Leggings Comparison

I hope you and yours are happy and healthy. Thank you for joining me on my sewing journey, I hope it brings you some joy in this trying season.

As I've transitioned to working exclusively from home I've been wearing a lot more casual garments than I usually do. Thankfully I had a few different legging patterns and coordinating knit fabric options in my stash and within a few hours I had an extended work-from-home wardrobe.

Before I started making my own leggings I had a terrible time trying to find ready-to-wear leggings that didn't walk down my legs. As I'm sure you know, not all leggings are made the same. Below I outline some of the features of my favorite legging patterns.

Helen's Closet - Avery Leggings
I've made the Avery leggings once before and found that the pattern ran small, so I sized up from my usual measurements and made a size medium in a deluxe viscose jersey knit with a high waistband and ankle length leg. Sizing up helped to eliminate any laugh lines across the front of my leggings and I would make a size medium again. Unique to this pattern, the Avery leggings have a gusset allowing for a wide range of motion. I also enjoy the high waisted option, which lends itself to a bit of tummy control and curve smoothing. However, the high waisted option is just a bit too tall for me and I would reduce it by about an inch if I were to make it again. Once I learned to size up I really liked these leggings.

Pattern Features
Two waistband heights
Two leg lengths
18 1/2" across seat (size medium)

Patterns for Pirates - Peg Legs
This was the first time I made a pair of Peg Legs, but I've heard swimming reviews of them online. These came together very quickly and were a classic legging pattern. Unique to this pattern, there wasn't a waistband piece. Instead I cut waistband pieces unique to my size and waistband weight. Additionally, elastic is inserted at the seam connecting the waistband to the leggings. I made the size large with the high waistband option at ankle length. Construction was fairly simple and I would certainly make these again.

Pattern Features
Two waistband heights
Four leg lengths
21 1/2" across seat (size large)

Laela Jeyne - Taylor Leggings
I received the Taylor leggings pattern and coordinating fabric in the September 2019 Sewciety Box. I can't say enough good things about these leggings, which quickly became a wardrobe staple. I made a size medium in turquoise athletic knit with the medium height waistband and cropped the length at the ankle. They were easy to make with clear instructions and are easy to wear no matter how many snacks I've had. This pattern was the widest of the three through the hips, exactly what I need in a fitted legging pattern. Unique to this pattern, the Taylor leggings also come with a maternity waistband option.

Pattern Features
Three waistband heights
Three leg lengths
22 1/4" across seat (size medium)

I would be hard-pressed to say which of these leggings patterns is my favorite; I think they each have their own unique features and I anticipate reaching for different leggings depending on the occasion. That said, my mom has requested a pair of matching Taylor leggings and I understand why she wanted a pair!

A few things I was reminded of in making these leggings is to be mindful of the percentage of stretch a legging pattern requires and the percentage of stretch of each fabric option. Also to keep top of mind, the opacity of fabric when it is stretched across your body. We don't want any surprises!

Happy sewing, and happy lounging.

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Fit and Flare Easter Dress

Easter is am important holiday to my family and one we always celebrate with a new outfit to wear to church. This year it seems we won't be celebrating in person, but I'm glad to have made a new friend through the making of my dress.

Mackenzie, of Bobbin and Button, and I decided to collaborate and make the same Easter dress. Sticking with our desire to use resources we already owned we went with a New Look pattern (6447) she owned and I used fabric from my stash. Actually, this raspberry wool crepe and white silk lining were gifted to me by a fellow sewist making this dress a perfect representation of the joy and friendship I've found in the sewing community.

As it turns out, Mackenzie and I are much the same size, needing to grade the bodice from a size 10 at the top to a size 12 at the waist. I made a size 12 in the skirt, used the size 12 darts, and of course tissue and pin fit the bodice before cutting into my beautiful fabric. You can see the whole process in my Instagram story highlights.

I truly love how this dress turned out. It is nicely fitted without being too tight and would be appropriate for me to wear to church, work, and a variety of other occasions. And the fabric combination of wool crepe and silk make this dress comfortable to wear in any environment. I was initially concerned about the high, boat neckline but it fits quite comfortably on me and I'm thrilled with just how invisible my zipper really is.

The most difficulty this pattern gave me was in keeping the midriff piece sorted in my mind. I think there was a slight difference between the top and bottom, but it was difficult to tell after working with the fabric a bit. I think this may become a tried and true pattern for me and I'm having a hard time thinking about what I would change in the future. That's not true; I might add pockets next time!

If you're looking for a classic dress pattern with fairly easy to interpret instructions (I only had to call my mom to interpret one direction!) I would highly recommend this pattern. And if you're looking for encouragement and some quality sewing advice, go check out Mackenzie's blog.

Time estimate: 15 hours
Size: 10-12
Fabric: raspberry wool crepe, white silk
Care instructions: dry cleaned

Cost to make:
pattern: $9
fabric: gifted
zipper: $4
*used stabilizer and thread from my stash
TOTAL: $13
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