Tuesday 3 October 2017


You know the best thing about sewing? You can take pretty much any stoopid idea and run with it. And you know the best thing about kids? They're so often completely on board with it.

Cue the Leopard Leotard!*
* I know, it's probably Cheetah print not Leopard but let's not let facts stand in the way of a good alliteration, hey?!

Forgive me if I get a bit self indulgent with this blog post, but this seriously cracks me up. This shit here is exactly why I make stuff.

So, a cheetah print skinsuit needs a back story, you say? Ok, here goes:

This year, A has started doing gymnastics one night a week after school. At the end of each term they have a dress-up theme for the last class of the term. I've made her two leotards so far (here and here), but haven't been up to speed on the last week of term thing. At least not until this term.

So there we were, busy as all get out, nearing the end of the school term and I spotted the poster announcing a "Wild Animal" theme for the end of term....

That dangerous little light in the back of brain flicked on. I had the fabric. I had at least a day or two spare. This could be done, and damn if it wouldn't be hilariously cute. OK, there's no stopping me now.

First task was convincing P, who had technically been the one to spot, and grab, this fabric remnant from Nick Ciancio's sewing machine repair shop, to let his little sister have it. His plans for it, I kid you not, had been a skin tight, one sleeved, off the shoulder top. As much as I would love to indulge his Bowie-esque fashion sense I did convince him to wait until he was invited to a George Of The Jungle themed birthday party. That had yet to happen. The fabric was going to be A's....

The pattern choice was a no brainer. It had to be Jalie 3135, the full skinsuit with hood version. I'd previously made a short sleeve, short leg, collared version for P as swimwear and I love the fit and cut of the pattern. For A, I traced her size, J, and added 1" in torso length.

I wish I'd added a bit of sleeve length, but since she immediately put it on and refused to take it off I never did get to hem the sleeves and legs anyway. They're a bit short even without hems, but heck it's a costume leotard.

The face mask dates back to when P dressed as a cheetah to go to the theatre.

From the oddly shaped remnant of fabric I managed to cut everything with just a single bit of piecing of the centre hood panel and the zipper shield. The leftover scraps would have barely covered an A4 page. For just the price of an invisible zip it was a very satisfying exercise.

And, did I say already how much it makes me laugh?...

The same evening that A had her final gymnastics class of the term, P had his school concert performance. We had to rush home from gymnastics, eat dinner, get changed and race off to the school concert. Only A didn't want to get changed. She wanted to stay in her big cat skinsuit. Sure, fine by me. (pick your battles parents, pick your battles)

But what we didn't count on was that there were at least two school classes who were performing that night with a jungle animal theme, and as soon as we arrived teachers descended on A and tried to whisk her backstage to prepare. On no less than three separate occasions she was steered towards the backstage area and we had to explain, numerous times, that she was an audience member....

....who just happened to be wearing a cheetah skinsuit. The teachers smiled. They got it.



  1. What a great make! Soooo cute, love that she nearly got roped in to the school performance, hilarious!

  2. It is so fabulous. Your daughter wears it very well.

  3. YOU. ABSOLUTELY. KILLED. IT. I doff my cap, ma'am, you have truly outdone yourself this time!!! So good! I laughed along with you reading this, it truly is the most delightful, awesome, funny, excellent thing ever. I really don't know how you'll ever top this, but, having followed your blog for years, I suspect you will!

  4. Do those two offspring if yours know how lucky they are to have you as their mother?

  5. LOVE THIS. And it definitely deserves to be worn on all sorts of occasions - dining out, going to the movies, popping down to the milk bar... too good just to save for gymnastics! It was big of P to give up his sartorial dream, what a good son :)


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