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The story of a leotard

Updated: Feb 9, 2022

Leotards for rhythmic gymnastics are extremely shiny and beautiful. When a gymnast comes to the carpet, all glances are directed to her leotard. Leotard creates an initial impression of the program and its role is to support spectators dipping into the program. Correctly designed and tailored leotard is a part of gymnast's style and important element of her confidence during performance.

The leotard should be comfortable with all moves but at the same time it should be imposing, suitable for the gymnast's age and it should correspond to FIG's rules and recommendations. Exactly such leotards we create at Stella Gymnastics and we would like to share with you the story of one leotard.

At the beginning of August, we've been contacted by wonderful Amanda who had already her list of expectations for the future leotard. Amanda needed a leotard for her program with clubs. Because Amanda is under-aged we included her mom in the discussion from the very beginning. Amanda has sent her clubs' pictures and program music so that we could understand the style of future designs. Also, Amanda has shared some pictures of the leotards that she likes. This way it was easier for us to understand her taste and preferences.

First, we created two designs, discussed those, and decided that... we need a third one :)

Amanda was all the time included in the process of design and she actually draw a picture of her dream leotard. It was a great pleasure to see her passion for the new leotard and her willingness to be a part of the designing process! A huge thank to Amanda for the collaboration!

Amanda's drawing served as a base for our designer to create the perfect design for the future leotard. The design was approved and we started to choose materials for the leotard.

Yellow lycra fabric was selected as a base and it was painted in different tones according to the design. "The branch lines" patterns were chosen to be made of golden hologram fabric. We have selected the best fabrics in the field for this leotard, i.e. Chrisanne Clover fabrics that are famous for their durability and flexibility. The same fabrics are used for the world's best gymnasts leotards.

There are 23 different colors and sizes of rhinestones in Amanda's leotard!

Overall 115 sew-on rhinestones and around 3800 glued rhinestones were put to the leotard.

Additionally, there were golden paillettes used and AB rhinestones (Aurora Borealis) attached on top of those. Totally there were 80 paillettes.

When the fabrics and rhinestones were approved, we calculated the final price of the leotard. Everything was agreed and we could move forward. It is worth mentioning that currently, we do not ask for initial payment from the customers and the customer gets an invoice as agreed only after the leotard has been fitted.

At this stage, we booked the time with Amanda and her mom on the measurements taking. This time Amanda has arrived to us in Espoo but usually, we agree with the customer on the best place for measurement taking. It can be the customer's home or training hall as well. The longest trip we made for measurement taking was to Jyväskylä (Central Finland). For measurement taking, we ask our customers to put on gymnastic underwear and fasten the hair into a ponytail.

We would definitely write a separate post about measurements, but shortly to say we take around 10-18 measurements depending on the leotard's design. For a leotard without a skirt and sleeves, we would need fewer measurements than for an overall leotard.

At the same time when we were taking measurements, we also selected the best matching skin-toned mesh for Amanda. Skin-toned mesh is used in almost every rhythmic gymnastics leotard. And it is very important for us to have a mesh tone close to our customer's skin tone.

At this stage customer's part has finished and Amanda started to wait patiently for her leotard :)

But our job just starts... to be precise our tailor's job.

Agreed materials were purchased and the pattern was made on the paper according to the customer's measurements. Then we created a rendering of the design, where all patterns according to the design are made in full size. The patterns were moved to fabrics as well as each small element of the design.

This is long and precise work as there are quite many elements in a leotard usually. The base of Amanda's leotard was yellow lycra fabric and it was painted then to different colors.

After that, all details and elements were sewed together and lines of the pattern were highlighted with paints so that details are visible enough even from a large distance once a gymnast is performing.

Amanda's leotard has paillettes. Every paillette was attached to the golden cord and rhinestones are attached to it.

After that, the most beautiful part started, i.e. rhinestones attachment. First large sew-on rhinestones and then small rhinestones were attached according to the design.

Tailoring, painting, and rhinestones attachment took us 14 days.

The leotard was ready! And it started its trip to Finland. This time it came by plane :)

We packed the leotard into a fancy package and added a discount card to the package. Then we delivered the leotard to Amanda for fitting. Leotard is usually fitted in Espoo or at customer's home or somewhere else, as agreed. We can also send the leotard by post. In any case, delivery is free of charge for our customers in Finland.

And here it came, the most exciting and emotional moment. The customer has waited for the leotard for a few months and we did a lot of job for it. And we can see happy eyes!

Thank you very much, Amanda and Anne-Mari for our collaboration! It is a great pleasure to see Amanda in our leotard at the competitions! Good luck and we hope that our positive energy is a small drop of Amanda's success! ;)

I would like also to thank with all my heart my mom, who designed and realized this magic leotard! You are very talented and it is a great honor for me to make this way with you and to be your support in customer acquisition and all of our projects!

Hopefully, this leotard's story was interesting to you as well! Thank you for reading and understanding, how considerable and patient the creation of rhythmic gymnastics leotard is.

Only people who passionately love this work can bring the greatest results and make their customers absolutely happy!


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