I had such trouble finding Ice Girl a leotard-like undergarment for underneath her figure skating dresses. She’s a modest girl and likes to be covered. I get it. But, she’s tried on every flesh-colored undergarment between here and Milwaukee with no success.
After searching patterns, I decided that the closest thing to what Ice Girl wanted was Kwik Sew 3503, view A. View A is a strapless swimsuit, but I added strap loops and clear straps to it. I offered to lower the back into a deep scoop or replace a bunch of the fabric in the back with flesh-colored athletic mesh, but she didn’t want that. Whatever. You could modify the pattern very easily to accomplish both of those suggestions.
The pattern includes a front lining with a shelf bra and it sews together in an afternoon or less (just five pattern pieces). I was worried about the gathers on the side and in the front lining, but they’re virtually unnoticeable and disappear under a figure skating dress.
Ice Girl loves her undergarment. Here’s what I did:
- Fabric. Flesh-colored spandex that matches her skin color.
High-cut legs. The pattern has options for both low-cut and high cut leg openings. I used the high-cut option because I didn’t want the garment sticking out Ice Girl’s figure skating dress’s leg openings.
- Straps. Clear straps made from clear plastic elastic, clear swimsuit hooks on both ends, and a clear slider. I melted the two layers of elastic together instead of sewing them (I used my BeJeweler with the nailhead attachment.) You can buy clear straps, too, but Ice Girl loses them so often that I thought it would be good to have the replacement parts on hand.
- Strap loops. I added flesh-colored ribbon loops, spaced evenly around the top of the garment to accommodate the straps in all sorts of configurations.
- Fortuitous mistake. I didn’t have the 3/4” elastic for the top of the garment. I used my standard 3/8” elastic instead and zig-zagged the lining close to the elastic. This worked great, actually, because I eventually removed the lining’s top stitching to add a bra insert.
- Sew-in bra. Ice Girl didn’t like the minimal support from the shelf bra, so I used my mistake to my advantage. I.G. tried on the undergarment over a clean, but worn, flesh-colored bra. I used my tailor’s chalk to outline the bra on the outside of the garment, pinned it, cut off the bra’s straps and back, tore out the lining’s stitching, repinned the bra, and then basted it all in place. One more fitting before I stitched it permanently and ripped out the basting. It looks good and the bra and stitching are hidden in the lining. We had investigated the bra inserts at the fabric store, but they’re weird. Some models are gel-filled, some are push-up, and some are paper cones. I think using her own bra makes her feel more confident, too.
But, we've never had this conversation. You don't know anything about what Ice Girl might or might not be wearing under her figure skating dress. Silence, folks. Remember, you promised.
Is it O.K. to let the undergarment show or not? Let's discuss. How does your teen/preteen feel or how do you feel about flesh-colored garments showing through keyhole openings in figure skating dresses? You know - the kinds of dresses that show a lot in the back or front? Is it O.K. or is it tacky?