Amanda vs Self-Drafted Tights

Tights. Those suckers look simple. And they totally are. Unless you are Amanda in which case they are a two week saga of fail and odd legs. But the end result is pretty fabulous I must admit! Check it…

Did you like my blue steel? I’m working on sassy poses this week as Saturday is my first public roller derby bout. I’m thinking the key to getting out there and playing well is a sassy pose and fierce tights! So let’s talk construction of these suckers.
My first tights attempt was made just before I left for the States using a McCalls Pattern that ended up being a hot mess. I catered for ease, followed the instructions to a T and did everything just so. And the result? Super baggy tights that did not stay up. Some crazy night before flying out sewing made them wearable but overall they were fail. This time I used a fabulous Etsy tutorial that bases everything off your own measurements. And who would have thunk it? This works like a charm. Good bye saggy baggy elephant skin and hello to Nigella Clawsome and her fierce derby legs of radness. Power pose!
Or weird chicken arm pose- but we’re not judging here. 
Once I had taken all of my measurements I followed the steps and plotted out points against a centre line. With help from my ruler and friendly french curve (oh la la!) I was able to draft up a pattern lickety split. Amanda Bimble- Pattern Drafter.

Then there was a small hurdle. I may or may not have cut two left legs. Defeated, I left the project for a few nights, had a consolation nap and contemplated my next move. Luckily I had bought two metres of fabric in the hopes of getting two pairs of tights out of it (you see where this is going I am sure). After another crazy training night I flounced into the house and went straight to my sewing table and cut out a right leg to accompany my poor little left legs. And, of course, disaster struck. Tired and flakey I absentmindedly flipped the pattern paper when doing some adjustments and cut A THIRD LEFT LEG!!!! Yup- by this stage I was almost half way to making tights for an octopus. Cursing my flakiness I set the leggings aside for another two nights. Luckily when I returned to the remaining fabric I was able to cut out a right leg- huzzah! – though there were chunks missing from some of the seam allowances. Whatevs- at least it was done.

Thank goodness for my serger. I tacked things together using a long stitch on my regular machine, checked for fit and then serged those seams until they were nice and frayproof. I’m really happy with how professional the inside looks! The only change I would make to the pattern for next time is to lengthen the back rise by an inch as it is a little low when I bend or squat down.
So, lesson learned. Apparently I should not cut fabric when ridiculously tired. But in the end these tights have turned out a (gaudy) treat and have withstood three full contact training sessions so far so I know they’re tough as well. So wish me luck, gentle readers, as I skate into awesomeness this upcoming weekend. I’ll be back to a normal schedule next week with some exciting projects planned ahead. Until then, I shake my fist at left leg tights pieces…

You scare me no longer, tights!



  1. Is it really bad that I laughed about the third left leg!?!? This post is tempting me to buy some of the dancewear fabric that my local fabric shops sells. I often look at it because it is so bright and shiny but I’ve always let it go because I have no need for bright and shiny clothing. Tights (or leggings) to wear with a shortish black skirt in the winter, however …. hmmmm.

  2. Nigella Clawesome! That is the coolest roller derby name I have ever heard. Love the tights! I am sure you are going to rock it out there on the track on Saturday.

  3. RTS- after I was sad and sulked I must admit to snickering loudly. Only in Amanda-land would this happen. Give in to crazy tights- they’re super comfy for travel and look great under skirts or a huge cardi!

  4. Thanks, Kat! I’m super happy with these tights and they are the right colour for my team so shall dazzle (quite literally, I think) the opposition. I must admit to being pretty proud of my derby name- Nigella is one of my baking idols 😀

  5. lmao no you didn’t cut a third leftie! that’s too funny 😛 Glad they turned out well in the end – and LOVE that name btw! ^__^

  6. Symon- it was a red hot tragic mess! I almost cried but then realised how silly the whole situation is. Guess I could make some harlequin tights instead? And thanks, I love my derby name- it’s pretty spesh to me 😀

  7. I have recently stumbled across your blog, and I’m going through all of the back logs. I love it! These leggings are amaaazingly wonderful! You know, it’d be a great 1/2 of a SpiderMan costume. Anyway, I look forward to reading more of your awesomeness.

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