In fact, in the world of leggings, if Oonapants are at one (wild, crazy) end of the spectrum, these leggings are at the other. The sober, staid, boring end. But, I needed black leggings for a dance performance last night, and I’ve had this fabric earmarked for something of the sort for well over a year now, so leggings it was.
This has to be one of the fastest pattern-purchase-to-wearable-clothing projects I’ve done in a LONG time. The Crafty Sister-in-Law enticed me out in the morning with a jaunt to Value Village (a whole ‘nother sad tale of enablement, to be related at a future date…), and we decided on a whim to check out the next in our grand tour of the Saskatoon Garment District,* a humble little shop with the rather grand title of “Academy of Fashion Design.”
This shop is one I’ve been meaning to check out for several years, since my mom nosed them out as retailers of Jalie patterns. They are also, as the name suggests, a design school, as well as a Singer retailer/repair shop. They seem to specialize in dance/figure-skating and rodeo fabrics, although they have a little bit of everything. Behind the doors is a long, narrow cavern of fabrics, dotted with treadle sewing machines and French mannequins. I have to say, this is the most at home I’ve felt in a fabric shop, maybe ever. Maybe the prodigious mess reminded me of my own sewing room, or maybe it was the old machines dotting the place, usually half-buried in drifts of fabric. They have a little bit of everything, including the only stretch denim I’ve seen in person outside of Fabricland. And the girl minding the shop… well, I don’t know if she HAS a sewing blog, but peeps, she totally has the vibe. She felt like one of us.
Anyway, I picked up Jalie 2920, a pattern for leggings and stirrup tights. The more
obsessive keen-memoried among you may recall that I already have a leggings pattern or two, including one traced out in my size, which I’ve teased you with glimpses of in the past. But, well, I confess shortly after I cut out the blue (as yet un-blogged) leggings, I lost the pattern piece; presumably it got folded up and stuffed in an envelope with something else, because I sure as hell can’t find it. And I have the Kwik Sew ones around Syo’s size, but, well, I was craving more variety in sizes, in particular a size that could be adapted for the Waif, who is nearing five but still has the width of a rather slender toddler. And, well, Jalie.
So I bought the pattern, scurried home, and, after a minor panic when my tracing paper went missing, traced it out. I’m either a size R or S in Jalie sizing, but I went with the S, thinking that over-stretched leggings are not a good look for anyone. Having worn them for a couple of days, this may not have been the best idea… there’s a touch of looseness in the thigh that isn’t quite right.
As I traced, though, confusion set in. I added about three inches to the length (towards the low end for me and Jalie, but when I measured out the inseam of the pattern, I was alarmed to discover it still measured a measly 26″. I don’t do less than 32″, peeps. But then I spied a second pattern piece, meant to be combined with the end of the leg. I had ignored it, thinking it was just for the stirrup version, but maybe it was required for both? I don’t know. I was confused. Anyway, I added it on, roughly seven inches. That seemed to bring things into about the right ball park, right?
Erm, not so right. Those four-way stretch fabrics that stretch in length as well as width. Hrmph. So I will have to cut some off, although figuring out how much to cut off will be the trick. Still, too long is ever so much better than too short. Ever so much.
I had to cut out both legs separately as my previous leggings for Syo had whittled my good jersey into some rather peculiar shapes. I was meticulous about flipping the pattern so that both sides would be mirror image… unfortunately I apparently also flipped my fabric when I was moving it, because both legs wound up cut out with the right side of the fabric on the same side. Fortunately for me, on this particular knit it’s almost impossible to tell the difference… anyone who can is, ah, WAY too close.
I made a slight adjustment to the rise, which may be typical of me and Jalie patterns, lowering the front by about an inch but keeping the back as is. I know the rest of you are all over the high-waisted leggings… Not that I have any intention of sharing my leggings waistband with the public, but I’ll still take hip bulges (which I have anyway) over waist-bulges.
And really, that’s a lot more talking about a terribly boring pair of black leggings than is really merited.
*New Yorkers and other people from real cities with real garment districts, you can snicker politely into your sleeves. The “Saskatoon Garment District” is three smallish fabric shops (and a thrift shop that carries fabric and patterns) that happen to be located within a few blocks of each other downtown.