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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Self drafted leggings

I am sewing clothes for myself these days, after a long hiatus from dressmaking, inspired by a need to have comfortable clothes that fit me, now that my 60's are taking away my waistline. I want to make clothes that I will actually wear, and that is usually leggings and tops made from knit fabrics.

I bought lots of knit fabrics from Fabricland during sales, so that I can experiment. I am finding there is so much variation in knit fabrics - what a learning curve. The patterns that I have all seem to call for 4-way stretch fabrics, while the stretch knits that I have in my stash are mostly 2-way stretch. I will have to learn to be more careful when buying knit fabrics.

However, I decided yesterday and today that I wanted to dive into sewing leggings even though the fabric that I had to work with was a stable black ponte and definitely 2-way stretch. I have a Burda 7382 leggings pattern, and when I began to work with it, I realized that it went up to size 16 and according to my measurements, I needed size 18. I made it anyway, adding to the rise front and back, and reducing the crotch seam from 5/8" to 1/4", otherwise sewing the pattern. It worked quite well, and in fact is a little loose in the calves, so a guarded success, especially as I was compromising with the fabric not being as stretchy as required.

Then I decided to be really brave, and having read about self drafted leggings on the blogosphere and Pinterest, I searched and found http://www.onelittleminuteblog.com/2013/01/drafting-and-sewing-leggings-stretch-yourself .  What a revelation, what a success!

The drafting process was easy peasy, and the pair of leggings, made from the same less than ideal ponte knit, fit like a dream, although not quite high enough in the back when I sit down, due to my generous behind.

I immediately made another pair from the self drafted pattern, this time in dark grey velour, also 2-way stretch. These ones have a really nice high waist that I find so comfortable, half way up my chest. So cozy. I am going to find some 4-way knit and I bet those will be totally awesome.

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