I just finished this ballet leotard and matching skirt for Sadie and I am so happy with how it turned out. The leotard is fully lined in front and the lace is stretch, which I found at the Mill End Store. The skirt is not hemmed (it might get slightly fuzzy, but it won't run) and has a narrow elastic on the waistband. Looking at this now, after she danced in this all day, I think I will take the sleeves up just a little so there isn't extra she has to push up. The stretch lace is smooth and slippery, which is nice because there was some concern about it being itchy. I serged all this, but you wouldn't need a serger, and in fact, I think the lace is better sewn with a normal machine, the serging thread shows too much. I didn't use a purchased pattern, but traced an existing leotard she had. I think this is about my 10th leotard I have sewn, so I'm fine tuning my technique. A stretch needle for the sewing machine (not one for jersey) is imperative, if I forget to use one and start sewing there's immediate swearing.
They can only wear non-black leotards in the afternoon classes, and during the year, it's uniform leotards only, except for rehearsals, so much emphasis is placed on these special opportunities to wear anything they want. It's the perfect sewing project for me. They can design it, I can sew it, and it's a fraction of what we would buy it for in the stores (the prices are crazy-pants) and I won't have my brain exploding buying leotards they wear so infrequently.
I keep thinking about sewing dance and athletic clothes, maybe writing a sewing book about it, or teaching classes for dancers and athletes who want to learn to sew their own. It would be so cool to have a shop filled with fabrics and a place to design and sew for customers who want to learn, or an option to design and have custom items made. Kind of like a U-frame it shop, only with fabric.