Leggings Party

I’ve wanted to write a leggings comparison blog for FOREVER. I recently had my daughter and knew I wanted to wait until she was out of me to hopefully get the best fit for my post partum body. I used Phee supplex for all of them and 6 different leggings patterns.

https://pheefabrics.com/supplex/

I compiled some info to compare all of the patterns. The calf and thigh circumference are of the pattern pieces and the thigh measurement is taken from 6 inches down the inseam. The waistband height is of the pattern piece minus seam allowances and the width is taken from the center of the pattern pieces.

DIBY Anything But Basic Leggings

Stretch Required: 50%

Size made: 12 + 2.5 inches based on thigh placement

Drafted Height: 5’5

Calf Circumference: 11-3/4

Thigh Circumference: 16-1/4

Waistband Height: Tall: 3-1/8 Short: 2-1/8

Waistband Width: 27-1/4

Pocket Size: No pocket

Extra Options: None

Types of Waistbands: Short/Tall

Dislikes: Crotch and butt curve really flat/wide hip/minimal options

Size Range: 34-67 inch hip

Gusset: None

Comments: There is a very pronounced hip curve that after wearing caused some rippling the waistband also constantly rolled down. If someone had more around their hips I would recommend using this pattern and then using a waistband from another pattern. The ease throughout the legs is really comfortable and DIBY does have the most expansive size range.

Apostrophe My Fit Leggings

Stretch Required: You pick

Size made: Side pocket panel, 24 inch inseam, contour waistband, snug fit

Drafted Height: Custom

Calf Circumference: 14-3/8

Thigh Circumference: 21-1/8

Waistband Height: Contour: 3-1/2

Waistband Width: 25

Pocket Size: 6-1/4×3-1/2

Extra Options: Ruched side/Side panels/pocket/waistband pocket/different waistbands/completely customizable

Types of Waistbands: Elastic/Yoga/Contour/Back pocket

Dislikes: There isn’t a % of ease given for your measurements so mine didn’t turn out how I like

Size Range: All

Gusset: None

Comments: The directions for how to find your measurements are great and I really appreciated that but I was initially frustrated that the ease isn’t given for the different fits. I chose the snug fit and they are very large around my knees and calves with about a 1:1 ratio. They have a lot of potential and are completely customizable but I don’t know if I have the patience to work them out.

Greenstyle Strides Updated

Stretch Required: 50%

Size made: L cropped length, high rise

Drafted Height: 5’8

Calf Circumference: 9-3/4 in (capri line)

Thigh Circumference: 15-5/8

Waistband Height: High: 5 in Mid: 3-3/4

Waistband Width: 28-1/4

Pocket Size: 7-1/2×4

Extra Options: Cross Cuff/Waistband pocket/5 lengths

Types of Waistbands: Mid/High

Dislikes: No thigh/calf measurements. I would add a little calf ease next time.

Size Range: Hip 32-50 sizes are being expanded

Gusset: Oval

Comments: Strides have always been my go to I love the accent piece on the back. Through trying all the different patterns and seeing the different amounts of ease throughout the strides are a pair that I would wear for working out but would pick something a little more relaxed for everyday wear. I do think the back on these is the most flattering especially for those with long butt problems like me LOL.

P4P Peg Legs

Stretch Required: 50%

Size made: XL waist L hip low rise, 1″ longer than capri length, contour waistband

Drafted Height: 5’6

Calf Circumference: 10-1/2

Thigh Circumference: 17-1/8

Waistband Height: Contour front: 7 in Regular: 3-1/2 in

Waistband Width: 25-1/4

Pocket Size: 6×4

Extra Options: Side pocket/colorblocking/waistband pocket/4 lengths

Types of Waistbands: Mid/High/Contoured

Dislikes: No print layout

Size Range: Hip: 33-58

Gusset: Oval with more pronounced oval on one side

Comments: Overall this pattern has some amazing options for being a free pattern. Lots of people really love the contoured waistband and choose to add that on to their legs of choice. I don’t love how the contour waistband goes down so far in the front, possibly from pregnancy being so fresh, I think it accentuates that part of me. This pattern did provide the best front crotch curve for my body and the back is pretty flattering too. For anyone’s first pair of leggings I think this is a great starting point and it’s FREE.

5004 Ninjas

Stretch Required: 50%

Size made: S->M waist L hip mid rise ankle length

Drafted Height: Based on inseam for lengths

Calf Circumference: 11

Thigh Circumference: 17-3/4

Waistband Height: 2

Waistband Width: 28

Pocket Size: Waistband pocket 2-1/4×3-3/4

Extra Options: 4 rise options/7 lengths/key waistband pocket

Types of Waistbands: Fabric or exposed elastic

Dislikes: No waistband options

Size Range: Hip: 34-61

Gusset: Diamond

Comments: I love these pants. They don’t move around AT ALL. I wore them for a really long run and they didn’t chafe or move around at all. I also really enjoy that they have no side seam I think it makes them look more seamless. I would wear these to run everyday, the minimalness of the waistband makes them super easy to wear under my running vest. If I was going to wear them for everyday I would look into adding a contour waistband probably from the strides. This is my second 5004 pattern and I’m not sure why I haven’t made more I love these just as much as the jessie!

Jalie Claras

Stretch Required: 60%

Size made: X ankle length

Drafted Height: Trunk height per size

Calf Circumference: 10-1/4

Thigh Circumference: 15-7/8

Waistband Height: Elastic: 3/4 in Fabric: 2-3/4 in

Waistband Width: 29-1/2

Pocket Size: None

Extra Options: 3 lengths

Types of Waistbands: Elastic or fabric

Dislikes: None

Size Range: Hip: 22-53

Gusset: Triangle

Comments: I love that it includes kids and adults sizes and that there is only one seam in the waistband. Not having any outer leg seam or front seam. The inseam sits forward though because of no front seam. These are SUPER fast to work up and I will definitely be wearing them again.

We all need to take a minute to giggle at my posture in all these side pics sometime’s I’m up straight sometimes I’m still pregnant LOL.

Review

My favorite pants for running were the 5004 Ninjas, I went for a 9 mile run and didn’t have to adjust them at all. I like how the waistband on these is really minimal so when wearing under my running vest I didn’t have any bulkiness. Although I love these for running I wouldn’t wear them for everyday as I don’t think they’re the most flattering. I am curious how they’d look adding the strides waistband too them and if that would help them be ‘cuter’. For my next pair I would like to do the pegs crotch curve, it looks like it fits me the best with the back of the strides. I am really tall and have been pregnant for three years (actually) so my booty is more deflated than it used to be. I think the accent piece on the strides give me the most flattering backside.

The Jalie Claras have a higher required stretch than the other patterns which is something to note and are the only pair that don’t have a from crotch seam. If you find that point usually is irritating for you then definitely try these. They are really comfortable and I will be wearing them again.

Negative ease: When the garment is finished smaller than your body measurement. With the supplex the garment is much smaller than your body measurements because it has such great stretch and recovery. This is a list of the patterns from least to most negative ease so the patterns at the top stretch less to fit you (aren’t as tight) as the patterns towards the end of the list.

Waistband Width Negative Ease Least -> Most

Jalie – 29

Strides – 28-1/4

Ninjas – 28

DIBY – 27-1/4

Pegs – 25-1/4

MyFit – 25

Thigh Negative Ease Least -> Most

MyFit – 21-1/8

Ninjas – 17-3/4

Pegs – 17-1/8

DIBY – 16-1/4

Claras -15-7/8

Strides -15-5/8

Calf Circumference Negative Ease Least -> Most

MyFit – 14-3/8

DIBY – 11-1/4

Ninjas – 11

Pegs – 10-1/2

Claras -10-1/4

Strides – 9-3/4

Crotch curves of all the patterns

I hope this helps!

-Whit

My official mom uniform

When Melissa said that August was all about capsules, I was a bit overwhelmed. To be fair, I get overwhelmed easily. Here’s a little secret…..I’ve never sewn a capsule! I know, I know. How crazy is that?! However, what the heck do I make?! I’m a stay at home mom and don’t really dress nice very often. Then I realized that all moms need good basics that they can wear ALL. THE. TIME! Clothes don’t fit the same after having kids, so why not make our own? I live in leggings and tanks. And I always need something to keep me warm. So here’s the rundown.

Before I get into the patterns, here’s a little info on fabric. One thing I learned in my sewing journey, is to use quality fabric. Having good quality stuff, makes my work look better, last longer, and easier to make. Phee Fabrics has never let me down. The quality is always amazing! I love that the descriptions are accurate and the fabrics are sourced in the USA.

I bought the Clara pattern from Jalie months ago and finally made them. I have to say, I’m super happy with the fit. The only adjustments I had to make were height adjustments. I will take an extra inch next pair. I wore them to the gym the other day and they didn’t budge. I used black supplex and they feel like I spent a lot of money!!! Not to mention that I can dress them up or down. They can be worn with anything. Also this supplex is so lush, not to mention, durable. I live in leggings made with Phee’s supplex and this stuff lasts! Not to mention, it’s squatproof!

The staple tank from Greenstyle Creations is a pattern thats gotten lots of use. When I got this ribbing material, I knew I had to make one with it. This stuff is so soft, has amazing drape, and great recovery. I’m totally digging it!

The Harper cardigan from Sinclair Patterns Is a free pattern with a few options for length. I did the cropped length with black supplex. I can wear this with just about anything. I can honestly tell say that I will wear the hell out of this

Last but not least..:.The Jalie Julia has become a new favorite pattern of mine also. I love combining the top and the bra into one. I used Rayon Spandex, powernet, 3/8” picot elastic, bra strap elastic, rings and sliders. Oh and I used supplex for the band. I used picot instead of FOE and bra strap elastic instead of FOE for the straps. I cropped the length on this one.

First you’re going to go ahead and put your bra front and back together. I did French seams on this one. I omitted the darts so that I didn’t have to worry about that seam. It’s not that big of a difference. I wouldn’t omit it on the sports bra though. Attach the bottom band. Then we can put it together with the top.

Put the bra into the top so the wrong sides are together. You’ll notice the bra portion is a little smaller. I stretch it to fit, clip and baste. The other thing that needs to be changed is, that back point, where the two pieces of elastic meet….cut off about an inch so it’s a straight line and fold it over. That way you’ll have a clean edge and enough fabric for the picot to be attached and folded over.

Attach the picot like usual. Start with the front, chest edge. Flat side of the picot in line with the edge of the fabric. Attach with a zig zag. Then turn under and zig zag again. The elastic will be the same length in the front. When you get to the sides, you’ll want to add about an inch to the front, so that you can attach the rings. So attach the elastic to the one side, leaving an inch on the front and on the back. Then do the other side.

After than you’ll attach rings to each piece of elastic sticking up. Make your straps with the sliders. And then attach. Hem last and you’re good to go.

So there you have my idea of the perfect mom uniform. Let’s be honest, it’s the perfect capsule for anyone!! All 4 of these pieces will get lots of wear and they have me looking forward to cooler weather. Thanks for reading!

*Note: affiliate links may be used. By using these links, I gain a small portion at no added cost for you. I promise, it all goes to keeping my sewing habit going😊

Summer Skirts

In the summer I live in running skirts, I run in them, but I also just wear them because they are so comfortable. I have so many, but I always want more choices, probably so I don’t have to do laundry more often. When I ran across this skirt on Pinterest, I knew the exact pattern I could use to get the same look.

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I began with Jalie’s Loulouxe Skort pattern, and went to my fabric stash. I’ve actually been sewing a lot from my stash lately, and it’s felt amazing to use some of my Phee stash that I’ve staring at not knowing what to do with. I pulled out navy nylon/spandex tricot and coral powernet (this stuff is in the last chance section of the site, so grab it now if you’re at all interested in it).

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I love the way that it turned out, it even goes perfectly with my newest tank, a GreenStyle Solo Tank in white circular knit. I love how the coral part is slightly translucent, but yet you can’t really see much. Oh, and I haven’t told you the best part yet, the shorts have pockets! I did make my pockets about 1/2″ wider than the pattern piece to account for my phone and any other things that I needed to put in my pockets.

There are a few changes I need to make next time for a better fit, so that I can actually run in this. The shorts are a loose, so I’ll go with a smaller size through the hips and thighs next time. I also love the bands instead of hemming, it made finishing a breeze.

One thing to note is that I trimmed 3/8″ off the bottom of the coral powernet piece, as I planned on hemming the navy tricot front of the skirt. I really like how the powernet just flows as I move.

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I must also add, that this running skirt is mother and chicken approved. 🙂

Note: This post may contain affiliate links to products. All opinions and thoughts are my own. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Feeling a Little Meh(sh)

What inspires you to workout? I wish I could say “I just love it” and don’t need any extra motivation, but alas, that would be one big lie. When it comes to fitness and activity, I know there is an ebb and flow for me….Sometimes my motivation and determination are at a peak and unwavering. Other times I have a laundry list of reasons why “I just can’t” because in reality I just don’t want to.

Like many people, January is a time to renew and I am ready to go – organization, workouts, food prep…It’s all easy, and I’m excited! Then February rolls around, and the honeymoon is over. At that point, all I want is ice cream and sweat pants, but I have one thing that always gets me back in the groove – NEW CLOTHES! This used to mean a trip to the store, but now it means a Facebook search in my favorite fabric and sewing groups for some inspiration.

I decided I wanted some “cool mesh” pants like all the women in my gym classes. Of course my favorite shop, Phee Fabrics had just what I wanted! The black powernet has great stretch and recovery for workout wear without being completely see through. So, off I went pattern hunting and decided to try another Greenstyle Creations pattern, the Inspire tights. They are a basic legging but also have some fun color blocking options. I used a contour waistband from the Patterns for Pirates peg legs to give me a higher waisted option.

The powernet was great for the inserts and there is some hidden powernet in the waistband – it’s like comfortable compression! This stuff HOLDS you in! No rolling waistband or slipping down. I didn’t even need to add elastic to the top, which is perfect for me. I really don’t like the feel of elastic on my waist regardless of fabric and pattern.

Quick tip for color-block sewing that saves me a bunch of time pinning – I get all of my pieces for each leg panel and pin them all at one time. Then I can stitched all at once and if I shave them all pinned together at the them same time it’s easier to see if I have them all in the correct direction (read: less seam ripping!)

I really want for my leggings to be supportive and stretch. The Plum Supplex is gorgeous in person while having incredible stretch and recovery. This material is perfect for squats and stretching (and tested for the entire day after a workout because sometimes I just get busy 😉)

So now I had “motivating pants”, but I needed a whole outfit. This time I wanted to copy a tank I bought years ago. It has a strap across the back that how’s off your back and a front and back scoop neck. I used the P4P essential tank, but instead of using the back piece, I did 2 fronts! I used 85% of the neck and arm openings to create the bands. Then I created a strap for the back and stitched it into the band. Super easy, and it holds the straps up.

The back piece has a little added flair and function. It’s made out of powernet too. Awesome for a hot day or extra sweaty workout.

My motivating outfit worked – I used it as my extra push to get up and workout at 5:45am when but was a balmy 11 degrees! I guess I will need to make another outfit to keep the momentum going…and you know it will be with Phee Fabrics.

Happy stitchin’ and sweatin’

Liz

Tips for Sewing Motoleggings

Can you scroll through Instagram or Pinterest without seeing motoleggings?

Most likely, that’s a big fat NOPE!

But, I was definitely among the pumpkin-spice-latte lovin’ fashionista hopefuls that immediately fell in love with them! ALL of them! Faux leather, boyfriend jeans, jegging material…

And most of all, I wanted a pair that would work perfectly in the gym as well as brunch (dumbbells and mimosas, anyone?). Of course, Phee’s supplex was the perfect material for my motoleggings.

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So, the number one characteristic of motoleggings are the pintuck panels. Traditional pintucking on woven fabrics are simply created by straight stitching over evenly spaced folds.

Another way to pintuck, which is much more common with stretch fabric, is to straight stitch over unfolded marked lines with a twin needle. With this method, you would want to allow tunneling to occur. And if you have a coverstitch machine, you could also adjust the looper tension (increase tension, but please don’t forget to experiment first) to force tunneling.

But, I planned on putting my motoleggings through rigorous activity (HIIT, mass developing leg workouts, tennis, indoor volleyball), so having the maximum amount of stretch and strength through the width of my panels was vital.

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This immediately knocks out the straight stitch method. And sadly, after stretch testing the twin needle method, I found that the stitches were not strong enough (though I probably stretched my test piece 10x greater than my panel would ever experience…but hey, enginerds like me are super conservative and design to ultimate limits).

The coverstitch method would have probably worked…but I was much too lazy to rethread the dang thing. So, what did I do?

I used my beloved serger! I followed Angela Wolf’s method for pintucking with a serger. After completing all my rows, I ended up really loving the look of the reverse side. Traditionally, the folded pintucks are visible. And even though the serged side looked pretty badass, I really ended loving the quilted look of the reverse side.

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Would I ever make motoleggings again? Not for a while. I ended up really disliking the monotony of making the pintucks. But, I do want to eventually muster up the motivation to try a different method.

Before I bid you adieu, here are my top three tips for pintucking supplex:

  1. If you don’t have a pintuck foot and you need to mark out all of your lines, use the knife edge of tailor’s chalk. It’s so much easier, I promise!
  2. Experiment with different methods before you commit to your legging panels. Decide if you just want some cute looking comfy pants, or if you’re going to be parkouring your way down Santa Monica Boulevard. If you just want the look, you might not need to play with stretch stitches or your serger to pintuck.
  3. Note: I hacked my tried and true Simplicity 8212 pattern so I didn’t know how much fabric I need before pintucking. If you don’t know how much your pre-pintucked panel should measure, here’s a little bit of math that might help (only if you’re folding your pintucks and not using a coverstitch or twin needle):

First, determine how tall your panel is including seam allowances.

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Then, figure out how much space you want between your tucks. I chose 0.75 in. If I do this again, I’d most likely increase that distance to at least 1″.

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Then, determine the number of divisions your panel will end up having by dividing the pattern height by the distance between tucks. For 1/8″ pintucks, the total length of the pintucks will be close to 2″

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I multiplied that length by an “oh sh*t factor” of 1.5 (in aircraft enginerding, this 1.5 value is called the ultimate factor of safety) to get approximately 3″. FINALLY, add that 3″ to the original pattern height of 11″ and you’ll get a pre-pintucked fabric height of 14″

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So basically, in non-number terms, this is what I did:

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In my case, I ended up with roughly a 30% increase from the pattern height to the pre-pintucked fabric height.

My main concerns for running the numbers were to

  1. Know my minimum (definitely didn’t want to end up with too little)
  2. Not pintuck an unnecessarily large panel and waste fabric

But, if you want to be ultra conservative and skip all the math but also make sure that you have more than enough pintucked paneling, multiply your pattern height by 1.5 or even 2.0

I really love my leggings and have already tested their limits by stretching them over my post-Thanksgiving bod 😉 I can’t wait to take them to the gym!

Hugs and hugs,

Monica

Powernet: Not Just for Boob Support

I’m sure we all know the power of Pinterest to suck you into a black hole of infinite ideas of things we know we’ll never make. However, I recently found the following pin of the cutest sweatshirt, and just loved it:

pinspiration

I was determined to try to create this look, but I wanted something that was going to be usable, and I thought the thin mesh used for my pinspiration would not hold up to an actual run/workout. Phee Fabrics to the rescue!! I chose the Black Powernet and Black Poly Spandex from Phee. The quality of the Powernet from Phee Fabrics is amazing…definitely the best I’ve found. And while you might normally think of using Powernet only as a supportive layer, it was just the thing to get the look AND functionality I wanted.

I could have just used any sweatshirt pattern and color-blocked the top, but I really liked the dolman shoulder look of my pinspiration, and I didn’t have or know of any dolman-style sweatshirts. So, in order to make my version, I needed to get creative. Here are the “pieces” I used to get the look:

  1. I started with the Slim Dolman pattern from Hallå Patterns.
  2. I used the hood and front kangaroo pocket from the Constance Top, Tunic, and Dress by Sew a Little Seam.
  3. I used the thumbhole cuff tutorial found in the Hallå Patterns Facebook Group. (Search the group for “thumbhole cuff” and it will bring up a few posts that cover it.)

Once I had decided on the patterns/pieces I was going to use, it was time to start making some changes. The first thing I did was to size up the slim dolman about 2 sizes. You can definitely size up or not based on your preference for how you want your finished sweatshirt to fit.

To color block the pattern:

  1. Take your front/back pieces. For my pattern, the front/back are the same except for the neckline, so I only had to deal with 1 piece.
  2. Decide where you want the color-blocking to be and mark or draw a line on your pattern.
  3. Now draw 2 more lines – one .5″ above the first mark/line and one .5″ below the first mark/line. The “top” line will be the cut line for the bottom of the shirt, and the “bottom” line will be the cut line for the top of the shirt. (I marked mine on the pattern so I wouldn’t mess it up!)  This will give you a .5″ seam allowance when sewing the top/bottom together.

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4. You can now trace each piece to make 2 new pieces if you want.

To alter the neckline for a hood:

The pattern I picked wasn’t drafted for a hood, so I needed to alter the neckline a bit so I could use the hood from the Constance.

  1. I traced the front/back necklines for the Constance at the hood lines.

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2. I then lined up the pieces with my Slim Dolman shoulder to see where the new neckline should be. The back neckline was similar enough that I didn’t bother changing it, but I did need to draw a new line for the front neck.

Make these changes on your new pieces if you already traced them.

Your pattern should be ready to go! Cut out and sew your top/bottom pieces together with that .5″ SA and then top-stitch the SA towards the bottom.

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You can now assemble your sweatshirt using the rest of your pieces. Some other things I did to get the look:

  • I cut the bottom sleeve for the Slim Dolman on the “hemming” line, not the “band” line, as I wanted the sleeve to be longer to accommodate the thumbhole cuff. Using the band line on my test version, the sleeve was too short for my arms.
  • The Slim Dolman pattern includes instructions/measurements for the bottom waistband, but didn’t go by the measurements. I actually made it almost the same circumference as the bottom of the sweatshirt to get the more boxy/loose fit look. I just measured the bottom of my sweatshirt and doubled the measurement. I took off about 1″ when sewing the band together using a .5″ SA so that it was only slightly smaller than the bottom of the sweatshirt and needed minimal stretching.
  • I didn’t use the binding called for in the Constance pattern for the kangaroo pocket – I just turned under and top-stitched the pocket openings.
  • I didn’t line my hood, as I didn’t want it to be too heavy. The Poly Spandex looks almost the same on the inside, so it worked out great.

And here is how mine turned out:

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The Poly Spandex is warm and cozy, so it will be perfect for the cooler weather coming, but with the Powernet at the top, it will keep me from getting too hot on a run or hike. I’m loving my new hoodie, and that’s at least one pinspiration that I can actually mark as “done”!!

So, what can you make with Powernet? The possibilities are endless!!

Happy Sewing!