Sunday, September 4, 2016


I was really slow to embrace leggings as acceptable public articles of clothing. I still don't think they can be worn as a substitute for pants, but I am now willing to leave the house in a tunic and leggings. I've been told by friends that what I think of as tunic length the rest of them just call a short dress. Ah well, the beauty of making my own clothes is that I can always make sure my dresses and tunics are lengths that I am comfortable in.

Anyway, as part of my new willingness to wear leggings, I decided to make a pair. I found some absolutely beautiful rusty red knit fabric at JoAnn's the other day. I don't think any of my pictures do justice to the color. It is a nice thick rayon/poly blend with 1% spandex and about 30% 2-way stretch. I decided to make one pair of long leggings and if I liked the way the fabric wore for the day I might go back and get more.

I'm going to need to go get more in other colors.

I finished the leggings yesterday and I wore them all day and even slept in them to see if they would end up baggy the way some knits do. There were no problems. I woke up this morning with them looking as fresh as they did when I first slipped them on.

I think I am going to make this pattern again, but I am going to make some changes. When I first sewed them together I thought the rise through the crotch looked ridiculously long. It's meant to sit 1.5" below the natural waist. After wearing them for a day I've decided that I would actually like it to be higher, like at my natural waist. They fit alright standing, but I think they were designed for someone with a little less booty because when I sit down they slip too low. Not a problem with a long tunic, but not what I want them to do either. They also stretch oddly around my tummy. Not in a I-made-a-size-too-small way, but just in a they-are-not-the-same-shape-as-me way. Before I put the elastic in the casing it gapped a little in the back, so I think they pattern was designed with more of a teenager's body in mind, you know, very very straight, no tummy, hips, or booty yet. I think I need just a little more room in the front. 

But again, with a long tunic on, this pair will totally do the trick. And speaking of neat tricks, I played with the stretch stitch on my machine for the first time while making these. 

Stretch stitch is a cool stitch that stitched and finishes a seam in one pass. It also makes a strong seam with enough stretch that you can use it on knits without popping a stitch. In the past, I've just zigzagged seams on knits and that also does the trick, but the stretch stitch looks neater and more professional. I learned how to do it by checking my machine's manual. I've actually learned a fair number of neat stitches that way.

I also finally got a twin needle hem that I am happy with on these leggings. Not a super straight hem, mind you, but at least the tension is okay.

I love how professional the twin needle looks because it looks the same as ready to wear, but you also have to hem from the right side because the wrong side of a twin needle hem just looks like zig-zag stitch, so I think it's going to take some practice for me to keep fabrics from slipping while sewing on the right side of the garment. 

Oh, I nearly forgot. The pattern is from New Look. I don't remember the pattern number but the legging pattern was available in a couple different pattern envelopes paired with knit tunics. 

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