Gymnastics gear

This blog entry is more for my own records than for interest, as I am aware that making boys gymnastics clothing is not a popular global pastime!

My son trains 3 times per week, and his club gear is expensive, so I have persuaded him to wear gear that I have made him.  Naturally, he would prefer to wear his club gear over and over without washing, but I am trying to get good habits in place before those teenage hormones kick in!

This leotard is my design, although I did restrict myself to a simple tank style because that is what he is used to.  It looks a little big in the straps.  Part of drafting a tank style is reducing the length of the straps to account for the reduced width.  Reduced width results in less rebound tension.  I understand all this, but I do not yet have a grip on how much to reduce the strap length.  On the up side, he will fit in the leotard for longer.

The colours are his club colours.

The shorts were made using Jalie 2914, although I modified the pattern for the striped side panel.  They are a much closer fit than his club shorts, so it took some convincing for him to wear them.  I have already had to repair the crotch seam.  I sewed them with fluffy thread in the loopers of the overlocker, but perhaps my fluffy is not strong enough.  Incidentally, when I tried to buy fluffy thread at Spotlight last week I found that they do not stock it anymore.

The longs (that is what they call them!) were also made using Jalie 2914.  He is wearing them over the top of his shorts, because that is what they do.  I used 2 different sizes to get the width and length right.  He is so used to wearing baggy clothing because of his small frame that he is not used to a close fit.  They have stirrups, though he has them pulled off in the photo.  His club longs are white, which is a very impractical colour for 9 yo boys, so I have gone with his choice of purple.
The Jalie instructions have you fold the longs down the crease and top stitch to form a pin tuck.  You can see in the above photo that this stitching has broken.  I inspected his club longs, and they make a pin tuck using twin needles.  I guess the zig-zag underneath, between the twin needles, allows you greater stretch, so next time I will use a twin needle.


  1. They're noice, they're different, they're unusual.

  2. I find posts about sports gear very interesting, there are so many technical requirements, and interesting reasons for some of the RTW choices. Now I know about using twin needles for pintucks in stretch.

  3. You know, I think a large percentage of the sports gear at my kids' gymnastics was handmade, maybe not by the parents, but by professional local seamstresses. Who probably have coverstitches and fancier sergers than I do, but anyway! I don't think it's an odd thing to do at all---and I do think it's interesting to read about. :)

  4. I love your sister's comment above!! made me laugh! Good for you for making your own. They look very professional, and thanks for that good tip about the twin needle. Not that I will be making gymnastics gear myself anytime soon ;) but the notion of extra stretch for pintucks provided by the zig zag makes very good sense.

  5. I do find this interesting. I think his pieces look very sharp.

    I make my girls' gym leotards but my boys (9 and 11) just wear shorts and t-shirts for now.

    Do you zigzag with the twin needle? Or is the zigzagging under twin needle stitching?

  6. Hi there, I have just purchased the Jalie pattern for boys longs. Great to read this and see your pictures as I have been looking for boys gymnastics wear info for a while. May I ask what kind of material did you use? I am going to go shopping soon and not really sure what to use. I haven't done stretch sewing before.

    1. These gymnastics clothes are made from nylon lycra.