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Sewing Garments with Knit Fabrics - Yoga Pants

I thought I would have a go at making Meg's Yoga Pants from her "Sewing with Knits - 5 Wardrobe Essential" Course.  I have had RTW knit pants in the past, and the waistband on these look really comfy.  I have attempted making trousers and pyjamas from woven before, and gave up due to fit issues (they didn't).  I did successfully retro-engineer some satin pyjama bottoms from my old RTW ones successfully.  That's the sum total of my previous experience with pants.  I guess I'm feeling inspired to take on a new challenge by watching the new series of The Great British Sewing Bee!

I checked my measurements, and what a surprise - I'm still Large.  I cut the pattern out this time rather than trace it, so I'd better not get any bigger.

I'm using the Royal Blue & Black Tweed loop back Sweatshirt polyester Jersey I picked up from Minerva Crafts Clearance Sale.  First thing was to try out my Ball Point and Stretch Needles with this fabric and all the different stretch stitches on my machine.  Neither needle did well with the Knit Stitch, but the others were all okay.  I also threaded my overlocker in blue and tested my 3 thread overlock stitch, and that looked just right.

I chose to use my stretch stitch, then overlock the edges afterwards to neaten them.  I hoped this would help stabilise the curves before I overlocked them, as I have stretched the crotch seam of some woven pyjamas I tried making by just overlocking them . When it came to adding the inseam I pushed the back seam allowance to the left, and the front seam allowance to the right, to reduce bulk. 

Here's the waist band, seamed and pressed.  When Meg mentioned how bulky these layers are when added to the pants, I decided to overlock the waistband edges together.  This both neatened and compressed them, which made it easier when attaching it to the pants.

I chose to opt out of making the pockets so I'm on to the final job already, hemming. When I tried the pants on they dragged on the floor, so I had to take them up.

You can see here that the looped backing is very a loose weave, and needs to be stabilised to stop it fraying, unlike the other knits I've used.  

Once the edge was overlocked, I added the 'Lite Steam-A-Seam 2' tape and steamed it on. I turned the hem up along the edge of the paper and pressed it again to get a nice 1/2" crease. Then I removed the paper backing and pressed the hem in place, with more steam.  

I fit my twin Stretch Needles and threaded them up.  I tested the stitches out, then measured up and stuck a strip of tape on my machine.  By keeping to this line I could be sure I caught the hem down properly.

Here's the finished him, inside and out.  When I tried out the stitches I could hardly see them, my thread colour match was so perfect!  I did try the tricot stitch with the twin needles on my sample, but decided to keep to a straight topstitch.  All done, time to slip them on and do some modelling.

Here they are with the waistband up.  As it is cut straight, it feels a bit loose worn this way, but it does come up to my true waistline.  If it tapered more to fit I would happily wear them like this rather than folded over, for a smoother line.

Here they are with the waistband folded over.  This fabric does feel nice against the skin, the pants are comfortable, the waistband is very soft (ideal for yoga contortions) and they appear to fit.  Maybe I should make some for gardening? The waistband won't dig in when I'm bending over, but then I would definitely want pockets and re-inforced knees!  

When I tried them on to check the hem, I had to take 2" off the length ("I'm a little teapot, short and stout!")  This is not a very flattering shot, I look like I'm wearing a G-String, which I am most definitely not!

The pants hang nicely, that side seam is nice and straight.  I don't know if I would wear them out and about, but they are nice for lounging about the house.  My first ever pair of hand made knit pants turned out to be a lot less trouble than the woven ones I've tried! Thank you Meg.

Sewing With Knits: 5 Wardrobe Essentials

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