Yikes! I actually made these leggings back in early July, but then it was so hot and sunny for weeks that I couldn’t bear to do the photoshoot, even though I was wearing them in the evenings a lot. The impetus for these was that my beloved pleated “denim-look” leggings had come to the end of their life through heavy use. I’ve been trying to find the time to sew a new pair of denim-look leggings over the entire summer, even buying in the fabric ahead of time so it was all ready to go, but alas, other work had gotten in the way.
But then I finally had some spare time so I pulled out my denim-look jersey and Vogue 1378 – the Donna Karan separates pattern.
I’d made these leggings a few months ago in grey ponte, and I really like them – except for the floppy ankle opening things. Those really annoy me, limit my shoe choices to heels, and generally just don’t work for me. So I’d already altered the pattern by overlapping the two ankle pieces and drawing a new seam line where they intersect, and I used the modified pieces here.
Seen here with my new Yellowtail Camisole – more on that later this week!
I don’t sew many “Big Four” patterns these days, but when I do, they’re invariably Vogues, and even then, they tend to be the designer patterns. The Big Four are really bad value in the UK, for starters, but then I also hate fighting with massive sheets of tissue paper, playing the “how much ease?” roulette, and dealing with outdated construction techniques. Give me a magazine maze to trace or pdf to tape together any day!
But I do love great and interesting seamlines, so when the Donna Karan coordinates pattern, Vogue 1378 was announced, I immediately wanted to make those leggings (the wrap top? Meh. I’ve seen a thousand like it).
Since there was a sale on Vogue patterns a few weeks before I was due to visit my parents last November, Stacy very kindly bought it for me at sale price (even without shipping, it was like a third of what I’d pay here) and it was waiting for me when I arrived! Thanks Stacy!
But for all the aforementioned reasons, I never quite got around to making it until now – the thought of unfolding all that tissue to trace the tons of pieces just made me choose other patterns instead. But eventually I realised that I really needed some basic, all-around trousers, so out they came! By my measurements, I should be a size 16, but I opted to throw all caution to the wind and make a size 14 instead, as I wanted them to be close fitting, like leggings. Having gone down a size, I now think the ease is just right – not stretched tight, but not baggy either.
(Photos shot whilst holidaying in the medieval Breton town of Dinan, in France! Paired with my Manequim birthday silk blouse)
A few months ago Rosie (aka DIY Couture) gifted me this crazy, mind-melting lycra when she was moving house, saying it looked like something I’d like! It definitely falls into the “fabric I’d run in” category rather than my normal wardrobe, I’m sure you’ll agree, so I knew I’d make leggings from it!
As it happens, I needed to test out KwikSew 3636 for a leggings class I’ll be teaching soon (yay!) so I thought I’d whip up a quick pair with this lycra, which I’ve decided is an acid trip in lycra form. In reality like it’s even more loud than the print itself though – because it’s actually wet look, too!
I mean – who looked at this fabric and though “Nah, not enough. How can we make it CRAZIER? I know – add some wet look shimmer!”?
If you’re a regular reader, you know I don’t often sew with Big Four or envelope patterns much these days (and especially not for something I draft myself, like leggings) but credit where credit’s due – I was impressed by this pattern, actually! It’s a one-piece pattern with two different fit options – one at 100% of body measurement, and the other with negative ease. Clearly I went for the negative ease one!
I was also impressed that they finish the waistband in my preferred method, which I’ve never, ever seen on a pattern before!
Cutting out the pattern made for some stomach-churning moments – don’t stare directly at the fabric! Lucky for me I only had to cut out one piece, and the construction was so quick I was wearing them in well under an hour.
During the photoshoot, James asked why I was “going all Sasha Fierce”, ahahahah! Blame it on my acid leggings, I suppose!
You’ve already seen the sister skirt to these leggings planned for my upcoming Mexico trip in a few weeks. I wouldn’t normally make two things out of the same fabric in rapid succession, but I ended up buying the end bolt (3m instead of the 2m I’d wanted) and having two bottoms in the same colour is quite handy when packing, as obviously the same tops will coordinate with both!
These were a super quick but comfortable make using my standard leggings draft from the Kristina Shin book plus my own preferred elastic waistband technique. I reckon I probably had these sewn up in under an hour, and I’d cut out the fabric at the same time as the skirt.
As you recall, the fabric is a royal blue hefty jersey that really feels very much like a thin neoprene – this stuff couldn’t wrinkle if it wanted to! I bought the last of the roll at “A-One Fabrics” on Goldhawk Road, and I’ve still got a little bit left that I think might be fun to mix & match with something like denim or even leather!
I revealed my Mexico travel wardrobe plans last week, and what better way to start it than with a pattern actually intended for travel! I bought Christine Jonson’s Travel Trio Three pattern a few years ago because I loved the gathered turtleneck, but I’m slowly working my way through the rest of the pack, too. So far I’ve made two different views of the turtleneck already – one gathered and one plain raglan for winter running, but this time around I wanted to try out the pocketed, knit skirt.
Like the other views in the pattern, the instructions for this are utterly excellent. Christine Jonson clearly understand knits and the best ways of finishing them, and she even uses the exact same method I do for elastic waistbands (though I prefer a 3/4-1 inch wide elastic, myself)! I’m seriously tempted to buy more of her patterns with my Adsense money because I’ve really gotten my money’s worth with this pattern!
My only change here was to shorten the skirt by 12cm at the “lengthen or shorten here” line, as the original was mid-calf and felt a bit too dowdy for me. This now falls right at my knees and is just about perfect for me.
It’s not quite a “Quick Knit Top” in my eyes, but I wanted to try out one of the running top patterns I selected in my Spring/Summer 2013 Sewing Ideas before I jumped headfirst into sewing another pair of jeans. I pulled out KwikSew 3672, which my mom bought for me a while back in one of the pattern sales you all get in the US. Otherwise KwikSew tend to be pretty expensive over here and I’d probably never got around to trying it!
Despite being a fairly recent pattern, it’s already OOP so act fat if you like the design lines! I’ve only made the top this time, but I think the skirt could be perfect for travelling if made in a hefty jersey. The splatter-print jersey I used here is from Minerva – it’s a bit 80s but I thought it’d do nicely as a test-top as its soft and has a nice weight. For the shelf bra lining I used a lingerie nylon(?) but in future I’d suggest something more supportive yet breathable like power net. Obviously for heavy-duty running I’d use a wicking supplex for the exterior, but for several reasons I’ll go into below, this pattern isn’t suited for running anyway.
I never trust Big 4 sizing any more so even though my measurements matched up perfectly with size Large, I still laid my jersey sloper over the nested pattern and ultimately decided Large was probably the best bet anyway.
Even though my fabric isn’t anywhere near as stretchy as the guide on the pattern envelope (who actually uses those, anyway??), the fit is still very nice, and as far as I can tell, very true to size considering I was smack-dab in the Large measurement range! I’d definitely describe this as close-fitting though, and the length feels just about perfect to me, too. The only fitting issue that surprised me is how high the neckline is in front! This feel seriously matronly to me – I’d normally have this at least 3 or 4 inches lower in a running top!
This pattern has an shelf bra, which contains the bulk of my problems with the pattern: the finishing of the under-bust elastic leaves exposed elastic against the skin (what?), an unfinished (albeit small) top edge inside, and unflattering and bad gathers that neither support nor make for clean finishing.
I’ve been meaning to sew both of these pieces for a few months now, but it didn’t occur to me exactly how well they work together until I went to do the photoshoot and realised, hey – these make for a great transitional weather casual outfit!
The wool sweatshirt
I mentioned it in my Burda Challenge roundup but I abolutely adore my turquoise chic sweatshirt from the September 2012 Burda magazine (or you can purchase the download pattern here), and I wear it so much I’ve been plotting another ever since. I’ve had this wool blend fabric in my stash since our honeymoon in 2010, when I bought it at Elliott Berman in NYC. I’m not sure if it’s a jersey or a woven, and it’s got a bit of loft and stretch, but it’s not as spongey as your typical loden. And for a wool, it’s super soft and not scratchy in the slightest.
So I made another “chic sweatshirt” out of this wool – does this make this one my “luxe sweatshirt” or something?
As before, you’ve really got to baste those curved front darts carefully so they’re accurate when you sew them. I always do my hand basting with silk thread (hot pink so it stands out against pretty much everything I sew) because it pulls out so much easier than polyester or cotton thread when you’re done.
I really like the detail of the curved, darted sleeve head, which makes the construction of this more like a raglan sleeve than a set in one.
There are two main reasons I choose to sew something – either because I’m mentally intrigued by the pattern and want to sew something new and engaging (90% of my sewing), or because I really want to wear something that fills a hole
in my wardrobe.
If you’re keeping track, this is the fifth time I’ve sewn the Papercut “Ooh La Leggings” pattern (UK stockist here), so clearly it’s not because I want a mental challenge – seriously, I could sew these in my sleep by now!
So far, I’ve got the purple Suziplex pair, the Liberace leggings, the Run Dem Crew Refashioned pair, and most recently my pale grey Suziplex Olympic leggings. But these were all for running, and I really, really wanted a pair I could just lounge around in!
Long-time readers will know that I very rarely make a pattern twice, let along five times, so you can infer how much I love wearing these! This might be my new personal record for Pattern Sewn Most, come to think of it…
I made this pair in some “denim-look jersey” from Tissu Fabrics (aka Tia Knight on eBay – same stock, same owner, just a different interface!). It’s a jersey that cleverly really looks like it’s got a denim weave, and it’s absolutely perfect for making leggings that appear to be made from denim (I just really hate the j-word is all!).
On Saturday I showed you a sneak peek of my new running leggings and my thoughts on the Opening Ceremony, but here’s your chance to get a better look at them, and those Olympic rings on Tower Bridge!
I’m finally feeling a little better so we took these photos after I ran my usual 10km loop in my official Stella McCartney for Adidas replica Team GB vest (now sold out everywhere now, sorry!) and my leggings.
This is the 4th(!!) time now I’ve sewn the Papercut “Ooh La Leggings” pattern (UK stockist here), though I’ve actually got a 5th pair on the way, if you can believe it! They’re so well drafted, so stylish, and so comfortable to run in that I just can’t resist making more. That they’re also really quick to sew on my overlocker is just a bonus. Here I made them in the pale grey Suziplex fabric I bought from Suzi Spandex when I was in Montreal in March, and it’s just truly, truly wonderful stuff.
I also used my my elastic waistband tutorial technique for a nice, comfortable finish inside, which, judging by your comments, a lot of you are also using now, hooray! This waistband plus the soft and loopy reverse side of the Suziplex really does make for the most comfortable running gear ever, aeons better than anything I’ve ever bought.
I gave you a sneak peek of these yesterday, but I doubt any of you were looking at the leggings!! You’re forgiven, though!
This design is from the third Pattern Magic book, and was super easy for me because I didn’t have to draft anything! I already had a great legging pattern to start with, from an old KnipMode magazine I’ve made a few times before. Note that you need a legging pattern with a separate front and back pieces, so the two recent Burda magazine leggings (in the June and January 2012 issues if I remember correctly) won’t work as a starting point. Or you can just draft one from scratch as the book suggests.
All the work here is in the measuring, slicing, and spreading of the pattern pieces – I very cleverly wrote the size of the spread between each of the pieces, so when it came time to do the other pattern piece, I could easily make it the same amount so everything matched up.
I’m leaning, like the book’s pose!