Work-In-Progress-Dance Mom and her “Acro Bat!”

I have to admit, I don’t always make the best dance mom. I  seldom (or ever) remember to bring a post dance snack, often forget the pink water bottle and grab the ugly green one by mistake, and have even been known (gasp!) to let my daughter walk outside in her ballet shoes (she’s just going to grow out of them in a minute anyway…).

Last week when we went to Princess Ballet (yes, that’s actually a class…) I noticed that all the girls had the cutest little hairstyles, half of which looked professionally done, with plaits and twists and scrunchies galore. My kid? She was dancing it out with the worst case of bedhead you’ve seen on a toddler….at 10:30 AM.

Messy hair? We don’t care!

Clearly, I’m not going to win any prizes here, or perhaps make any dance mom friends (insert self conscious shrug). I’m trying my best, but my priorities lie in making my kids healthy food to eat, giving them a decent home education, and above all, making sure they know they are loved (here’s hoping their love language is NOT any of the things I failed to do above).

But, what I lack in preparation, I make up for in handmade outfits, and I decided it was high time my daughter have a new set for Acro (which she also attends once a week). I could, and probably will, at some point, make a few leotards, but the ballet dress code is a bit on the boring side….Acro is where we can really let ourselves have a good time with prints and colors.

Sophia’s Set: Jalie Crop Top and Peekaboo Agility Leggings

I chose the Jalie Crop top and the Peekaboo Agility tights, and got to work. I used this laser cut mesh for the back of the crop, and finished the edges (per the pattern) with fold over elastic (the Fabric Fairy has the best selection of colors!).

The fit was perfect, and the tights came together shortly thereafter, in less time than it takes a gaggle of girls to line up at the drinking fountain.

I considered using the Jalie Clara pattern, but I actually like the looser fit of the Agility, and the faster construction (since I chose the simplest one piece view, and they don’t have a gusset). I’m sure as she gets older a gusset in her leggings will become necessary, but so far we haven’t split any seams, and she’s really put these to the test with a variety of bridges, cartwheels, and butterfly stretches.

Side note: I spend a good deal of class giggling to myself as I watch the little ones try to copy the instructor. Of particular hilarity is their attempts to put their hands on their hips or their waists, because they usually can’t find them!

Kids are such amazingly built little rectangles with bellies, that it just makes me smile every time- sometimes Sophia will choose a spot up by her armpits, and go around looking like a sassy chicken, and other times she will try to put them down by her thighs- and walk around like a robot. Either way, I love seeing her cute little belly button as she rocks those moves.

After I was done, she tried on the set and refused to take it off, running around calling herself an “Acro-Bat!) and flapping her “wings”. It was the cutest thing!

Dance-Mom-In-Progress Set: Super Gs, Green Tee and Power Bra

Of course, these patterns took only scraps of the yard and a half panel of fabric I had ordered from the Styled Magnolia, so I had plenty leftover to make myself a matching pair of Super G leggings and a Power Bra.


I haven’t made my own straps for the power bra in a while, preferring to use ready made strapping when it’s available, but I really shouldn’t shy away from it- the coordinated look is well worth the extra few minutes of work.

I shared my favorite method here, during the sewalong, and I still swear by it- it ensures that the seam is hidden right in the middle, underneath the strap, and doesn’t show at all from the outside.

I used a contrast solid scrap of teal fabric I had in my stash for two of the straps, and for the bottom band, and top stitched everything with a reverse cover stitch or double needle top stitch in this pretty turquoise thread.

I also added a back zippered pocket to the Super G’s, since I had sewn the no-side seam view- that way the stripes aren’t interrupted, and I still have a place for my phone when I run (catch the tutorial here).

That high waistband is pretty much everything…

Once the set was done, I went looking for something to wear over the top, and came up with this dusty mauve bamboo green tee I sewed up a while ago (bamboo from Fabric Fairy).

I love the subtle tropical print and stripe on the leggings fabric, and was delighted to already have a shirt that matched. Since it’s already getting crisper in the mornings, I think I’ll sew up a long sleeved raglan for each of us soon out of this fabric– it’s really nice and lightweight, and will make a great top on its own for fall, or a base layer for winter. I’m also working on a cute pink cropped sweater for before and after ballet classes- we don’t want to get chilled while we are training for her winter performance (which promises to be a BIG DEAL, according to the more experienced dance moms).

In fact, while I’ve never been a particularly coordinated person, watching my daughter pour herself into her ballet/Acro classes has inspired me to want to try an adult’s beginner barre or dance class- I’d love to hear your recommendations and thoughts if you’ve given one a try. I promise I’ll try to remember to brush my own hair, at least!

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  1. Katherine on October 16, 2019 at 4:30 am

    Handmade outfits make you the best dance mum ever! I love both of your outfits. Your sewing is so inspirational to me. I was lucky enough to do adult dance classes in one of the towns where we lived. I loved it. SO much better than yoga or meditation for relaxation….I was so busy remembering all the things I needed to do (ballet is complicated!!) that I couldn’t think about any of my other worries for the entire class. I really miss it.

    • Sarah on October 25, 2019 at 8:05 pm

      Awe, that’s so sweet of you to say. I’m really hoping to do some adult classes this spring!

  2. Deb Scheid on October 16, 2019 at 5:32 am

    Adorable! You always make me smile. Thank you for being you!

  3. Jill on October 18, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    Your outfits are so cute! And you never know you might make a dance friend mom. My daughter is now 14 and met her bestie in a toddler ballet class (they were 3) and her mom is one of my close friends as well. Neither of us are stereotypical dance moms- and neither kids dances anymore but they were adorable.

    • Sarah on October 25, 2019 at 8:05 pm

      I love that! I’ll keep looking for some nontraditional dance moms I can friend! I like the traditional ones too- I’m just always doubting myself about fitting in, I suppose!

  4. Bridgid on October 21, 2019 at 8:43 am

    What a cutie!! Your daughter looks so happy! Love the fabric choice too

    I took dance lessons for years, starting when I was a kid, and I am so grateful. It was such a good challenge for my brain & body, and I made wonderful friends through dance. As an adult I’ve taken classes here and there (at the local rec center, for example) and that’s been very fun. It really gets you to move in different ways, which is especially beneficial if you tend to move in the same way over and over. And it’s fun! I just have to remember to leave my ego at the door. 😉

  5. Kristi Andres on October 24, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    I was a gymnast growing up, but at 44 that’s not in the cards. So I’ve been taking an adult ballet class for several years and love it. The stretching feels so good on my body. 🙂

    • Sarah on October 25, 2019 at 7:53 pm

      I’m hoping her ballet studio offers some spring adult classes! They do sound like fun!

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