Wednesday, January 16, 2019

#sewmystyle2019 January: Activewear

I've elected to participate this year in the #sewmystyle2019 challenge. January's challenge is activewear. You can choose any pattern you want as long as it fits the theme. I had picked up Simplicity 8561 last year. The crazy snow tiger print is from Style Maker Fabrics and the solid grey is some leftover performance knit from Joanns that I used to sew my Peg Legs leggings last summer. They grey is considerably stretchier than the print.

Simplicity 8561 leggings

I made View B in size S. I shortened the legs 3 inches (more on that later) and narrowed the ankles because generally capri length is like normal length on me except that they are too wide at the ankle. The pattern has options for mid or high rise. View B is supposed to be mid-rise but I just substituted the taller waistband from the other views to make them high-rise--the bands are interchangeable with height being the only difference. The pattern doesn't make this obvious but a quick measurement of the width let me know it is so.

I find precision sewing impossible using only my serger so my points don't line up perfectly or anything. I think if I wanted perfection I'd have to stitch everything on my sewing machine first and then finish with the serger. After my last experience sewing leggings that popped stitches I used wooly nylon in the upper looper and stitched with 4 threads and I haven't had any issues with stitching coming undone, even after a yoga session. I used a triple zigzag for attaching the elastic to the interior waistband. I wasn't sure if I would need the elastic but I'm glad I put it in.

Simplicity 8561 leggings

After constructing the leggings except for the hems I tried them on. I forgot to account for the stretch of the fabric taking away length and my leggings were definitely too short. It turns out that if I had just left them as is without shortening them they would have been the perfect length. So to fix it I cut 4" wide bands for the ankles, folded them in half, and serged them on. I lengthened the pattern for next time so that they will be the right length.

The fit on these is good but not great. I'm sure others have probably had this experience too--where you have to tug and rearrange several times to get everything in the right place. If I sew them again I think I would use 1/2" seams to give myself a tiny bit more breathing room. I am learning with Big 4 patterns that I'm really in between a size 10 and 12, kind of a 10+ if that makes sense. I do really want to sew the other view eventually with the curvy seams but I would leave off the slash pockets b/c that seems like a terrible idea for leggings.

They are a little crazier than I would normally gravitate towards but they'll be perfect for at-home exercising or just bumming around the house. I'm glad for the challenge because I was a bit afraid of trying leggings again after my first experience and it pushed me to give it another try.

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