Updated: Feb 23, 2020
If you've been following the Amelia Lane Designs or Apostrophe Patterns groups you can probably guess that the MyFit Leggings are my go-to leggings pattern. That is why I jumped at the opportunity to lead ALD's February Sew Along. If you haven't joined the Facebook event yet, now is the perfect time: you still have time to grab the discount codes for the pattern and fabrics and get your fabric order placed before we start cutting!
The MyFit Leggings pattern is unique in more ways than one. Not only is the pattern packed with options (which I'll explain a little further below), but because you put in all of your measurements and fabric information the end result is a perfect fit. (Note: sometimes it is necessary to tweak measurements to adjust the fit of future pairs: for example, you might not like where the crotch seam sits.) The SAL officially starts on Monday, but since the MyFits are a little prep heavy we're going to get started early.
Here is our schedule:
Prep: Fabric and measuring information Day 1: Pattern assembly Day 2: Cut fabric Day 3: Side panel options & gusset Day 4: Rise and inseam Day 5: Waistband and hem Days 6&7: Catch up & share
I'll be updating in the event and here as we go, but both will stay up so you can come back to them at any time. If you want to participate in the SAL don't forget to post your progress in the event posts starting Monday, February 17. I hope to see you there! Below is a collage of some of my favorite MyFit Leggings. From left to right I'm wearing the Geometric Panel with pocket, Ruched Side Panel with pocket, and (simple) Side Panel with pocket.
Fabric and Measuring:
The MyFit Leggings is my favorite leggings pattern and I have a lot of them. Part of why I like them is the ability to use nearly any fabric with at least 25% 2-way stretch and still get a great fit with very little extra work for me. All I need to do is generate a new pattern on the website using my new fabric information and print it off.
The next two links lead you to the group and are helpful tools to collect the measurements necessary for the pattern generator. I'm sorry, this is a long one, but I want to make sure we are all getting the best start. Please don't hesitate to ask questions if you have them!
The MyFit Leggings require a lot more measurements than other leggings, but the results are worth it. You only need to remeasure if you're sewing for someone else or your sizing changes. I keep a base pattern (Rachel's Leggings 1 in the screenshot) with all my measurements: when I want to generate a new pattern with a different option or fabrics I open up that pattern, scroll back to the beginning where the options are, change what needs to be changed, scroll back to the end, rename, and save. The original pattern remains and a new one is created with the changes made. You can use the same process to change measurements if needed.
In the files of the Apostrophe Patterns group there is a worksheet that you can print. This worksheet allows you to collect the information needed to generate your pattern without being next to a computer. The most difficult sets of measurements to collect are rise and depth. Jill created a short video showing how to get them. Apostrophe Patterns recently posted a video tutorial on YouTube for gathering all measurements.
Page 5 of the tutorial contains a link for calculating stretch. When determining the stretch of your fabric there are a few things to keep in mind: always test away from the edge, do not over stretch (this is something learned through experience, you will feel when a fabric has gone too far), recovery, and distorting of prints. Higher recovery fabrics can be compressive to negate that you can use a lower stretch percentage in the pattern generator. Some prints cannot be stretched as much as the fabric allows without impacting appearance. I also created a short video showing how I calculate stretch, I used both solids and prints.
Let's talk about options! The MyFit Leggings have a lot of options, both in fit and appearance. This image shows them all, but you can mix and match so the possibilities are endless!
For the fit options: snug fit is the traditional fitted legging, relaxed fit is a little more loose, relaxed with straight legs gives more of a pants feel. You can choose to straighten the legs from the thigh or the knee for the straight legs option.
Though there are 4 waistband options I have only used one: the semi-contour with rear pocket. It is my favorite, because there's no such thing as too many pockets. I use a high-recovery fabric for the lining (Dri Fit or the ATY from ALD are my favorites for this) so I don't need to worry about my pants slipping throughout the day. If you want to use a lower recovery fabric for your whole project you may want to use the elastic waist option or sew elastic into your seam. There are also contour and yoga waist options for you to choose from.
Now comes the fun part: the choices about side seams and panels! Seamless is the most simple, you cut each leg in one piece for no outside seam. For the side seam you cut each leg in two pieces so there's a seam on the outside and inside of the leg. The panels are the most fun for leggings. You can add a pocket to them too, which I love: it's big enough for my smart phone in it's case. You have the choice between a regular and wide side panel, geometric panel, and ruched panel. The geometric panel is a super fun way to use smaller scraps or extra pops of color. The ruched panel is really fun too, but I warn you, it is a fabric hog. I am short: my inseam to my ankle (which is what I use for this pattern) is 25" and I used about 1.5 yards length for my ruched panel with the side seam pocket. I actually didn't have enough length so I have a seam in mine which is hidden in the gathers.
I can't wait to see all of your creations next week! I'll see you on Monday when we put our patterns together. While we're waiting you can get your fabric washed and dried, take measurements, and start thinking about what options you want to use.
Today all of our prep work from the event pays off and we finally get to start. If you missed out on prep days the information is available in the event and here which I'll be updating daily as we go.
If you have not generated your pattern yet, now is the time. Login to your Apostrophe account and click “My Projects” on the top, right side of the main page. All of your purchased pattern generators will show up here, as well as any patterns you’ve generated and saved (how cool!): click on the “MyFit Leggings” and input all of your measurements from the worksheet and select your options. There is even an option for seam allowance! Name and save your project and download. The instructions are a separate file, go ahead and download that too.
Before printing the entire pattern print the first page to measure your test square. If it is not correct double check your print settings in Adobe and try again before printing your pattern. I use a Mac so my settings may be different than yours. For printing patterns I select a custom scale (of 100%) and auto portrait/landscape.
Print your pattern and assemble with glue or tape, using the stars as guides. I like to use a window, but you can also use a hole-punch to punch holes through the stars. I haven’t tried this yet because I’d have to go buy a hole punch and the window trick works fine, as long as it’s daytime. Cut out your pattern pieces and you’re set for day 2! Post a picture of you progress in the official post for your daily entry; you can catch up any time during the week.
I'm making my daughter a pair with the geometric panel and all the pockets. The pictures below show my assembled and cut out pattern with my fabrics on the left and measuring my test square and using a window to match my stars on the right.
Welcome to Day 2 of the MyFit #SALwithALD!Today is all about cutting your fabric. Before getting started take a look at the pattern pieces. They will indicate whether or not they are mirrored and how the grain of your fabric should run. It is important to line your grain line on the pattern with your fabric grain. This will help prevent twisting of the leggings while being worn.
Remember to cut out (away from the pieces) or draw on your pattern markings. This will help you line up all of your pattern pieces later.
There are two ways to cut mirrored pattern pieces. The first is to fold your fabric over along the grain, just enough for your pattern piece, place your pattern down and cut around. Some fabrics have a very visible grain and it’s easy to do. Others are a little more difficult and it takes practice. One way I check this with lighter fabrics, like double brushed polyester, is to run my hand gently along the fold. If I’ve folded off grain the fabric will wrinkle.
The second way to cut mirrored pieces is to cut on a single layer of fabric. Place your pattern piece right side up, cut around, then flip it over and cut your second piece. Remember to keep your fabric facing the same direction for both cuts (either right side up or right side down). This is especially useful if you are trying to fussy cut prints (to get the image just right) or use scraps where layered cutting may be more difficult.
I cut my geo panels from scraps of Marine, Xanadu, and Teaberry DriFit I had from other makes. Because this fabric is heavier and the grain is easy to see on this fabric I was able to stack my pieces and place the pattern by feeling for both layers. To help visualize the geo panel to determine which fabric to use where I place my pattern pieces together. I labeled my pieces after cutting: this helps me to know which side is the right side and for sewing together correctly later. I used chalk on the black and washable markers on the colored pieces. These steps are shown in the collage below. My black fabric is ATY. I normally use it for bands (which I love), but this is my first time using it for leggings and I’m so excited to see how it holds up to my rough and tumble toddler. Are you trying out any new fabrics for your MyFits?
Post your progress in the Day 2 post to get your entry in. Don’t forget that you can catch up at any time while the event is going.
We are completing our legs today. That means sewing our side panels and attaching them to front and back leg pieces and doing the first step of the gusset.
If you are not using a serger to construct your leggings it is important to use a stretch stitch on your sewing machine. My favorite is the Triple Stitch: it is a straight stretch stitch accomplished by my machine sewing back and forth in a straight line. If your machine does not have a stretch stitch (like many vintage machines) you will need to practice to find what you like best. A wide zigzag gives most amount of stretch, but you will need to adjust your length to get the desired look on the outside of your garment (too long and your seam will ripple, too short and your stitches will pop). Stretch thread in your bobbin is also an option, but I do not have experience with that.
Today is an easy day for those that chose a seamless option, without the gusset. You get to sit back and relax. If you chose the seamless option with the gusset your only step today is to sew one side of the gusset. Place the triangle on one of the back curves, pointing towards the waist and attach at your selected seam allowance. This is the same for all options.
If you are doing a side seam, pin or clip your front and back leg pieces together along the straight seam and attach using your selected seam allowance.
For any of the pocketed side panel options attach the pocket band to the top of the side panel (after ruching or completing the geometric portion for those options) and then lay on top of the top panel piece using your markings or notches as guides. Sew the bottom of the pocket down and then sew the side panel into the straight edges of your leg pieces. If you’re unsure of which leg piece to sew to which side of the panel I find it useful to lay my pieces out right sides up. The top of your pieces should make a smooth line. After you have them in the correct order simply fold one piece over on top of the other and pin or clip and attach at your desired seam allowance. If skipping the pocket construct your panels and then attach.
The geometric panel is probably the most difficult option for the MyFits so I have taken step-by-step pictures of my process, shown in the collage below. The first thing I do is lay all of my pieces out right side up how they’ll be on the leggings. Then, starting at the bottom, fold piece “C” onto piece “B” right sides together and pin or clip in place. I then baste my pieces together with a long, loose, regular straight stitch using my selected seam allowance. Open up the piece to check for shifting. If everything looks good serge or sew, then pull your basting stitches if you want (I personally don’t find it necessary). An added bonus to basting if you have a serger is that you can use those stitches as a guide for your serge instead of the lines on the machine. Press open and topstitch if desired. I am all about topstitching when I can because I don’t like the feel of my seams flipping. Repeat the process until your side panel is complete.
If today is not a sewing day for you please comment “No sewing necessary” in the daily post. If it is a sewing day for you show off those completed legs! I can’t wait to see how everyone is coming along.
We've made it to day 4 and our leggings are almost done!
Today is rise and inseam day. The MyFit Leggings have you sew your rises first and then your inseam. If you have a long inseam this can be daunting, but if you lay your leggings out flat to pin or clip together it will help. I like to pin my rises together (you can flip the seams opposite directions to reduce bulk), then my ankles and the middle of the calf curve. From there I pin evenly between the rest along the entire seam. Slippery knits I place my pins close together to reduce shifting.
The benefit of sewing the inseam last is an increased range of motion. This will be incredibly beneficial if you do yoga, gymnastics, or other activities that require a significant range of motion or if you use a lower stretch fabric.
You can sew your inseams first and then your front and back rise in one motion though if you want. To do this you sew both inseams, flip one leg right side out and slide it into the other. If I use this method I do not have my seams going opposite directions because I like my inseams to fold back, having them go opposite directions would irritate me. This method is best used if you don’t use the triangle gusset.
Don't forget to share your completed main body in the event post if you're participating in the event and you have time to catchup at the end!
Happy Friday! We’ve made it to Day 5 of the MyFit Leggings #SALwithALD!
Today we get to finish our leggings by finishing the waist (by assembling and attaching the waistband or sewing in elastic) and hemming or banding the legs. If using the elastic waistband option remember to pre-stretch your elastic. I also don’t use pattern measurements for elastic; I wrap the elastic around the wearer’s waist until you have a snug, but comfortable fit. Give yourself a little extra length for overlapping and then sew in according to the instructions. The reason I do this is because not all elastic is created equally and you may find that you need a lot less length than the pattern calls for.
The yoga and contour waistbands are pretty easy. Just remember to mark the top of your contour pieces so you sew them together properly. The waistband should curve down, but it can be hard to tell after sewing. Topstitching is optional, but if the wearer has a tendency to tug on their waistband it is a good idea as it gives extra stability.
I am a huge fan of the semi-contour pocket waistband, so that is what my toddler demanded. I have a feeling I’m going to be using this waistband on all her pants after she tries these out! My preferred method of installing zippers onto anything is using a washable glue stick; it eliminates the needs for pins or clips and holds everything together nicely. I place my zipper on a piece of paper to protect my work surface and apply the glue to the right side of my zipper tape, set the glued side against the edge of the right side of one of the pocket pieces. I prefer set the glue with my iron, but you can give it time to dry if desired. The iron trick only works with nylon coil or metal zippers: cast zippers will melt. Repeat for the other side, lining up the fabric pieces. Press the pocket pieces open (you can use the glue here to help hold everything in place) and topstitch on each side of the zipper. If you need to move your zipper pull at any time during installation remember to do so with the needle down. Finish construction of the waistband and then topstitch before sewing onto the leggings body. I like to topstitch all the way around the pocket to keep whatever is put into it in the proper spot.
The collage below shows my completed leggings in the center with waistband construction on either side: gluing the zipper and lifting the presser foot to move the zipper stop on the left and topstitching and checking the pocket size against the lining on the right.
Your leggings are done! Share your finished leggings in the comments of the Day 5 post to get your daily entry in. Tomorrow is a catch up day if you’ve fallen behind and Sunday is our share day so you have a couple more days if you’ve fallen behind or haven’t started yet. I can’t wait to see all of your finished MyFits!
We had beautiful weather today so we took a trip to the park to try out the new leggings and she absolutely loved them. The pockets ended up full of little treasures. And in true toddler style, the first thing that happened was to jump in the mud. Haha.