Thursday, January 13, 2011

Shout Out to the Experts: Denim Leggings

Hello Sewing Peeps:

I decided to have a look at the Kwik Sew 3807 pattern this evening, to compare it against my other pants sloper and to see how I can realize the gains of the sloper in constructing the new denim leggings. Of course, comparing a wide leg, 4-piece pant against a narrow, 2-piece pant is not exactly intuitive. I mean, not the first time you try to do it, at any rate.

Intriguingly, as you sewists probably know, the 2-piece pattern is like the front and back leg pieces attached at the centre. Cool, yes? But I'm having difficulty determining whether I need to decrease the crotch length because the tops of the pieces (i.e. the waistlines) don't exactly align.

Here's what I propose to do: I'm going to diminish crotch length by 1.5 inches (the same amount I did on the sloper) because my only other experience of a stretch fabric pant from Kwik Sew (the yoga pants pattern) was also too long in the crotch - much as the sloper pattern was. Perhaps my crotch length is generally shorter than those in "average" patterns (at least Kwik Sew or the 2 patterns I've already tried), because a) I am proportionately petite (rather than simply short) and/or b) that's just my shape.

In terms of crotch depth (the actual arc of the curves of the crotch lines on the pattern pieces), they seem fairly consistent with the post-alteration ones of my sloper. It's hard to tell, because all the lines don't really match up, but if I just look at arc (disassociated from everything else), that's what I see.

Does anyone have any secrets when it comes to transferring the relevant sloper shapes from one pattern to another - especially when the patterns (while of the same garment type) are different in most other ways?

Thank you all for any info you can provide.


  1. I have no idea how my body would look in jiggings, but I am intrigued by them. I assume you will be using a stretch denim, but I may have overlooked where you discussed your fabric.

  2. Given previous experiences with the brand, the shortening the crotch sounds like a sound idea (snerk). Other than that I have no insight to offer, never having worn, much less made, jeggings (although one of my pairs of jalie jeans is stretchy enough that I could probably pull it on and off if I tried...), but I think you'll be okay as long as the crotch-curve is good... as long as your fabric has enough stretch, anyway ;) (is it a real stretch woven or a jersey printed to look like denim?)

  3. I am very far from being an expert, but my advice would be to just make a muslin and see how it goes, because right now it's all a bit of a mystery.

  4. If you have access to back issues of Threads magazine, try issue 79, 83, or 106 (I think 106 is the most helpful).

  5. Faye: Yes - mid weight stretch denim.

    Tanit - it is real stretch denim, though I also have jersey designed to look like denim (for lounge pants, though I bought it a year ago and haven't yet used it). I just got a new type today - a bit lighter in weight, totally indigo, more fancy seeming than the other stuff I have. I think I have just an inch or so too little length in the stuff I already had and I didn't want to be screwed half way through the process.

    Something - I think your advice is sound. That's kind of how I feel about it. Thanks!

    Birdmommy: I might have 106. Going to check. Thanks!

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