More pattern testing, tights and leggings2:13 pm
I've had a lot of fun testing the new tights pattern by Marilla Walker, and can see me using this pattern again and again. I pin frequently used patterns on my
shed studio wall, and this one is there right next to my two most frequently used dress patterns. I'm going to be on the lookout for ideal fabrics everytime I shop from now on.
Fabrics to make these tights and leggings are not too difficult to find, I have had mixed results, because of course I wanted to use some fabrics that were not strictly ideal. Some of my fabrics had great stretch in one direction, but less than ideal stretch in the other. The pattern calls for a 50% stretch in both directions, and ideally a knit that has good recovery.
Two pairs I ran up didn't meet that criteria and were not surprisingly too tight to get over my ankles, so not wanting to waste the fabric, I cut them into leggings (there is a cutting line on the pattern for leggings), finishing the hems with lingerie elastic. They were still not quite right for me, but as you can see worked great for my gymnastics mad Eden.
I loved this stretch lace in the shop and took a risk buying and using it knowing full well it wasn't quite stretchy enough in one direction, at only 35% stretch instead of the required 50%.
As well as the one piece tights option and the leggings option with this pattern, there is also a pieced option with a heel turn, great for stash busting smaller pieces of knit fabrics.
I made these leggings using a stretch mesh and a polyester knit, finishing the hems with lingerie elastic again. I often wear footless tights with socks and boots in the winter, and I expect I will layer these over an opaque legging or tights. They remind me of teen years back in the 80's when my friends and I wore layers of lacey leggings and tiny skirts, with backcombed hair and lace gloves too...not a look I'm eager to re invent, but the memory invoked by these leggings makes me smile.
Finally I have made up a pieced pair of tights with heel turn. I used a black polyester knit and some printed jersey from stash. I only had a few small pieces of the printed jersey left so I used those for the body and heel turns. I like the pop of colour on the heel and body, it makes me smile.
Green leggings: 100% polyester knit. At least 50% stretch in the length, but only 35% in the width. Cut out straight size 6, short leg one piece tights. Later altered to leggings.
Purple Lace Leggings: 100% polyester stretch lace. 50% stretch in the length ,but only 35% in the width. Cut out straight size 6, short leg one piece tights. Later altered to leggings.
Grey Leggings: 100% polyester stretch mesh, 100% polyester knit jersey. Both fabrics good stretch in both directions, at least 50%. Cut out pieced leggings short leg in size 6, no alterations. Hems finished with lingerie elastic.
Black and Print pieced tights: 100% polyester knit jersey, (both) 50% stretch in the length and around 45% in the width. (not ideal). Cut out size 6 pieced tights, short leg, no alterations. Good fit. Could be longer in the leg, but that is because I used the good stretch in the width, and the less than ideal stretch in the length. I got away with this because my legs measure 27.5" and the short leg pattern is 29".
Overall, a great pattern, that I will use again and again. The heel turns can be a bit fiddly on the pieced tights, especially if using a very lightweight fabric, but otherwise it is a very straightforward project if you choose your fabrics carefully. I recommend going to a fabric store and feeling, stretching,testing before buying.
This is the second part of my testing this pattern, for the first part click here.