Sonya has done it again with this pattern! It is definitely one of my new favorites. Like all of the 100 Acts of Sewing patterns I have made, Pants No. 2 is beautifully simple, leaving a lot of room for experimentation and personal tailoring. Hello, new summer bike shorts!
Pattern Made: Pants No. 2 from 100 Acts of Sewing by Soya Phillip
Size made: Large
Modifications made: None
Fabric: Bamboo Tie Dye Knit, Black, 1" width elastic
I have tried making leggings before using a self-drafting method that didn't turn out too well (legs too short, crotch too long, waist not elastic enough), much to my dismay, because I love leggings! ...Who doesn't though? With this pattern, there is only one piece to trace and cut out. There are 3 seams to sew, and one elastic waistband to put in, which is the most advanced and also most genius part of making this garment. I am always a little concerned about an elastic waistband rolling and twisting within its casing throughout the day as you wear it- not so with this one! The method used was completely new to me and one I will try to adapt for any elastic waistband I may make in the future. Instead of the casing, you baste the elastic to the waist of your leggings in intervals (at least four) before turning the whole thing under to completely enclose the elastic and stitch the whole thing down.
The only thing that may be unclear to someone who is newer to sewing with knits is that the instructions do not specify to either surge or sew your seams with a stretch stitch (zigzag), they simply says "sew"- perhaps accidentally indicating by omission that you can sew these using a plain straight stitch. To my knowledge, and in my experience, using a straight stitch on a knit garment will lead to disaster, but there is a lot I can still learn about sewing, so maybe I am wrong! In any case, I chose to surge all of my seams and I am very happy with the result!
These leggings did end up a little long on me. I need to cuff mine when I'm not trying to be particularly cozy, but other than a that one minor adjustment the fit is great on me.
I have also tried making a garment from this extremely soft, squishy, stretchy, slinky, roll-ey bamboo knit before, which also ended in a small disaster- not so this time around! Maybe it is that I was little nervous about working with this material again and so was extra careful, or maybe it's that I have made many other garments since my first attempt with it, but I did not find it to be particularly difficult to work with! Maybe I was just lucky.