Sunday, 11 January 2015

Alice tights/leggings pattern launch

I'm so pleased to be able to announce the release of the Alice tights and leggings pattern today! It feels so bizarre, because I really had never contemplated making tights, but now can't get enough of them! I have sampled so many that I am taking drastic action and binning all RTW tights apart from some standard black opaque tights that are actually quite comfy (good old M&S).

I imagine that a lot of you are thinking the same as I was, that you can't be bothered to sew tights. Why would you when there are so many other cool things to be making? Seriously though, these are so quick to make and they are really addictive.

So I guess you want more details, so here's some descriptive bits from the instruction booklet

This pattern for sew at home tights and leggings is designed to fit your body measurements and leg length, as well as offer superior comfort. The elasticated high waistband and shaped legs mean that the tights do not shift around like shop bought ones and can be made in a variety of fabrics from fancy lace to warm knits. They are sewn together along a discreet inside leg seam that starts at the toes (tights) or ankle (leggings). Seams are kept minimal around the foot for comfort.

The leg is cut so that the foot is entirely on the straight grain making this view suitable for fabrics with a stripe or a distinctive directional pattern. Interesting colour blocking can be achieved here with the different components, as well as being a great option if you are short on yardage.

This view has a quicker and simpler construction than VIEW A as the leg is cut as one piece. The foot curves off grain to fit the shape of your foot, making this more suitable for plain fabrics or an all over non-directional pattern.

VIEW C  - LEGGINGS (photo's on legs to follow)
This view makes use of the pattern piece for view B, but with the foot removed and a cuff added to the bottom. It's an obvious extra, but is brought up to date with the ankle cuff. These work brilliantly
in thick, warm fabrics, but look equally nice and dressy in fine mesh material.

Another variation which is not part of these instructions would be to hem the shorts top of VIEW A and wear them as shorts.

 'Actual' body measurements are provided only and not finished measurements as there is negative ease designed into the pattern. The pattern is supplied with three different leg lengths, each having it's own PDF, as well as foot sizes EU 35-42, so you really can tailor these to fit!

As for suitable fabrics, well I have discovered that stretchy fabrics vary so greatly that the best advice is to go out and get touchy feely with it. Fabrics must be 4-way stretch and contain at least 50%
stretch to work. This a very strict rule as less stretch will absolutely NOT work with this pattern. This totally doesn't mean that suitable fabrics are hard to find, but don't be tempted to use something with less stretch because you like the print or colour. You may be very disappointed. If you can't get down to the shops then shop online, but ask for samples first before buying. I have personally had a lot of luck with Fabricland (they have a great dancewear/swimwear fabric section) and Minerva. Both do mail order and I'm sure both send out samples. My grey cotton/lycra and black nylon/spandex lace samples were both from Fabricland in Reading.

 Here is a little list of suggested fabrics
  • Cotton Lycra/elastane with at least 5% Lycra/elastane – Makes thick tights and is widely available.
  • Nylon Lace fabrics with at least 8% spandex – Makes fine, delicate tights and is widely available.
  • Viscose Spandex blends  - Can be quite drapey and heavy, but with some suggested adjustments can make lovely tights.
  • 100% polyester knits with a stretchy, drapey handle – Perfect for tights and is widely available. Often no information about stretch, so important to test or ask questions.
  • Wool  - Much harder to find, but perfect for tights if knitted with spandex or lycra.
My advice is to start out with something like cotton lycra that you know will work to assess the fit and then get more adventurous with your fabrics for following pairs.

So there it is. I shall be back later this week with a few more of my samples to talk about and the pattern is now available to buy in my Etsy shop.

Please note - it has been incorrectly suggested that an online tutorial was used to create this pattern. This was based on assumption without prior knowledge of my pattern drafting process. This has now happily been resolved!


Elizabeth Truscott said...

I think I might have to get this one but I have to admit I'm a little afraid of making the right fabric choices. Congrats on another release marilla!

Marilla Walker said...

I may have gone a bit overboard with the warnings, but there are plenty of fabrics out there with the right amount of stretch! Don't be afraid! ;-)

Jana said...

Say, have you tried making any of the pairs with an ordinary sewing machine? Can it be done? Or does one really need an overlocker?
I’ve tried making leggings and it was really hard to find a stitch that would work for hemming them so that I could still pull them on over my foot. Do any of the seams in these have to stretch more than an ordinary zigzag stitch?
I’d really like to make my own tights, I just don’t want to buy another pattern that won’t work for me because I don’t own an overlocker.

Marilla Walker said...

Hi Jana, good question! These have been tested on just a sewing machine and are completely fine. Check out this link to Jeanette's blog who has made multiple pairs without an overlocker. I suggest zig zag stitch throughout t retain the amount of stretch needed.

Jana said...

Thank you, Marilla! I’m really tempted to try this out, so I’ll definitely put the pattern onto my wish list right away! It would be such fun to be able to make my own crazy tights!

Anonymous said...

Congrats hard working lady, another amazing pattern! I'll be on the lookout for a suitable fabric on my next fabric shopping trip so I can try these out soon x

Trine (groovy baby) said...

Brillant pattern!!! Congrats on another fab pattern ♡

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the new pattern, I think I'm getting a little bit addicted as I actually squealed when I found that super stretchy lace and realised I could make another pair! They are so quick and fun to make, need to make some leggings next! X

Alice said...

I'm so excited! Definitely going to need to go fabric shopping though, as I have barely any stretch fabric at all.

Ruth Procter said...

Looks like you've created another great pattern! I wouldn't ever have thought of sewing tights, but you might have convinced me to give it a go - I'll be adding this to my sewing list!