Monday, April 15, 2013

serger and leggings learning

Back in November I took a Serger class at Sew L.A.  I know how to use a serger, but I never felt like I got it quite right, ya know?  The class was super helpful for a couple reasons.  The instructor had us thread our machine with 4 different colored threads, then tighten and loosen each one individually, making thread samples.  Ahhhh haaaa!  It was so, so helpful seeing each color and the tension changes.  Certainly makes trouble shooting tension much easier! 
Plus, I never really understood the differential feed thing, or how the right and wrong side of a fabric can affect the feed. 

Right after the serger class, I had signed up for a leggings class with the same instructor, Rebecca Prange.  Leggings seemed really simple to me, but I've had the most problems with simple patterns lately.  It seems the more simple they are, my fit issues glare at me.  Does anyone else feel like this happens to them?

The class was cool because there were all different sewing levels in there, and different reasons for taking the class.  From a lady making leggings for her daughter, to a very tall lady who could never find leggings to fit lengthwise.  And she had this awesome metallic silver fabric, wish I'd taken a picture.  They were like robo-leggings, ha!

The pattern we used was Jalie 2920.  The pattern is straight forward, with sizes nested from toddler to woman's size 22.  You'll certainly get your moneys worth out of the pattern if you trace.

Our instructor even had a handy little companion guide she made, with suggested knit fabric swatches for future reference.  How nice is that?

I found my fabric at Mood.  If I remember correctly it was $16/yard, and it was 60" wide.  I bought 1 1/2 yards to be on the safe side.  It's super stretchy and so very soft.  Everyone in the class was petting it, hahaha!  I have no idea what the fabric content is but I love wearing them!

you can see my sweet photoshop skills on the fence behind me, aww yeah.
There were old paint cans there, now they're gone, hehe

The pattern suggested we cut the elastic a couple inches smaller than the waist band, however, the pattern already had negative ease.  After attaching the elastic, but before turning down the waist I tried them on-too tight, ugh, will.never.wear.   I recut my elastic the same size as my pattern waist and reattached, much better and room for chowing down :)

One thing I'd never used before was Wonder Tape.  It's a roll of double sided sticky tape that holds two pieces of fabric together.  It's only about 1/4" wide and you just cut off how much you need.  Our instructor suggested it for the slippery knits before running our pieces through the serger.  You just put a tiny piece on at intervals along seam lines and it acts as extra reinforcement.  Plus it washes away.  I'm a new convert.  I think I got it at Joann's and I've been using it on all my other knit projects since.

She said be careful with the iron after using the wonder tape as too much ironing will kind of cement it in place and may not wash out well.  Because I don't iron my knit seams as religiously as woven ones, the wonder tape is perfect.

I LOVE these leggings.  Love them.  I'm going to be making more pairs, but I think for the pregnancy I'll lower the waistband a few inches.  Right now these are still fine, but I roll down the elastic top so it sits in a more comfy spot on my belly.



  1. Cute! I love the print you chose-- it's super cool! I've seen a few tutorials for drafting leggings, but to be honest, that doesn't sound at all fun to me, so I'm off to take a look at this pattern!

    1. Thank you :) I think this is a great pattern, go for it! I want to make 100 pairs and just live in them forever, haha!