Pattern hack: Turn your leotard into a bodysuit with a snap crotch

Are you tired of struggling with your pull-on leotard during bathroom breaks? We've got an easy solution to make your next one even more functional and convenient: adding a snap crotch!

With our tutorial, you'll be able to upgrade your dancewear in no time, making bathroom breaks a breeze and ensuring a secure and comfortable fit. So, let's dive in and learn how to add snaps to your leotards!

For this alteration, you will need:

  • 12-mm (1/2'') grosgrain ribbon 
  • Sew-on snaps (9 mm (3/8'') or 12 mm  (1/2'')
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Tape 

The pattern we use in this tutorial is the Camille. The technique would work with any leotard pattern.

Step 1 : Trace seam allowances

For a comfortable snap crotch, it is important for it to be located in the narrowest section, which in the case of the Camille leotard is more towards the front. We therefore need to move the crotch seam forward.

Before slashing the pattern, trace the seam allowances along crotch seam and center back seam (front is cut on the fold, so there is nothing to trace along center front):

Step 2 : New crotch seam line

Overlap crotch seam lines, align the center back seam line with the center front corner and tape. You now have one, very long, piece.

Trace a new snap crotch line at approximately 1/3 of the leg opening, as shown on the photo: 

Step 3 : Adjust seam allowances on altered pieces

Cut the front piece at the new crotch line and add the following:

  • Front piece: a 1,2 cm (1/2'') allowance at crotch line
  • Back piece: a 1.2 cm (1/2'') allowance at crotch line + a 6mm (1/4'') allowance to widen the section you added to the back piece (your center back seam needs to go all the way to the crotch seam)

Step 4 : Assembly

Cut your piece, sew back and sides of the leotard: 

Step 5 : Leg elastic

Pin leg elastic from one corner to the other, leaving 1 cm (3/8'') at both ends and baste with an elastic, stretching the elastic as you sew to fit the opening. DO NOT TOPSTITCH THE ELASTIC YET!

Step 6 : Snap crotch

We use grosgrain ribbon to finish the ends. The ribbon will not be visible from the right side.

Pin grosgrain ribbon (1.2 cm (1/2'') wide) 6 mm (1/4'') from edge.

Stitch along ribbon edge (back piece shown):

Fold ribbon towards right side of front and pin. Repeat for the front.

Stitch folded ribbon, 1 cm (3/8'') from leg opening edge. Be careful no to catch the elastic.

Turn right side out, using a turner to have nice, square corners. Pin ribbon in place (wrong side of ribbon is now against wrong side of garment:

Stitch along unsewn ribbon edge.


Step 7 : Finishing

Finish the elastic application by topstitching with a zigzag, stretching the elastic flat as your sew:

Sew snaps, "socket" half on the front ribbon, "knob" half on the right side of the back.

You can use also use snap or hook-and-eye strips instead of sew-on snaps:

Step 8 : Complete garment construction

Self-fabric binding completes this stretch velvet Camille bodysuit:


 We hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Happy sewing :)


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