to sew a swimsuit.
- Required materials
- Building and cutting the base of the swimsuit
- Sewing a swimsuit
- Processing the “drop” cutout on the back of the swimsuit
- Processing the neck and armholes
- Processing panty sections
- Preparing the decor for the swimsuit
- Decorating a swimsuit
- Swimsuit skirt
- Decorating a swimsuit with rhinestones
- White supplex
- Beige supplex
- Beige mesh
- White chiffon
- Elastic band 1 cm wide
- Glue web
- Fabric paint “Decola” white
- Fabric dye “Decola” black
- Cristal 20ss hot fix rhinestones
- Cristal 16ss hot fix rhinestones
- Hot fix rhinestones AB 20ss
- Hot Fix Rhinestones Silver Labrador 20ss
- Sew-on Rhinestones Drop AB
- Sew-on Rhinestones Drop Satine
It usually takes about a week to create a sketch. This week I draw foreskets (outline) in several directions and send them to the customer so that he chooses one option. Then I draw the final art sketch and try to always draw a figurine with the customer’s face if I have time. But this time I didn’t have time for that, so I drew the final sketch on a figurine prepared in advance for such cases.
Building and cutting the base of the leotard
I built the basic base of the leotard using the Muller and Son method, but then modeled it so that there was no seam along the midline of the back. I don’t make any darts on the back along the waist line, fit in the lumbar region can be achieved without any darts.
Sewing a swimsuit
To prevent the gymnast’s underwear from showing through the leotard, I stitched a beige supplex in the lower part of the leotard in the form of panties. I sewed a supplex on a sewing machine with a zigzag seam.
Next, I cut out the details from white supplex and stitched them onto the mesh with a zigzag seam. According to my sketch, these details were with gray shadows around the edges, but when I airbrushed the fabric, I realized that these shadows were superfluous. Therefore, I used a pure white material without gray shadows.
Before decorating the swimsuit, I processed all the cuts: the “drop” neckline, the neckline, the armholes and the line of the panties.
Processing the “drop” cutout on the back of the swimsuit
To process the “drop” cutout, I cut out a facing (rectangle) from a body mesh about 5 cm wide.
Then I swept it from the front side of the back of the swimsuit, and then stitched it with a knitted seam on a sewing machine. Knitted seam is not found on all sewing machines, this seam is similar to a “zigzag”, only smaller.
Then I turned the facing inside out and secured it with a zigzag stitch on the front of the swimsuit. After cutting off the excess fabric from the wrong side.
Neck and armhole work
Stitched the shoulder and side seams on an overlock sewing machine. And then I processed the neck and armholes according to the same principle as the “drop” cutout on the back. I connected the rectangular facing to the cut of the neckline with a seam for knitwear, then turned the facing to the wrong side and secured it on the front side of the leotard with a zigzag seam.
I repeated the same with the armholes.
Processing panty cuts
First I prepared the gum. To do this, I measured the length of the sections of the panties of the swimsuit and cut off the elastic 3/4 of this length. Then I connected each segment into a ring.
After sweeping the panties on the wrong side of the swimsuit, along with an elastic band. And then I secured it with a zigzag stitch on a sewing machine. I always use “Organ” super stretch needles for supplex and mesh, otherwise the zigzag stitch will be of poor quality, with gaps.
I cut off the extra cuts from the wrong side. There are many different ways to trim panty hem, but this is my preferred method. In my opinion it is the most aesthetic.
Preparing the decor for the leotard
To decorate the leotard, I had to prepare supplex petals. And for this, I glued together two layers of supplex with a glue cobweb. Then I cut petals of different sizes from the resulting material and secured the edges with a straight stitch on a sewing machine.
After that, I airbrushed gray shadows onto the petals with Decola fabric paint. I got gray paint by diluting black and white paint.
I left the painted petals to dry for 24 hours, and then fixed the paint with an iron through a cotton iron.
Then I took up the most interesting thing - the decor of the leotard. My decor should be in the form of bird feathers in front, and on the back in the form of wings. Therefore, I began to arrange the petals in accordance with the sketch. And then she sewed them with a straight line on a sewing machine, but not completely, but partially, so that they were convex, but at the same time did not interfere with the gymnast.
I did the same on the back of the swimsuit.
I prepared 6 strips for the shoulders, which I cut out from two layers of supplex glued together with a glue cobweb. The edges of the strips are fixed with a straight stitch on a sewing machine.
I will attach these strips to the leotard right on the gymnast when she comes to get the leotard. Such hinged stripes, unlike sleeves, can greatly interfere with the gymnast when performing exercises. Therefore, if possible, I prefer to pin them on the fitting or as in this case I did not have fittings, so I sewed them to the leotard when the gymnast came to pick up the leotard.
Along the line of the skirt, I should have supplex petals, as on the chest of the swimsuit and back, as well as chiffon. To do this, I cut out the chiffon with triangles of different sizes and processed the edges with a rolled seam on an overlock sewing machine. After I pinned the chiffon with pins to the swimsuit, and then sewed it on with hand stitches.
I used to use such chiffon triangles in swimsuits, but only for adult girls and always processed the edges with a rolled seam. On the plus size swimsuits, the rolled hems looked very harmonious, but on this white children’s swimsuit, the edges looked very rough with this treatment. And here I had to process the edges of the chiffon with a soldering iron.
I did not immediately redo the chiffon, as I still had doubts about whether to redo them or not. Let me remind you that I had only a few days to sew this swimsuit and the delivery of the swimsuit was supposed to take place the very next day, which is why I had doubts about the alteration.
I did replace the chiffons 😅, but only at the very end, when the swimsuit was already completely ready and I still had a few hours before the customers arrived. Since I have this item about a chiffon skirt, therefore I will show its processing here, but in all subsequent paragraphs in the photo you will see chiffon processed with a rolled seam and only at the very end of the article there will be a photo with chiffon, in which the ends are processed with a soldering iron.
I again cut out triangular chiffons of different sizes, but this time I burned the sections with a soldering iron. So the edges look more delicate and airy.
Decorating a swimsuit with rhinestones
In this swimsuit I used three colors of hot fix rhinestones: crystal, AB and Silver Labrador. And two colors of sew-on drop rhinestones: AB and Satine
First I sewed large rhinestones. And then I glued hot-fix rhinestones.
Finally the swimsuit is ready.
I rarely take on urgent swimsuits that need to be done in almost a few days. It’s one thing when you need to create a swimsuit already according to your own sketch or create a copy of your own swimsuit. And it’s a completely different thing when you need to draw an individual sketch, approve it with customers, prepare materials, and then sew a swimsuit on it 😅.
But I am very glad that I took up this swimsuit, it turned out to be very gentle and airy. As you can see, in my leotards I practically do not use paint or painting, I try to bring my own style into the leotards for rhythmic gymnastics, which will help young gymnasts stand out among thousands of other gymnasts.
And you, my readers, which swimsuits do you like better: with or without painting? 😀
Thank you for reading my article. I hope it will help you in creating the swimsuit of your dreams!