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….
OMG thank you for the tutorial recommendation, it looks amazing. As do your leggings, by the by.
Also, my one tried and true plane trick is to chew gum and breathe a lot during take-off and landing to keep your ears from popping. It’s not a hundred percent effective, but I think it helps.
Oh man, those leggings are all kinds of awesome. I’ve just got some Black Milk leggings and have thinking of making my own instead of paying $90 a pop…stretch velour, here I come!
Ooh cute! Love that colour, totally fierce! Out of interest which tee pattern did you use and where are you off to, you twitchy flyer? Go on let me live vicariously. Lord know it’s the closest I’ll get to flying in a while
You are going to out sassy those nerves sweetheart! Have a tops holiday and see you at social sewing when you get back x
Have a marvellous time m’lady, I know you will certainly be looking fabulous 🙂
Come on up and use my coverstitch anytime (if ya know what I mean, wink wink)!!
Oh Amanda! Those are fabulous. You will be fine on the plane – make sure you have knitting too! I get very anxious when I fly and knitting helps. Have a fabulous vacation. g
These are awesome! I have the Megan Nielsen leggings pattern and plan on making some awesome leggings to wear during this pregnancy. Yours remind me of blackmilk leggings so much! What pattern did you use for that top?
Scruffy badger says
Surely the meanest stylish pins at 30,000 feet ! I’m so impressed it’s a self drafted pattern, that is grown up sewing, cool sewing!!! Have a fab hol and show Japan your handmade awesomeness. 🙂
Nice work amanda!!! The word ‘self drafted’ sends me running off to hide in fear, so you have my salute for conquering the scary land of drafts-lady-ship. The tights are KILLER. I would say ‘have a safe flight’ – but you know you’re safer in a place than in a car, right? Yeah, that’s a real statistic, not something peeps make up to make others feel oh-so-marginally better about being on a plan. The trip to Japan will be so very worth it!! Have the best time!!!
Annette Tirette says
Awesome! Travelling comfortably is so important, but I never understood the people walking around airports like they just rolled out of bed! You’re going to be one good-looking twitchy traveller!
Very stylish young lady!! I’m sure you’ll be fine on the plane and have a great adventure. Then you can make even more leggings! High fives for self drafting!
Blogless Anna says
Self drafted leggings… I’m off to explore the Etsy linky. Happy travels my friend.
Oh they are lovely! You’ll be like the comfiest, most stylish traveler ever. I am super jealous, because I’m scared of trousers after the last try that’s still in my UFO box almost a year later! I must try these! xx
you are wonderful.
Yay, perfect timing! I just ripped a hole in the knee of my only unripped legging, so I am heading straight over to that tutorial. And I love the colour of yours, they’re gorgeous.
Oh my gosh…you are awesomesauce! I saw that tutorial ages ago and then promptly forgot where I’d seen it. Thank you! Your leggings are awesomesauce too! I’m off to start on my pair of like green leopard leggings. Enjoy your trip! 🙂
Eek, have a fantastic trip, you sassy minx! You look cute as all get out!
Wow, those leggings are awesome! The color is so yummy! I never seem to find the hue I need in the shops, so making my own might be a good idea. And Merino wool leggings is the best idea since sliced bread! (I live in Canada, so keeping warm is second nature.)
Yep, that tutorial sounds like a great investment, right about now…
Winner winner chicken dinner indeed! Your posts never fail to make me chuckle. Good on you! X
Wow, those leggings are such a success!
I just sewed up a bunch of shorts for my upcoming holiday too — FAREWELL, WINTER, I’M OFF! Enjoy Japan!
As one neurotic overthinker to another I think you look dang fantastic. Perfect outfit for drinking a few G&Ts and passing out on the plane. That jumper is AMAZING…I reckon I could fit in there with you (woohoo Japan here I come)! Have the best time…Japan is amazing. Eat ALL the food and buy ALL the fabric.
Thank you so miss sassy pants for that awesome tutorial that I must get the guts up to try!!
Oooh! Shame about the metallic pair, since they were awesome looking, but this pair is also awesome looking and sure to last longer! 🙂 And thank you for posting the tute to drafting my own leggings, I was hesitant to buy a pattern for something that may end up looking terrible on me–at least if I draft them and they don’t fit or whatever, I’ve still got the practice in! 🙂
Bec Stitches says
JEALOUS!!!!! Japan, oh man. Have fun Boss lady 🙂
Lady, you don’t need a coverstitch. Just buy a twin needle ($4.50 here in the U.S.) and you can stitch a very professional hem! Lots of great tips out there, naturally!