Thursday, February 18, 2016

Because One Pair of Sloan Leggings Isn't Enough

As I mentioned here, I made a pair of Sloan Leggings by Hey June as part of my 4x7 Sewing Challenge goal.  I've been suspicious of making leggings because, even with my serger, I was convinced that I'd get them just right and then wear them and they'd pop all over the place and I'd end up with holes in every seam.

Or, that the fabric wouldn't really stretch in the right places so I'd get holes in the fabric, or they'd be too snug and you'd see right through them.

I'm not Lululemon here, I like knits that you can't see through.

Or that they'd cut into my knees or waist.

I also worried they'd bag at the knees and I'd be fighting with them all the time.

Can you tell I've had unpleasant leggings experiences over the years?  I've worn leggings and capris that have done just about all of that.

The first pair I made were a black fabric that I had forgotten about.  I picked it up in the remnant rack at Joann Fabrics, back when I always underestimated just how much fabric I would really need to make anything.

I have no idea what it is, but it's got 4-way stretch and then some and it feels so soft.  Not slippery polyester soft, but that soft cottony feeling that you get with some knits.

And remnants are never over a yard, so I have no idea how I had enough to make these.

I made the medium because that's what my measurements called for and remember, I was super worried about exploding the seams.  It's my butt and hips that worry me.  Recently, I bought some yoga pants that had nice wide waists like this and still, every time I put them on, there are popping noises happening somewhere.  I see no holes, so it's a mystery.  Getting the waistband over them without incident was of real concern. 

Especially when I used the interfacing.  I hate reading things in great detail online and as usual, I completely skipped the part that explained to use an interfacing with stretch.  I used any old interfacing that I had for the waistband, which seemed completely counter to the point of using a knit fabric.  Even as I sewed it in (right, I didn't even have a fusible, incorrect interfacing, I had to sew it in!) and sewed the waistbands, I kept thinking it was so strange that the part of the pants that need the most stretch have now been stabilized beyond belief.

And then I reread it and found some stretchy interfacing and things got a lot better.

On my first try, even with the stupid non-stretch interfacing, I knew the waistband was too big to sit comfortably on my waist.  So, printed out just the waistband in small removed the medium band with the bad interfacing and used the proper kind and attached the small waistband to the medium pants.

I didn't take a picture because I'm not thrilled with how high they are.  They sit way up on my ribs.  They are totally wearable and extremely comfortable, so they will be worn, but they are not the best example of these leggings.

I toyed with the idea of trying to shorten the rise in the front and back for the next pair, but then I thought maybe the small would be a better choice.  I put the medium and small patterns together and saw that the rise was just a little smaller in the small, so maybe that would make the difference.  I love PDF patterns that you can just print and reprint!

Warning, several shots of these leggings doing exactly what leggings are meant to do follow:

They are super stretchy and the small is definitely not too small in any place, including the waistband.  I used the stretchy interfacing again, but as with the black pair, something is strange about its connection to the knit and there's a mysterious puckering, which you can't really see here.  It's not a problem with the pattern, it's either the knit, the interfacing or the seamstress.

No binding or cutting into me and they are not at all see through.

I like all of my waistbands to sit below my belly button.  The shorter the rise, the better for me, as long as the butt rise is high enough.  I almost feel like this waistband could go one size smaller, even.  There's no trouble getting it over my butt and hips.  I'll leave this one in because they are definitely something I will wear a lot.

If I make them again, I might think about a smaller waistband.

I hemmed them with my newfound zigzag stitch that lets me get my feet in without popping the seams.  They are not quite as snug at the ankle as commercial leggings even though I took them in about a half inch from the knee down.  I'm not sure if this indicates a need to make them petite next time or shorten them somewhere in the knee area.

My question about whether to make more is about finding the fabric that I want.  At first, I thought I'd make them in all of the crazy stretchy patterns I see, but those fabrics mostly feel slippery and sweaty to me, which is not what I want.  This material is similar to the black with its soft cottony feel and tons and tons of stretch.

I thought I wanted to make fun leggings but really, I just want them in solid colors that won't pill.  There wasn't another color of this particular fabric in the store, go figure.

These leggings are ridiculously fast to make and have 4 seams:  front rise, back rise, inseam and waistband attachment to the pants.

If this material holds up over wearing and washing a lot, I'll definitely make them again!

Linking here: 


  1. Ooh, sounds like you have the same legging fabric issues as me. Try to search for supplex fabric as that gives you that nice cottony soft feel and matte finish but has a ton of stretch and recovery. I think the imagine gnats shop as well as carry them, as well as some Etsy stores! Thanks for sharing your Sloans! I'm jealous of your flexibility :)

  2. The pink is such a pretty color and fits perfectly! I did some intense cardio and the pants did the slide down like my other workout pants do. I wanna order these workout tights in the brown as well.


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