Online Sewing Class: Pattern Work
SIGNUP - FREE Membership and 1 FREE Sewing Lesson
| FAQ | Login

Forum > Beginner's Forum > Sewing sleeves onto a leotard ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

Please LOGIN or Join PatternReview
Go to Page:
Sewing sleeves onto a leotard
Member since 10/1/12
Posts: 1
Skill: Intermediate
Send Message

                                                     2 Replies

Date: 10/1/12 1:53 PM

I am making dance costumes. I have existing tank style leotards that I would like to add sleeves to. Probably will use chiffon or a chiffon type fabric.

Any advice or suggestions on how to go about doing this?
diane s
diane s
Oregon USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 5149
Skill: Intermediate
Send Message


Date: 10/1/12 2:01 PM

A knit or a woven chiffon?

My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

Member since 1/4/11
Posts: 826
Skill: Intermediate
Body Type:
Send Message


In reply to Ladybug155

Date: 10/1/12 3:13 PM

I would recommend a knit that has as much or more stretch than your leotard. If you have a sleeve in a similar style in your pattern stash, you can use that sleeve pattern. Measure the arm hole of your leotard and find the corresponding size and use the sleeve for that size. If the armhole of the leotard is cut too low, when you add a sleeve it may restrict movement. You definitely will need to experiment a bit.

I finally have a blog. :)

Marie367  Friend of PR
Ohio USA
Member since 5/28/11
Posts: 5160
Skill: Intermediate
Send Message


Date: 10/1/12 6:21 PM

I would suggest a knit as well if you use a full sleeve. If you just do a cap or partial sleeve you could probably do without it the stretch factor. The sleeve/armhole on the tank is probably different than what you would need for a sleeve. You could check it against the pattern you use for the sleeve and use that pattern to adjust the armhole so the sleeve fits properly (does this make sense?).
edited to add: There are several people on here that make these kind of outfits-hopefully someone will jump in.
-- Edited on 10/1/12 6:23 PM --
SheBear0320  Friend of PR
Manitoba Canada
Member since 4/8/08
Posts: 5219
Skill: Advanced
Send Message


In reply to Ladybug155

Date: 10/1/12 7:32 PM

You definitely want a stretch fabric if you are doing a full sleeve regardless of length. About the only time you can get away with non-stretch would be for a cap or flutter sleeve. Also make sure that the bottom of the armhole opening is high enough or you will end up with a "web" of fabric in the armpit area.

If you are wanting a sheer look I would suggest using a mesh -- there are lots of colours and prints out there so you shouldn't have any trouble finding something suitable.

Another suggestion -- double stitch the underarm and armscye seams -- they get put under a lot of strain. I tend to do a row of stitching on the sewing machine and then serge to add the extra rows of stitching for strength and durability.

HTH -- let me know if you need/want any other info.

"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"
Stash Tally: net +38.5 yds (2014)
2015 Stash Tally: 106.5 yds out/122.875 yds in (net +16.375 yds)

2016 Stash Busting:
20.875 yds sewn (as of 04/30/16)
9.75 yds purchased (as of 04/30/16)

Go to Page:
Please LOGIN or Join PatternReview

printable version Printable Version

* Advertising and soliciting is strictly prohibited on If you find a post which is not in agreement with our Terms and Conditions, please click on the Report Post button to report it. Beginner's Forum >> Sewing sleeves onto a leotard

adv. search»
pattern | machine | member

Conditions of Use | Posting Guidelines | Privacy Policy | Shipping Rates | Returns & Refunds | Contact Us | About | New To PR | Advertising

Copyright © 2016® , OSATech, Inc. All rights reserved.