Sunday, January 30, 2022

Leggings: A Learning Journey

Eight Ten pair of leggings (workout style). (Pattern links at bottom of post)

That's how many I have made since my love affair with me-made workout gear began.

Sports Bra and leggings set in a blue-black fabric

With each pair I have gained valuable skills and confidence.

Sports bra and tights with a pink, blue, black abstract fabric.pattern

Some have provided valuable lessons.

Sports bra and leggings in black with hot pink accents

Yet others have shown me the risks of choosing colors on line while still knowing that I do not have the greatest color sense in the world.

Sports bra and leggings in a watery blue with pink pockets

And another two pair taught me that workout tights can also be skirts! (There are attached bike shorts under the skirt.)

Blue top and blue sports skirt with shorts underneath

And yet others have proven that it is difficult to know what a fabric will feel like when bought on line. (The pair below are not my faves when it comes to working out.)

Hunter green tights with abstract print on pockets and waistband

It was this pair (below) that convinced me that it was time to start learning how patterns are actually drafted.

Purple Corset top with black leggings printed with kracken tentacles

They look good and feel great (fantastic workout fabric)  but I have some issues with them. First off, they are a little to long and hence a bit baggy at the ankle. This was my fault as I went for the "tall" version of the pattern without reading carefully and looking for what height the regulars are drafted for. Turns out I am kind of in between the two. Figures.

Second, when working out, they gather in ways that I think might be a result of a fit that is not perfect, and while I am happy wearing "not perfect," I still want to get closer.
Several weeks ago I reunited with a a workout buddy who has problems getting workout gear that fits correctly. I took this as a challenge. Asking if she would be my test subject, I got some basic measurements and, using the pattern I'd purchased for the Kracken tights, gave it a couple of tries.

On the first attempt I over thought it and
used some basic knowledge gleaned from the Made to Measure leggings class to try to adjust the purchased pattern. The end result was too small. Then, comparing the basic measurements to the actual pattern I decided to make it up in the smallest size. Too big.

Finally, I decided to try actually drafting the pattern using the Made to Measure leggings class. Since I am still waiting for my friends measurements I decided to give them a go with my own.

Not too bad.

The fabric is not something I would choose for leggings -- it is a bit too thin and has a bit too much stretch (100% horizontal and 50% vertical) and, using the yoga waistband, they were way to big at my waist -- matching my actual measurements instead of being more compressive, something that does not work in this fabric even with a compressive lining. I took a dart in each side of the waistband and will give them the workout test this morning.

My next steps will include making them again in a more suitable fabric (the first attempt was meant to be just that, an attempt using left over fabric from another project (yes, I over ordered and got a pair of "mommy and me" dresses (for me and my adult daughter!) out of the fabric before making the leggings).

I also want to compare my drafted pattern to my purchased patterns and see how they compare. The ultimate goal is to use my personalized pattern to alter purchased patterns and learn how to make the correct alterations. 

Once again, a learning process.

Pattern Links:

First, Second and Third Attempts -- Inspire Tights

Pockets!  -- Spark Tights

Sports Skirt -- Rally Skirt

Kracken Tights -- Simpaticos

Kracken Fabric - Sew Dynamic Fabric

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