Ahh, travel. A time to explore new places, try new things and wear comfortable clothing on the plane to your destination. Because if you a neurotic overthinker who is terrified of flying you want to make things as comfy (and sassy) as possible while you twitch in your seat and listen to Harry Potter audio books with an eye mask on. So enter my long distance travel staple of ridiculously huge knit top and leggings. Like. A. Twitchy. Boss.
Oh, yeah. The lovely folk at Qantas will never have seen an anxious lady look this good! So whilst these may not be the most exciting things I have ever made I am pretty dang happy with them. My last attempt to make leggings was fairly early on in my sewing career and the McCalls pattern I used was terrible. My poor plane leggings were hideously baggy and were barely serviceable after three sets of adjustments. They got me to the states and back but those disco lizard pants were retired (read: scrapped) as soon as I got home. I mean, hello. Check this out…
This time I wised up. No big four patterns for me. Enter this super fierce Etsy tutorial from on self-drafting leggings. Whilst the phrase self-drafting normally gives me both the heebies and jeebies this was actually pretty easy to do. You grab some measurements, draw a line down your page, dot on some marks based off your measurements and literally connect the dots. Now that is the kind of pattern drafting I can get behind…
Have a pattern made to measure means for the first time ever I didn’t end up with Saggy Baggy Elephant knee fabric. You know what I mean, right? My early attempt at leggings looked like I was halfway through shedding my exoskeleton. Scary.
Construction wise: I used my machine to stretch stitch everything closed and then serged right next to this. Yes, this may be overkill but I do envision wearing these to derby when I get home (Red Bellied Black Hearts represent) and I want extra reinforcement in my pantaloons for when I go sprawling. And time wise, these seriously took less than an hour from cutting fabric to trying on the finished product. Winner winner chicken dinner!
Now fabric wise, these bad boys are made up in the most delicious rust red swimsuit fabric from an Aussie swimwear company called Tigerlily. I picked up a metre of this from The Fabric Store back in December 2012 and had it set aside for leggings then. Nice forethought, Past Amanda!
What I liked about this pattern:
- Dudes, I totally drafted it. That is like the best ever! Seriously, someone get me a crown or something to wear in celebration.
- How fast it is to whip these up. There are times when a fast game is a good game.
- How cheap these are to make- a one metre of fabric project? This lady is in!
What I would change for next time:
- I really, really want to make some of these in merino wool to be lounge around the house like a fabulous lady of leisure.
- A coverstitch machine would be tops to give the hems a nice finish. Just saying… 😉
- I’ve already made two more pairs of these leggings and I can report in I changed absolutely nothing with them… Does this even qualify as a dot point? Probably not…
COSTING Pattern: Self-drafted Fabric: 1 x metre of swimsuit fabric $26 from The Fabric Store Notions: Thread in stash, elastic for $1.25 Total: $27.25 Pricey but the fabric is fabulous so I care not. BWAH HA HA! See also: Fehr Trade, Three Dresses Project Now, I have been on a bit of a pre-travel sewing bender this last week and have whipped up three pairs of leggings, two boat tees, a camera bag insert, an eye mask and repaired two pairs of Iris shorts. I do want to show you the eye mask I made because I’m pretty stoked with this. It’s polka dot and lined with pink silk. Is anyone surprised, really?
This was a super quick make and I used this pattern from Sew 4 Home, omitted the piping (none in my stash matched) but covered the elastic with a casing. This worked really well and quite frankly I will be the sassiest and most comfortable plane passenger for sure!
Now, if you will excuse me I have to get my packing done because I am boarding the plane in 36 hours. Eep! Feel free to follow my crazy adventures on Instagram (@bimbleandpimble) and if you have any more Japan pro-tips feel free to keep sending them my way! Until next time… Zzzz….