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Custom-tailored rhythmic gymnastics leotard. Where to start?

Custom-tailored leotard differs from ready-made purchased leotards quite much. By ordering custom-made leotard customers may influence leotard's style, colors, and most important leotard's fitting.

We will not be telling about the whole ordering process of a leotard in this post, but we will consider measurements and the process of measuring for the leotard. This stage of leotard's creation is a collaborative work of tailor and customer. And the result is depending on this work's accuracy.


At Stella Gymnastics we make 95% of measurements by ourselves at customers' or our premises. In case of measurements on-site are not possible, we agree on a video meeting with the customer and help to take measurements. We make sure that all the measurements are taken correctly.



For measurement taking we recommend our customers to put on gymnastic underwear that will be used at the competitions. Proper gymnastics underwear is quite important in general as it should be invisible under the leotard, it should protect the leotard from sweat and serve as comfortable underwear. In the places where the nude mesh is used in the leotard, the underwear or bodysuit serves as lining. By taking measurements on top of a bodysuit or gymnastic underwear, we make sure that it will not be visible under the leotard.



We also recommend fastening hair in a ponytail. Part of the measurements are to be taken at the neck, back, and shoulders zone, and it would be easier to make these measurements if hairs are tightened.


If you are going to take the measurements independently, put on an elastic band or a string at the waist. The band will mark the waistline and it would be easier to make measurements related to the waist.



The number of measurements depends on the sketch of a leotard. This is why we usually make the measurements only after the design has been approved. Only at this stage, we may know if there will be a skirt in the leotard? Would the skirt be only on the back or also in front? Will there be any sleeves and how long they are going to be? Is there any collar coming to the future leotard? And would it be leotard or even unitard?


In general, it would be better to make the measurements only after all of these questions are answered. On the other hand, if the customer can come for measurements only before the final approval of the design, we can also take all possibly needed measurements, i.e. all 18 measurements.


We start measuring by asking the customer's height. The height is not a measurement that would be needed for the leotard's tailoring. It is needed for comparison with midrange measurements for the same height. If any measurement differs from midrange measurement for more than 15%, it is quite possible that the measurement is incorrect and it should be made again. It can happen for example if the elastic band at the waist has been moved higher or lower. Also, it can happen if the customer's clothing is too loose for the measurements.


The next measurement is a curve. Measurement starts from the acromion shoulder bone, then measurement tape makes a circle around the gymnast's torso and the circle should be closed at the same place, i.e. acromion bone. The measurement tape should not be loosened too much, but it also should not be pulled over. It should be quite close to the body to allow a gap of around one finger.



Then chest measurement is to be taken. The chest measurement should be taken right under the underarms. The best way to measure the chest is to raise the hands, put the measurement tape under the arms, drop hands down and then write down the result of the measurement.



The waist is to be measured on top of the elastic band. Please make sure that the elastic band still stays on the waist after rising and dropping the hands for the chest measurement.


Hip width should be measured at the widest place of hips.



If there is going to be a high collar in the leotard, neck width should be measured. The measurement is not needed in other cases.



The next measurement is the length of back to waist. It should be measured from the seventh spinal bone (the most visible one at the cervical spinal cord). The measurement should be done straight down up to the elastic band at the waist. Don't forget to check that the elastic band is still at the right place!



Double crotch depth can be measured starting from the elastic band in front and bringing the tape to the elastic band on the back between legs.



Sleeve length is needed in case the leotard will have sleeves. Independently from the sleeve's length, the measurement is needed as index measurement. It should be made from the acromion shoulder bone and down to the arm.



Forearm measurement is needed in case the leotard will have a long sleeve or shortened sleeve. If there is going to be no sleeves or short sleeve, the measurement is not needed.



The wrist is to be measured only for a leotard that will have a full-length sleeve or sleeves. The wrist should be measured in the narrowest place of the hand and a gap for one finger should be left between the arm and measuring tape.



The next measurement is between waist and bodysuit highest point. The measurement should be around 5-7 cm to the front from the bodysuit's side seam. It should be taken as a vertical line. If the customer doesn't have a bodysuit on top during measurements, it can visually be defined where the line of bodysuit comes from.



If the skirt is designed for the leotard, it should be covering the crotch part of the leotard. Even if the skirt is going to be only on the back of the leotard, we take the measurement in front as well as an index measurement. The length is to be measured as a straight vertical line down from the elastic band at the waist.



Skirt length at back is also measured from elastic band downwards and skirt should be covering glutes.



Crotch depth would be the last measurement if the measurements are made for leotard but not unitard. The gymnast should be seated on a chair and the measurement should be made from an elastic band down to the chair surface. Check if the elastic band is still correctly placed on the waist!



The length from the waist (elastic band) to the floor should be taken along the side seam making sure that the gymnast stands straight.



Ankle width is to be measured in the narrowest place of the ankle.



Even though the process might seem to be difficult, we have received positive feedback from the customers that were making the measurements independently. We always support our customers in measurements taking and make sure that all measurements are done correctly.


In the end, we select the most suitable nude mesh color to the color of the customer's skin.



It is extremely important for us to make the process as smooth as possible for our customer and her parents. This is why we usually participate in the process of measuring personally.


Have you ever made measurements for a leotard? Was it easy to make the measurements? And how was the result?

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