Well it’s been a year since I started this blog about my sewing journey. I have yet to complete the ‘About’ section to explain my journey of sewing and grief. I have however been active and open about my life and recent experiences in the sewing community on social media, so when I finally have the words that feel right I will get them written down. I am a work in progress, and so is this blog.
In the meantime, I’ve been busy testing 4 patterns over the last 2 weeks, two from DIBY and two from 5 out of 4. These two designers have a special place in my heart because they have been size inclusive designers almost from their very beginnings. Also, they both believe in community.
So here is the first of 4 patterns that have been released! This new pattern is called the Candy Yoga Pants and Leggings. It is built on a trusted and well tested knit pant block so you can expect the fit to be reliable.
The Pattern: Candy Yoga Pants and Leggings
Designer: 5 out of 4 Patterns
Size Range: XXS – 5XL
What I Made: 4XL Waist
Pattern Options: Solid Yoga Pants, High Rise, Regular Knit Waistband, full gusset
Personal Fit Adjustments: Full tummy adjustment
Personal Style Adjustments: none
What did I love about this pattern? It’s a classic silhouette in the lower leg with enough moving ease in the thigh. The waistband measurements were spot on to be just snug enough to keep my pants up without feeling suffocated. Another thing that I’ve discovered after wearing leggings recently is that I prefer no side seam. Good quality athletic fabrics tend to have a bit more bulk in a serged seam, so unless I plan to topstitch for decorative design purposes, less seams are better. I also tried a gusset for the first time. Besides taking the strain off the crotch seam where front and back of the legs all meet, I’ve heard it said that a gusset should be unnoticeable to other people, but more comfortable for the wearer. I’ve noted some patterns in larger sizes can also have a bit of an extreme crotch curve which generally works well because my thighs narrow quickly in comparison to my tummy shape. But, it can be awkward to sew this shape on a serger. Adding the gusset, while adding an extra step, does help make this crotch curve easier to sew.
One of the adjustments I’ve found I need to make on most patterns is a full tummy adjustment. How do you know if you would benefit from a full tummy adjustment? My front rise is longer than the pattern piece even though I’ve chosen the right size for my waist and hip. Take some truthful pictures of yourself to examine your body contours. Wear light coloured snug fitting clothes that don’t create extra creases in your curves. When I look at my self in a side profile, my stomach protrudes forward. When I look straight forward, my hips are actually a bit square or straight down. So I know that my full hip and high hip measurements are accounting for the forward tummy rather than curvy hips. Here’s the process I use. Put a piece of paper behind the wedge you open up and you will redraw your curves and final pattern piece on the paper. Cut along the blue line and you have your new pattern piece. You may not need to add the full extra height your rise requires depending on how much vertical stretch your fabric has.
I used a fabric from Bra Makers supply in Hamilton, Ontario called Maxine Performance Stretch. It has a beautiful heathered look and is available in nine colour ways. Fortunately I can shop in person, but one thing I like about their website is that you can order in 10 cm increments which is nice if you don’t want to waste expensive fabric. I think the norm is to offer half metre increments at most other online shops in regards to knit fabrics.
This pattern is loaded with options if you’re looking for something a bit more exciting than classic yoga pants. This is both a Yoga pant AND legging pattern in one. So the good news is that if you perfect the waist and pelvis fit on your first pair, you can easily transfer those adjustment to the other option. Rise options include extra low maternity, low, mid, and high. The colour blocking option is a side panel that includes an optional pocket. There is also five waistband options. So really, mix and match all those options and this is a very versatile wardrobe staple.
Good to Know…
- If you are printing at home, you’ll love that 5oo4 Patterns are designed so that patterns pieces are generally contained on separate pages. If you have a printer that often pulls pages through the rollers slightly askew it can be helpful to assemble each pattern piece separately rather than all pieces as one giant puzzle.
- Fabric matters! These are designed for 50% stretch in ALL directions. If you want to avoid saggy pants by the end of the day, make sure the fabric recovers well to it’s original shape when you are testing the stretch. If it’s slow to recover, you WILL get saggy pants!
- Try out a gusset if you haven’t before. It might be the fit adjustment you didn’t know you needed, or you may not like it at all. But you won’t know unless you try.
- Leggings. All the leggings. I love that there is no side seam which is so much more comfortable for me. The fit is similar to the ninjas I hear (which, GASP, I haven’t actually made) but this pattern has all the waistband options.
- Fabric choices – I will definitely be trying a few of my black fabrics in the yoga silhouette to see if I can pass them off as dressy enough for work with tunics.
- I will probably try some of my own creative colour blocking. The base pattern is so reliable so it’s a great blank canvas to draw new seam lines wherever I want. Just remember to add back seam allowances if you hacking up your pattern too.
*This post contains affiliate links. I make a small commission if you buy a pattern using my link. It helps me pay for website hosting and fabric to make more plus size patterns to share with you! As always, opinions are entirely my own.