Have you heard of Melodia Designs? No? Where HAVE you been? She only makes some the best dance/yoga activewear on the internet, duh. In particular, she pioneered (revolutionized?) the tribal bellydance wardrobe with her richly flared, side-slit dance pants, which in certain circles are the standard for awesome, high-quality dancewear, for practice or performance.
I have a single pair, a style which arose from a collaboration between Melodia Designs and Phoenix Rising (an equally cool dance/yoga/activewear line), Icarus-patterned Melo-Phoenixes. DIVINE. Here’s the current lineup, although it looks like Icarus is still available in their standard yoga-pants style. This pair of pants is probably one of my most-prized (and most expensive) possessions. And they are very well-made, with the kinds of materials and workmanship (hello, coverstitch) I can’t nearly match at home. If this kind of gear suits your lifestyle or tickles your fancy, I totally recommend it. In fact, looking at the websites just now I’m feeling all twitchy and consumeristic in a way that I rarely get over cut & sewn fabric these days.
I only have one problem—I don’t fall really well within the size vs. length ranges of these pants. For my Melos, I had to size up to a medium to get a 32″ inseam, which is tolerable but doesn’t give the kind of floor-swooshing grace that really knocks ones’ metaphorical socks off (since really, this kind of pants look ridiculous with socks.) And, while not loose, they’re not as form-hugging as they might be.
And, well, why would I buy when I can make?
Enter Jalie 3022. I was probably thinking of this pattern hack as soon as I saw the fun back-seam that makes this otherwise basic yoga-pants pattern unique—don’t ask me why it took three or more years to actually get around to it.
I traced my flare off the side of my originals (I don’t have time to reinvent the wheel, or the flare, in this case. Yes, I do feel a little guilty about that.), and super-imposed it on the rear seam of my Jalie 3022 pattern. The best part was that, since the flare is a bit short for my legs, it sits lower on my really-long pattern, so the flare starts below the knee, not above, a sleek look I really like (although there’s less skirt-like movement this way than with pants that flared from above the knee.)
My fabric of choice here is red supplex, a wicking fabric that Fabricland used to carry, long and long ago. I found a single languishing bolt at my local store, and managed to follow it along through the mark-downs until it was finally at a price I could afford, and nabbed the last three metres. These took about two and a half, which tells you everything you need to know about how much fabric those flares eat up. Nom nom nom.
I did all the construction on my spanky new serger, and finished the back slits and the bottoms with a rolled hem, with my differential feed cranked up to lend a bit of a lettuce-y effect; the stretchy, dense fabric doesn’t ruffle overly well, but I think it gives a bit of a hint. The only topstitching I did on this pair was on the inseam, where I used a triple zig-zag, for added strength. I will probably need to reinforce the seam at the top of the slit, too.
And, of course, what to go with my cute and fun pants, but another Nettie crop top. I haven’t managed to make a fully-fledged bodysuit yet (partly because it’s summer now and not really body-suit weather, so I haven’t felt terribly inclined to try), but I am loving the crop tops for dance practice.
I confess, I am all squeally over how they look—better than I had hoped. I was secretly sure that the swoop would be disproportionate, or fall strangely, or something. It was a little long (my altered-for-me pattern is ridiculously long, but I like it that way.)
I don’t think any of my photos really do them justice, but if I wait for great photos it’ll probably be next year sometime, so here we go. I just can’t wait for dance class next week. 🙂