My daughter recently started gymnastics, so of course I needed to sew up some outfits for her to wear. I started looking around to see what patterns were available and found a few different ones. Most of the girls around here wear biketards, sometimes called unitards, or they wear leotards with shorts over them. Biketards, or unitards, are basically just a leotard with the shorts already attached, making them just one piece. So here are a few different options I made up that might help show you what is available!
First up is My Childhood Treasures. They have many many different leotard and unitard patterns available. I chose to make up their Unitard #1 pattern. It is a long sleeve or short sleeve unitard with a fun color blocked top.
I didn’t have quite enough fabric left to do a full long sleeve, but I wanted it a bit longer than the short sleeve, so by cutting partway between the two I made her into an elbow sleeve. There is also a sleeveless pattern available as well if you prefer that.
My daughter loved this one and often wants to wear it. The one thing we did notice is that the back is made of 2 pieces, which results in a seam up the middle of the back which meant she tended to get a wedgie. There are however, other unitard patterns by My Childhood Treasures that do not have the seam up the back. The seam may not bother some people, so it is really just a personal preference. I like that there are both options available.
Next up in my gymnastics journey was Jalie 3138 Gymnastics Tank Leotard and Biketard. Jalie has long been a staple in the dance and gymnastics world so I was excited to try this one. My daughter also loves this one, but did complain about the legs being slightly tighter than she was used to. I think the tighter legs help hold it down better so she isn’t constantly pulling them down.
The instructions for this are words on one page and line drawings on another, so I found it was helpful to have sewn up a few other ones to have a basic idea of how it goes together first. It can be slightly confusing for a beginner sewer, but their facebook group is great for helping people if you do get stuck. Their binding method was different than any of the other leotards or biketards I have made before, so it took me a few minutes to wrap my mind around how they wanted me to do it, but I love the end result.
Overall I was very pleased with the Jalie pattern. There are so many different size options, and I love that I can use it with my youngest daughter as well.
Another designer I came across was Mountain Ash Designs, which is also known as Tumble n Twirl on Etsy. I bought the Casey Unitard pattern to try out. This one went together really quickly and fit my daughter well.
Overall, I feel like all of these were good patterns and my daughter rotates through all of them. The most important thing is they are all cartwheel approved!