Monday, 29 December 2014

Me-made tights!

I have done something completely unexpected and made myself some tights! Not only that, but it's going to me my new pattern, but before I get onto that. I shall go through the how's and why's.


It all started off with a striped wool knit and a random comment about tights really. It kind of flicked a switch that wouldn't go off until I explored the idea properly. I remember Carolyn's tights that she wore during me-made May and I was in total in awe of them at the time. She took wearing me-mades to a whole new level for me. I do love wearing hand made, but I was quite happy to sit back and accept that I could not be bothered with the idea of making underwear, tights or t-shirts. Alot has changed this year and my ambitions have grown, so I re-read her blog post where she explained how she made them and set myself a challenge.

The first pair I made from that tutorial are totally wearable, but the pattern needed refinining for me to want to use it time and time again, so I made a tights block. Obviously the more work I did, the more it made sense to make it into my next pattern. I'm not saying that this will always happen to every self-draft I ever do, but it feels that this is something that alot of people could use.

I don't know about you, but I have a real issue with RTW tights. I buy Large and sometimes X-Large, just to get the length I want. I am not tall and have a 29" inside leg, but as you can see from the photos, I have curvy legs which stretches tights on the width leaving me little for the length. I also love to have tights that go right up over my hips and cover my belly. I'm always tugging tights up as high as possible in a bid to reduce drop crotch and muffin top, which makes me question why didn't I make these sooner? Hopefully I've addressed all these things and more, but really don't know if this is something that fellow sewists want to make too. I can't tell you how fun (and easy) they are to make though. Making tights is reeeally addictive and I'm even considering binning all RTW tights. Bold moves and statements a plenty.

So what are they really like? See for yourselves. FYI, since posting pics of me in a swimming costume I am not even a little bit phased about these pictures. Funny how these things go!

This first pair has a two piece leg (main leg piece with a shorts top) and heel turn gusset (like you have in a pair of socks)...


Whilst this second pair is directly inspired by Carolyn's tights with a one piece leg and inner leg seam. These are the easiest and quickest, whilst the first pair have some really good colour blocking and stash busting potential.


The waistband is finished with 1.5" wide elastic for a secure top and I have test worn all of my samples to date and there is little shifting and crotch sagging throughout the day. They are designed to be snug and smooth to reduce mis-shaping, but are not tight like support wear. The grey pair and the shorts top of the lace pair are made from cotton lycra, so it's actually like wearing some nice warm leggings. I didn't fancy having lace around my bum and tum, so used the softer cotton lycra instead!

Time for some more photos




These were sewn entirely on my overlocker using a three thread stitch, but if you are used to sewing knits on your sewing machine then a zig zag would do. My favourite samples so far are the lace ones for looking like actual tights and the cotton lycra for being so warm. I have not used any specialist or technical fabrics, just whatever was available at my local fabricland. The lace is a nylon/spandex mix, the cotton lycra has 5%lycra and the coral and purple are 100% polyester knits. All have at least 50% stretch.







So, what do you think, are you interested? Is this something you had ever considered?

The pattern is with the testers as we speak and will be available to buy just past the middle of January. The pattern comes in three leg lengths (29, 32 and 35") with different foot size options (EU35 to 42). There is absolutely nothing stopping you however from reading Carolyns post and having a go at creating your own pattern. It was actually quite fun to do, but be careful where you place those pins!!!









20 comments:

helen siddon said...

Think you're on to a real winner here, I've raided my knit stash and found at least three contenders. Absolutely love the lace ones, totally brilliant idea! X

Anonymous said...

Yes!
KathrynT

Vicki Halliday said...

Fantastic! I've recently switched to bamboo tights to combat smelly feet & shoes but colours are seriously restricted. I see a solution on the horizon! Thank you! Can't wait to try this out.

Katie said...

I'm definitely interested! Regular tights are far too cold now and I can't afford £20+ bamboo/wool ones, so making my own custom fit ones would be awesome.

teridodds said...

Amazing! Yours look great!

Tassadit Rue des Renards said...

Tights are about the one thing I couldn't really see myself making… Now I'm thinking I might change my mind very soon! :-)

englishgirlathome.com said...

These look amazing. Love your fabric choices.

JustSewJenna said...

Looking forward to sewing some of these up!!

beassewingadventures said...

I love these so hard!

These could be so useful for me, so I'm really looking forward to seeing your pattern appear in the new year.

StarryA said...

Can't wait for this! Have wanted to sew my own tights since seeing Carolyn's post too, but thought I wouldn't be good at drafting my own. Plus I am too lazy. Have already made leggings so hopefully I can make these too. I guess this pattern could also serve as leggings :)

Marilla Walker said...

Funny you should say that Starry A, as there is a cutting line for leggings, but I'm not sure I shall include instructions for them.

Caroline said...

Wowzers you are an awesome one-woman-garment-making machine right now. Loving those funky tights Marilla x

Jennie said...

Well now I want to make some tights...... :D

Melanie Y said...

I HATE store bought tights...there are so many things wrong about them, esp if you're plus sized like moi. I didn't think making them would be easier, but I'm keen to see your pattern.

Alice said...

I'm so excited for this pattern! I can't wait to try it out! Yours are gorgeous.

Marysia said...

Hi there,
Just found out about your tights pattern through a guest blogger on Rhonda Buss's blog.

We would all love to know how we can get the pattern. Would be fantastic to make lovely tights for my daughter at Uni, and if I am lucky some for myself.

Fabulous design by what I can see.
Thanks for sharing.
Marysia.

Marilla Walker said...

Hi Marysia, I am due to release the pattern next week! It will be announced on this blog and available in my Etsy shop very soon.

Pippa Knight said...

Im late to the party as always but totaly agree with you on the subject of shop bought tights and struggling to find ones that fit/stay up.
This might have to be my next project, after all those day to day tshirsts i keep promising myself...

Sophie said...

I just stumbled upon this link by accident and I am so over the moon about the existence of this pattern that I could kiss you right now! I have spent the past 15 years looking for leggings with feet to replace my endless quest for a pair of tights that actually works for me, and wondering why nobody makes them. I have never considered making my own, though I have cut the waistband off shop bought ones (they subsequently ended up around my knees), bought plus size tights to tuck into my bra (same result) and tried wearing too-long leggings tucked under my heel (another fail), along with wasting an insane amount of money on tights that ended up in the bin the moment I got them home and tried them on. I will buy this pattern immediately and am fully prepared for it to change my life. Thank you, thank you!

Marilla Walker said...

No problem Sophie, I'm glad they are what you want! :-)