Today’s dish is: Math!

Big Girl Briefs + Everyday Tank =

Big Girl Tank: Everyday Leotard Mash-Up!


Yes! When Andrea asked for sewing bloggers to be in her awesome project, I couldn’t refuse!
She’s doing a monthly Blog hop with a theme, and this month is all about “2 patterns mash-up!”

LilPotato loves her artistic gymnastics workouts but loves, even more, being different from her classmates. She’s been asking me a new leotard and I finally had to say yes!

In order to get a great fit we had to make 2 muslins because the fabric I had wasn’t as stretchy as her current team uniform 🙂

To create a perfectly fitting leotard, I went down one size (she wears a size 5 on both the Everyday Tank and the Big Girl Briefs) and added some coverage to the leg holes (because in the original pattern they were finished with a tiny cuff, while here I decided to do a classic elastic leotard finishing).

I’m sure what you’re wondering now…

How can I create my own Big Girl Leotard?

Use this special discount code in my shop for a crazy 40% off on all your cart, but be quick. you have

until October, 25th (2016)!



Let’s go!

Start printing the patterns for the Everyday Tank (Top version) and the Big Girl Briefs (remember to choose the size following each pattern instructions, then go down one size).

Remember that you can use the awesome feature “Print only the size you need” to save time and ink!


Suggestion: try making a muslin first!

Since you don’t need a lot of fabric for this leotard – a tank length (full roll width) for each color will be just fine – better buy a double length and be sure it’s going to fit!

In the worst scenario, the first muslin will be perfect and you’ll be able to sew two leotards!


I used my serger to stitch together this leotard, using a Super Stretch stitch, made using 3 threads (left needle + loopers): reaaaaly stretchy but strong! If you’re using a sewing machine, use a triple straight stitch or any other stretch stitch you have – no need to finish seams, since knits don’t fray!


  •  4-way swimwear knit with a 50% stretch and good recovery (source/buy a tank length full-width roll for each color, each leotard)
  • 1/4″ flat woven elastic: 165 cm (65″) length for a size 4. For other sizes modify your pattern paper pieces as instructed below and simply measure openings to know the exact length you need.

Before we start cutting paper: remember that you need to either add 1 cm (3/8″) around legs on the front, back and crotch pieces before you cut out the shape, or trace them on a new piece of paper.

Now cut out your pattern pieces in paper and deconstruct your Brief’s front/back like this:


Tape front to back (you need to cut along the dotted line = seam line) to trim off seam allowances.


Two other changes I made were:

  • widening the neckline, cutting out 1 cm (3/8″) from shoulders (on both front and back pieces);
  • shortening all the 3 tank pattern pieces on the bottom: for a size 4 on a 5 years old, I trimmed about 5 cm (2″): better cut less now and trim off later, while trying it on your little one!

Go on constructing separately Briefs and Tank, as per instructions (on Briefs: you’re going to have a side seam instead of a front diagonal seam detail…). Stop before you finish edges/hems, where you’re going to sew elastic!

Cut the elastic:

Neckline: 43 cm (17″)

Armhole: 2 pieces by 28 cm (11″)

Legs: 2 pieces by 32 cm (12 1/2″)

Sew in the circle each piece of elastic; mark in fourth both the openings and the elastic and pin the latter to the wrong side of the fabric, right inside the edge of it.

Stitch the elastic in place (gently stretching it as you sew – don’t stretch the fabric) from the elastic side with a three-step zig-zag, matching your quarter signs. Overlap the start of the seam and backstitch.

Wrap the fabric around the elastic and sew another row of three-step zig-zag on it, this time on the right side of the fabric.

Time to try on the two separate pieces and see the fit. Decide now if your leotard length seems to be good or if you need to trim off any length from your tank’s bottom edge.

The peplum

To add the little peplum, create a donut shape by cutting two concentric circles (folding the fabric in 4 and cutting a quarter of the circle using radius, to be sure it’s going to be even!).

For my size 4, I made an inner circle measuring 25 cm (10″) in diameter and an outer circle diameter of 45 cm (18″).

For other sizes, cut:

  • your inner circle to fit hips measurement, more or less;
  • the outer diameter = nearly the double of the inner so can cover your model’s back without becoming too skirt-y!

Math time!

How to know your diameter, known the hip measurement?

Just divide the hips measurement by 3,14 (π

PS: the radius that you’re going to use if you cut a quarter of the circle is simply half the diameter!

Let’s stitch on that peplum!

Mark in fourths your tank bottom edge and the inner circle, then attach them, easing in any difference and matching fourth marks.

Obviously, you need to do that matching right sides together, as usual!

When you’re done, add the briefs:

  • mark their top raw edge in fourths
  • mark the peplum/bottom edge of the tank in fourths again
  • the matching brief’s right side to peplum’s wrong side of the fabric.

Stitch along the circumference… and you’ve finished!
Your Big Girl Tank Leotard is ready to be worn at gym, and you should be ready to hear your daughter’s classmates asking begging you to sew one for them too… 😉

… oh! You were waiting for the news from the title? What? Didn’t you notice that my LilPotato is wearing glasses?

Yes, they aren’t props for this photo shoot…

Why do I feel so sad about it? I feel like I failed when I’ve made her…

Well, she’s so happy to have her own glasses, can you see how she’s smiling?

Use now your special discount code on my shop for a crazy 40% off on all your cart,  before June, 15th (2015)!