Monday, February 1, 2016

Strawberry Tap Dance Togs

You guys, Project Run and Play is back!  I get so inspired by sewing with a group of people and seeing everyone's take on a theme, and frankly having a specific project that I know will end up in front of more than my average number of eyeballs is very motivational to me.

When I saw that the theme of the first week was knitwear, I knew immediately what I wanted to make.  Little Sister just started a fun tap dance class at a community center, and although there is nothing strict about it, we did notice that there was a dress code sign hanging up that specified tights and a leotard.  Well, Little Sister didn't have a leotard but I thought it would be fun to make one.  My first try was an awkward fit in pale pink stripes that gave me enough information to draw a new pattern and start designing a full knitwear look for Project Run and Play.

I'm getting down to the last bit of the awesome realistic strawberry print knit that I bought in Japan for less than $2/yard (I made this newborn set using it, and this tee for myself), and I instantly knew it would be a perfect leotard.  I could picture black and white accents for a graphic pop, and once I got started I couldn't stop!

The leotard was the no-brainer (I started with the free 24 month pattern from Shwin and Shwin and adapted it--added sleeves, and made it fit an almost-6-year-old), and I wanted to make a cardigan inspired by ballet wrap tops to go over it, but with a bit funkier vibe.

I love the black and white stripes against the strawberries--so fun!  Actually, all of the fabrics I used except for the black ponte knit in the cardi came from the fantastic Knits floor of Tomato fabrics in Nippori (Fabric Town in Tokyo).  I decided to add a little accent on the waistband (well, rib-cage band, I guess, since it's well above her waist!)--a bit of the black stripe gathering the band up a bit.

Sorry for the washed-out photo--it's hard to get the details to show up in black knit!
But the strawberry leotard is definitely the star of this look.  The fabric is a 4-way stretch, and the legs and neck are bound with foldover elastic.

The back of the leotard dips down a bit, and I cut the legs pretty low to avoid that awkward underwear-under-the-tights bunching.  And then of course we needed leg warmers--essential for dance class!

And while I was at it-- a headband too!  Why not?  I mean, when you start with that strawberry fabric, you go big or you go home.

This hairstyle cracks me up.
Next I added a pull-on french terry skirt to throw on after class.  The pattern is free, from Craftiness is not Optional--wonder where I got the idea to use this fabric?

Is it a bit much when you put everything together?  I don't know...I just can't get enough of it!

Little Sister prefers to wear just a few of the pieces at a time, but so far she has been excited about mixing and matching them.

I love all of the options!  And now I want to go eat a strawberry!


  1. Adorable! That strawberry fabric is so much fun and I love it with the black and white stripes. I bet she loves wearing that to her dance class.

  2. It's a super cute outfit! That strawberry print is to die for.

  3. Your sewing moves are as great as her dance moves! Really adorable outfit.

  4. This whole outfit is so cute! And of course I love the skirt ;)

  5. Love the strawberry leotard! So cute! And what great pieces to mix and match!

  6. Beautiful job! I love the strawberries, and what a great price for such a fun fabric! It looks like she will get a lot of use out of the entire outfit.


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