Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Leopardy Legs!

This week (20th - 26th April) I'm taking part in the Kids Clothes Week sewing challenge (as I explained here). I've taken part in two KCW challenges previously, and at the end of each of those I published a summary post sharing all the things I made during those weeks. I then wrote more detailed posts for each of the garments I made afterwards. This time I'm switching things around: I'm going to write individual posts for the garments I make as I go, and then write a summary post next week. I'm doing this for pretty boring blog post scheduling reasons; I've got a lot of posts I want to share on the run up to and throughout Me-Made-May. So anyway, let's get on with why we're here: I made a frikkin' garment.


I've talked about how awesome Ottobre magazine is many times before. I have seven issues, and four of those are proving particularly useful, my most recent acquisition, the Spring 1/2015 issue (pictured below) being one of them. 

I like to put Dolores in garments made from knit fabric so she can scamp around unimpeded. I've made sooo many pairs of the Playful Kitty leggings that it's ridiculous (and now getting a bit boring to make them), so I've been keeping my eyes peeled for a knit-trouser pattern variation. The streaky legs sweatpants pattern (pictured below) looked like a fun alternative to leggings: nice and roomy for playing in and certainly spacious enough to accommodate a nappy! 

The pattern consists of three pieces, a whole two pieces more than the Playful Kitty leggings pattern (!), but I tried not to let that put more off! It's still a crazy simple garment project: a front cut on the fold, a back cut on the fold (although mine has a seam running down the centre back because of fabric limitation) and a pair of ankle cuffs. 

If I had to find a negative about this pattern, I'd say it isn't the most efficient child's trousers pattern ever, in terms of fabric usage. I'd consider making a centre back seam in other versions in the future, like this leopard print pair has (see below), except the centre back seam was made for me in this case as it existed in the original skirt that I made these from.  

Dolores is a bit of a skinny-malinx, so I combined sizes: size 80 for the width, and 86 for the length. They are currently a bit big for her, but I'm pleased with that as I want her to get maximum use from them. 

I constructed them entirely in my overlocker, omitting the (IMO weird) topstitching detail that's meant to go round the crotch seam. The only bit that my regular sewing machine got involved in was stitching the casing to feed the elastic through. I recently got a new sewing machine that can do stitches I hadn't previously tried before, so I used a lightening flash stitch (which is really narrow but has more stretch-ability than a normal straight stitch) and was really pleased with the result. Normally I stitch my elastic round the waist with a three-step zigzag. That stitch has lots of stretch but because the stitch goes through the actual elastic, the waist size can't be adjusted at a later date without an epic unpicking session. I'll definitely use the lightening flash/elastic tunnel method again.


You know me, almost always stash-bustin' or refashioning where possible. And this project was no exception. I bought a large knit pencil skirt from a charity shop towards the end of last year with the intention of remaking it for myself. The original skirt was more or less a knee-length tube with an elasticated waist. I used the Colette patterns Mabel skirt pattern (see here for my conclusions on that), but I wasn't particularly happy with the outcome. Although pretty thick, the fabric was much more drapey than the striped fabric of my other Mabel version/s and the leopard Mabel came out wayyyy too big. By that point I was pretty much over the Mabel skirt pattern, so stashed the skirt away to remake into something for Dolores.

As I say, this leopard knit fabric is actually really drapey. The streaky legs sweatpants pattern calls for sweatshirt fabric, but I think this floppy leopard stuff gives the pattern quite a harem pants type look. The leopard skirt wasn't big enough to cut the front, back and cuffs from it, so the cuffs ended up being cut from a small piece of black jersey that I had left over from a big piece that became many other garments (including my black Dolores batwing tunic and 3/4 length sleeved Bronte top). I'd like to make this sweatpants/trousers pattern again in something thicker and more sturdy like sweatshirting for the winter, but I wonder if they'd be as comfy and if a thicker fabric would feel really bulky between the legs due to the dropped crotch style. 


As you can see from the picture above, Dolores wasn't quite sure about them initialy! I put them on her and she kind of stared at them for a while, I guess trying to figure out what was going on down there. She seemed to get over them fairly quickly though and got on with her usual high levels of busy-ness. And me? I love them! I'm super pleased that a charity shop score that was then turned into a FAIL eventually became a fun and wearable garment. It'll take a few 'proper' wears (rather than this little test/modelling sesh) to see if this style really is functional, or if the bagginess around the crotch creates some problems, like when she's strapped into her pushchair perhaps. 

Does anyone else have any experience of putting their kids in this style of trousers? Any problems caused by the dropped crotch?


Louise Perry said...

He-he they are fun. It's not such an exaggerated dropped crotch that it will be in the way I hope. Glad you found a good use for the leopard fabric.

Angela M. said...

Somehow I missed your post a couple of weeks ago about the Mabel skirt - I thought I was the only one that had issues with the waist! Really wanted it to work for me, but it didn't feel quite right/secure/something. I will join the chorus of people wanting elastic or something to hold it up a bit more securely.

The leggings are CUTE!!! Love that picture of Dolores looking down at them. Kids that age are so stinkin' cute when they do that!

loveteachsew said...

I made these as well, but added the pockets from the Rocking Sweatpants pattern (same issue) to recreate some RTW sweats. She absolutely loves both pairs I made her, although they do run big! Love the leopard print btw! I need to get my hands on some more leopard print for next fall!

Gillian said...

So cute! Have you ever tried the Hosh pants pattern by Lou Bee? https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/123231003/hosh-pants-pdf-digital-sewing-pattern

It's the only pants pattern for kids I've tried, but I really love it. I has adjustable elastic in the back waist, and lots of room for big diaper butts. They are basically the kind of pants I make myself, except for kids! Nice as Dolores is growing older perhaps? They seem like great pants on toddlers-kindergarten age.
Also, you are making me want Octobre magazines!

Dawn said...

I made the other, larger-sized, drop-crotch pants from this same issue and don't love them. I think this is my issue though. The drop-crotch just reminds me of poopy pants. My daughter is five, though.


BLD in MT said...

Thrift store "fail" to a big win for your little one. Very cool--and they look very comfy, too!

Jen said...

I like this style but It may be because I find regular sweats tend to be too snug on my cloth-diapered kiddos. Baggy-crotch pants just seem to fit better over cloth diapers. I like the leopard print - very cute for a girl but not super girly, just fun.

Dorothy DotDot said...

Oh, so cute and stylish!

Adri H. said...

That's awesome! I'm making the same pattern for my son! They're much easier over the cloth diapers, and fit my son's thighs better.

tialys said...

When I saw the title of this post I was expecting to see you in a pair as part of Me Made May. Only briefly disappointed though as I got to see the lovely Dolores instead.

Kathryn said...

These look great! I haven't made any leggings for harris yet, only shorts but these look really comfy. I'll need to find a similar pattern, or buy Ottobre!

gingermakes.com said...

These are SO cute! I love the pic of Dolores checking them out, heeheehee! A sewing friend sent me a copy of Ottobre magazine, and I was so impressed by it! I've just cut out a shirt for my little nephew and have quite a few more things planned for him just from that issue!

Knitlass said...

gorgeous! flippin lovely in every way ;-)

I must, must get hold of some Ottobre issues. I meant to ask Santa for a subscription, but forgot. You have reminded me (again) to get on with it!

Vanessa J Turner said...

LOL. I cracked up when I read she stared at her new leopardy MC hammer pants.
Dolores is too cute!

pootleandmake said...

Loved hearing about Dolores checking out her trews. Very cute pic too. I think of the Flintstones.

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