I've moved onto cooler weather sewing, it's true. I'm still wearing shorts, running skirts, tank tops, etc. for running but I want to get a few leggings ready to go when it's time. This pair of pants accomplishes two things... first off, they are PANTS that I sewed and (for the most part) fit correctly! I usually wear and sew skirts because I like how they look on my figure generally more often then pants-- also I've have problems with getting my handmade pants to fit correctly. Knits are forgiving so I planned to make a pair like this to start on my "Winter of Sewing Pants That Fit". Secondly, I have only one real pair of activewear leggings. I plan to do more running in cooler weather (yesterday was a refreshing 70F/21C and I easily ran 6 1/4 miles/10K- with many major hills. I'm working on my distance since my speed is sub-par.)
For the pattern I used My Image M1253B from the Autumn/Winter 2012-13 issue. I used some navy blue fabric I got from my recent haul at a warehouse sale. It's a really nice quality medium to heavy weight material, very likely a nylon/spandex (the fabric didn't have a fiber content label.) I also used a black athletic mesh from the same sale. Total fabric cost for these: about $1.50, you cannot beat that!
The design lines on this pattern are pretty terrific. I originally wanted to make View A but I didn't want to invest the time on the side panel if the pants didn't end up fitting. These came together quickly with my serger, about an hour and a half at the machine including making some alterations to the size. I would like some interesting design line on the back, right now it's plain without any piecing like in front.
I was nervous about making them too small so I cut a 42 and graded to a 46 at the hip/bum. Big mistake, I should have made a 38 at the waist and graded to a 42 at the hips/bum. They were massive at first-- but really I should have known this! A good rule of thumb I follow (usually!!) is to go down about 2 sizes when using lycra/spandex fabrics for tight fitting activewear as the material has quite a bit of give. After going in on the seams pretty dramatically I opted to exclude the waistband piece to encase my elastic.
The rise of the pants were too long because I cut the wrong size. I reduced the fabric on the waist by many inches. I wanted a flat waist line as opposed to the bunched up one they use in the pattern. Flat waistline=more comfort for movement. I lined up the edge of my 1" elastic the raw edge of the inside of the waist and serged it on, folded it over- encasing the elastic with fabric- then used a twin needle to top-stitch.
After wearing them for a few minutes to photograph them I think I need to alter the waistline down a little more. They look like they lay closely and perfectly against the skin, but it doesn't have that nice snug feeling I need to keep them up while running. I feel like I may be pulling them up constantly while I move. But alas, that's not a huge problem as I can pick out a few stitches and remove a small bit of elastic.
My Image patterns' Dutch to English translated directions are not easy to follow generally. I am very happy to report that these directions were very easy to work with (besides the fact that they call the pant legs 'pipes'.) I hope to make these again in the correct size to begin, and to possibly make View A in an everyday fabric for regular wear under tunics or shorter dresses this winter.