Category Archives: Sewing

FO: Ananda yoga pants

Last fall, in a fit of self-delusion about my level of free time, I purchased the Sew Fab pattern bundle. I figured if I sewed even 4 or 5 patterns from the set of 26, I would have recouped the money spent (compared with buying those patterns individually). So here’s the first one, yoga pants for my girls.

I’m a little dumbfounded by how quickly Meredith grows. Every year, it seems like I have to buy pants for her in midwinter because she’s outgrown the pants I bought her in the fall. How can someone like me (seriously, 5’4″) have such a leggy daughter!? Such a mystery.

Anyway, the pattern – I recommend it, but with some caveats. First, the size chart seems way off. Second, the front rise is too long (I cut off an inch). Third, the pants really look better hemmed. Fourth, the waistband functions better if it’s folded down and bar-tacked at the hips to keep it in place. Detailed review of the pattern is here.

Fabric is from the Fabric Fairy, a cotton knit. I actually made the purple pants first, for Jordan and Casey, but neither liked them and both flat-out refused to wear them. Casey even wailed, “No! They’re not my favorite!” when I asked her to put them on. Sigh. Meredith thought they were amazing and insisted on wearing them, but they were a little tight and definitely too short.

But since she made such a loving fuss over those poor rejected pants (and my poor ego, alas), I made Meredith her own pair in pink. She adored them so much that Jordan came around and started wearing the purple, and recently, Casey wistfully asked if I’d make her a pair of zigzag pants, too. These kids just kill me, ha ha.

FO: Hummingbird peplum top

I finished this top a few weeks ago and finally managed to get some photos snapped one late afternoon.

This is the Hummingbird peplum top from Cake patterns (pattern here). The fabric is ITY jersey (100% polyester), purchased probably about a year ago from Gorgeous Fabrics.

It purports to have a “4-leaf clover” shaped peplum, but I couldn’t tell what that meant after reviewing the pattern, line drawings, or even pictures from other sewing bloggers. But now I get it – see above, it dips down a little bit at the center back (and also the center front, the center left, and center right).

It looks like it’s riding a little high on the front, but I think that’s actually because I’m pulling my arms back (to show the side seam). When my arms are hanging at my sides, the hem seems pretty even all around.

I’m still not a fan of the cut-on sleeves, it feels like there’s just too much room in the armpit (the upper-body equivalent of pants with a too-low crotch?). The sleeves bunch a little too much with my arms down, too, even with this thin fabric.

The peplum is a new style for me. I’d previously avoided peplums because hey, no waist to accentuate, but this was pretty drapey and looked pretty subtle. I like this one!

If you’re interested in the technical details, the full pattern review is here.

FO: Snow mittens

Happy Friday, everyone!

The weather in SE Minnesota seems to have gone from late summer straight to winter. A couple weeks ago, I was mowing the lawn in a t-shirt and jeans, but this week, it’s so cold that I am wearing my full-length down-filled puffer coat for the morning commute. Crazy.

Our daycare has been reminding the parents to get hats and mittens for the kids because they still go outside to play every day unless it’s brutally cold (<25F or something). We managed to get everyone hats last week, but Matt was shopping alone that night and brought home mittens that turned out to be too big for the younger sisters. (My hands nearly fit into them!) I went back to Target yesterday, but with a big sale going on, the mitten rack was literally stripped bare. I snagged the very last pair of toddler mittens – pink, thankfully (because the girls at the age where they can recognize and reject “boy clothes”) – but we still needed another pair.

A sensible Mama would go to another store, of course, but a crafty Mama would just “whip up” a set of mittens. Guess which kind of Mama I am? 😮

Aside: I cringe when sewing bloggers talk about how quickly they can put something together. T-shirt in a half hour! Chanel jacket in a week and a half! It bugs me only because it makes me think, so a pair of mittens, how bad could that be? Right? Riiiiight?

Let’s get this out of the way – I spent almost 4 hours making a pair of mittens. That includes time spent driving to the store to buy $3 of Insul-Bright and $2 of plastic clips. Let’s also make this clear – I am not sewing mittens to save money. That 30-min trip to Walmart to get $10 mittens doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?

I also left the kitchen a total mess after dinner and lost >1 hr of sleep that I will never get back. Why did I do all of this? Because I didn’t want to have new mittens for only 1 sister and not the other. Because the pattern was free and I had almost everything I needed in my stash (PUL, FOE, thin fleece – leftovers from the cloth diaper days). Because, for once, I just wanted to throw my sometimes tediously orderly life (we must clean the kitchen after dinner! we must get to bed by 10:30!) to the wind and follow my heart, which was begging to spontaneously whip something up for my kids.

I had googled for “DIY mitten PUL” and ended up following this free pattern and tutorial. I loved, loved, loved the directions and tutorial. I loved the 3 layers of waterproofness, insulation, and softness. I loved the elastic sewn to the exterior layer. I loved the gusseted thumb. I loved the FOE binding.

But I HATED the mitten pattern itself. Maybe it was just me, but I could not get anything to align on the thumb area, to the point where I was wondering if I’d somehow reversed L and R pieces or was going batsh&t-crazy. I ended up soldiering on and taking in a massive seam allowance here and there, just so I could sew through all the layers at the same time. I have no idea what went wrong.

Speaking of seam allowances (SA), I could not sew through 4 layers of fleece and Insul-bright with a 1/4″ SA; everything was shifty and I inevitably lost some layers. Because the pattern author says the mittens fit kids ages 2-8, I figured I could take a 3/8″-1/2″ SA (my kid is 3). I did trim the SAs down after sewing.

So I highly recommend the tutorial and layers and the general ideas presented, but if I make mittens again, I will definitely use SOME OTHER PATTERN. (Maybe this one?) The Insul-bright is marketed as being usable in clothing, but it seemed oddly crinkly because of the layer of mylar. I kept thinking about the word “creepy” as I was sewing through it, so maybe I will swap that out for Thinsulate the next time. I added the little clip because I have them on my own (storebought) gloves, and it really does help me keep them together.

The tutorial doesn’t specifically mention how to apply the FOE. I measured the amount I needed, sewed it in a circle, sort of quarter-marked it, and sewed it on using a triple zigzag.

Casey and her new mittens

FO: Pamela’s Perfect T

Years ago, I bought Pamela’s Patterns Perfect T-Shirt and made a halfhearted attempt with it, using some interlock from Joann’s. I don’t know where I went wrong (notes gone and wadder long since trashed), but the fabric grew horrendously widthwise, even before the sewing was complete, until I had a belly-baring cropped shirt with some 10 inches of positive ease. Attractive, you betcha.

I put it all away, time passed, I had children, moved to Rochester, etc. The pattern was unearthed from a moving box in June. I’d forgotten that I’d also ordered the neckline and sleeve variations, so I was happily surprised to see it stored right along side.

This pattern has numerous fit “problems” already corrected (including high round back and forward shoulder). I also liked that the sleeve was NOT cut on the fold (whose arms are that symmetric, anyway). The folks on PatternReview rave about this t-shirt, so I was ready to give it a second chance with better fabric (this time, purchased from Gorgeous Fabrics). As for size, I was on the upper end of indicated range for size S, but the favorite storebought shirt that I used for comparison seemed slightly wider, so I started by cutting halfway between size S and M.

I tried it on as I went along and eventually trimmed all of the extra seam allowance away, so I guess size S was indeed right for me. This fit me remarkably well right out of the envelope – I made no fit adjustments. I changed the sleeve length to my favorite length comfort-wise (I tend to pull my long sleeves up to just below the elbow), but now that I’m reading up on Amy Herzog’s sleeve recommendations (plus her interesting thoughts on sweater length here), maybe this isn’t the best length visually. Honestly, I get kind of lost in these analyses, but maybe I’ll just try elbow sleeves next time?

I also added a bit of length to be able to turn up a deeper hem. This was maybe not a great idea because the hem is curved, and I ended up with a little bump of excess fabric on the turned-up portion that I couldn’t quite steam out. Well, it’s hidden, anyway. I used a coverstitch for all hems.

Instead of using the crew/scoop/v neckline of the base pattern, I used the ballet neckline variation from the supplemental pattern. The other minor alteration – the neckband piece is 2″ wide instead of the recommended 2.5″, mostly because my quilting ruler is 2″ wide. (I’m starting to sound like OverlyHonestMethods).

To apply the neckband, I used Sarah Veblen’s video tutorial to determine the length of the binding. Instead of trying to apply differential stretch around the circumference (she quarter-marks and just eyeballs the varying amounts of stretch needed for the part of the neckline being sewn, a technique that never fails to amaze me), I quarter-marked and then halved again (ie, 8 pins) the neckline and neckband and stretched the neckband evenly, matching pins, as I sewed. I think it went in fabulously. I serged the inside and then coverstitched from the outside.

From the side view, you can see that the front hem is kind of far away from my body. Then again, having a loose front gives my stomach some room, so perhaps this isn’t a bad thing. Still, I’m going to try the darted front variant (darts in t-shirts, yeah, I know, sort of weird) to see if that will help the fabric hang less off my bust.

Lastly, I followed Deepika’s link to a Etsy vendor who sells darling little sewing labels. My sewing has advanced (I think) to the level that I can make clothes that be worn, worn in public, and worn for a few years. That deserves a label, right? I put this one on the inside, but even with the corners trimmed, it might be a little itchy.

I bought 50 labels (25 for me, 25 for girls’ clothes) – you’re thinking “Ambitious, much?” – and even Matt laughed when he saw the little overflowing bag. Ah, heck. I think it’s a nice finishing touch.

FO: Colette Sorbetto

More than 100 members of PatternReview have sewn the Colette Sorbetto top (reviews here). A sewist would have to be living under a rock to be unaware of this cute freebie.

I made 2 mock-ups out of muslin because I am nervous like that, and I finally went with a size 10 (graded out to size 12 at the hips) with modifications.

I lengthened the top by 1 inch. I initially lowered the bust dart (just because so many reviews said it was necessary), but during muslin #1, it was clear that I should have left it where it originally was. My right shoulder slopes more steeply than my left, probably because I always carry a purse/diaper bag/work duffle on the left side, and caused the armscye to gape. I angled the shoulder seam downward by about 1 cm, which pulled up the extra fabric and fixed the problem.

No more gaping. Also, note to self: turn off the camera flash next time.

For the armscye binding, I followed Grainline’s wonderful tutorial on making flat hidden bias facings, it looked a little cleaner to me.

Check out that sloping right shoulder!

The fabric is 100% cotton, a not-quite-sheer batik from the always fabulous Ginny’s Fine Fabrics and Support Group. I love going to this store – I only wish I could sew better and do justice to the beautiful textiles that she offers. Ginny is a terrific lady with radiant enthusiasm, the kind of person that you hope stays in business forever.

I debated putting in some tiny vertical fisheye tucks on the back, just to give it the suggestion of shaping. However, in the muslin, I couldn’t pinch them out in a way that didn’t leave the bottom hem all wonky, so I left them off. I’ll have to think about that some more.

I love the colors of this top, and it’s wonderfully light and breezy to wear. Still, I do not love how much it wrinkles. By the end of the day, it’s a mass of creases across the stomach. I actually have taken to tucking this in, at least the creases are covered up.

I’m trying to embrace the summertime casual (crinkly) look, or maybe I should try sitting less throughout the day. Or maybe I can just stop thinking about wrinkles altogether and just smile giddily and think to myself, HEY, I SEWED THIS THING AND IT FITS.

Gushiness aside, I’m actually on the fence about whether this is a good style for me. There’s something about seeing photos that suddenly makes me more ruthlessly critical about my appearance. Those are some seriously rounded shoulders, yo. Also, the boxy shape does my postpartum waistlessness no favors. (Ah, who am I kidding, I never had a waist.) I bought fabric to make a second Sorbetto, but now I’m hesitating. Any opinions on style gladly received!

Semi-unintentional participation in a RTW fast; also, chicken.

Sewing blogger Sarah Gunn, probably better known as GoodbyeValentino, recently went through a 12-month “RTW fast.” Basically, she stopped buying ready-to-wear (RTW) clothing and made her own clothes for the whole year. She’s a fabulous sewist with an excellent eye for high-end fashion and great fitting skill, her work was quite inspiring for me (see her “trunk show” here).

I idly entertained the notion of following suit in 2013, but my wardrobe-making ability is probably 1/100th of hers, so I didn’t officially commit. And yet here we are, more than halfway through the year, and I haven’t bought any clothing for myself, with the exceptions of a badly needed bra, a pair of shoes, and some pantyhose. (She notes “shoes, socks and underwear are permitted” in the fast.)

In addition to the RTW fast, I’ve been mercilessly culling my existing clothes – after having a gentle let’s-get-real talk with myself, I discarded the pants bought years ago that haven’t fit comfortably since the twins’ birth, tossed the tops that were too short or otherwise weird, eliminated the stuff that was edgy once but now looks dated (or dare I say “too youthful”?), and admitted some pieces have been well loved and well worn and are ready to retire (handknit socks from graduate school, sniff). Although I’m setting aside some items for future refashions, I’m curating my wearable wardrobe as far down as I can stand.

The sorry flip side is that I haven’t exactly been creating much, so my outfits, now derived from an ever-shrinking pool of candidates, are getting repetitive and slightly annoying. I’m letting this annoyance fuel my urge for selfish sewing. I don’t have the time or patience to “leave no retail stone unturned,” but I think I do have it in me to continue to learn how to sew better and fit this postpartum/premenopausal/middle-aged/what-have-you body. I signed up for a couple of Craftsy classes on fitting and construction. Although I dutifully watched the videos, but I have yet to create anything from them.

And now for something completely different.

Chicken gyros, recipe here. I made the tzatziki sauce, too, using homemade yogurt (strained using this gizmo).

The new house has a fancy gas cooktop with a built-in stainless steel grill. I’ve cooked with gas, and I’ve cooked on charcoal briquet grills, but I’ve never cooked on a gas grill before. It’s… amusing. Sort of broiler-esque in outcome, since it definitely lacks the charcoal flavor.

I’m not sure if I will still use it after the novelty wears off, though. It is a pain to clean (especially after grilling something in a sweet marinade) – the manual suggests wire brushing with water immediately after cooking, which I now do, having faced completely sugar-charred grossness that required 30 min of elbow grease plus an overnight soak in oven cleaner and then another 30 min of scrubbing.

Playing with the depth of field

Do you have any hints for cleaning charred grills? Something that doesn’t involve crazy harsh chemicals (for the girls’ safety) and doesn’t take an hour of scrubbing?

Bias binding tape

Process, not product.

I’m making my own bias tape for a blouse (tutorial here). I’ve done it before; it’s not difficult to do but is time consuming.

Preparing to sew something – I taped a .pdf pattern together, traced out my size, made a muslin, then a second one post pattern tweak. Washed the fabric 3 times. Cut the pieces and now have bias tape.

I’ve no problem with slow projects. I’m close to finishing a knitted piece that I’ve been working on for nearly 4 years. But there’s a qualitative diference in a slow knitting project vs a slow sewing project. With knitting, most of the hours spent are actual knitting time – putting the yarn to needles, looping them around, rhythmic, meditative. With sewing, it feels like I spend a lot of time preparing to do something else. It’s like casting on for 6 hours while you’re just itching to get to the knitting part.

But the end result of either type of slow project – hopefully – is the same. Custom to my fit and taste. Bespoke, couture, individual. Hand made. Like no other. Satisfying to wear.

Simple sewing

I apologize for the picture quality. We are living in a rental townhome that has – quite literally – no natural light whatsoever. It stinks, especially in the winter. I tried taking photos without the flash, but you couldn’t see a darn detail, so flash it is, complete with nasty shadows from the mirror to my right.

I haven’t given up on sewing yet and made the skirt and the belt in this outfit. I know it doesn’t look like much, but it’s good enough to wear to work, which is saying something. This skirt is made of some mystery fabric that is probably at least partially polyester and rayon. It has an elastic waist (yay comfort) and is cut on the bias and even has a lining!

The skirt was drafted following the instructions at Angry Chicken. She calls it a “5-minute Skirt,” so shhh… don’t tell her it took me about 8 hours from taking my measurements to finishing the crocheted thread chains that hold the lining in place. I drafted the back to be about a half inch longer than the front, figuring it needed extra length to go over my rear, but the hemline actually is slightly slanted when you look from the side. Guess the curves of my belly and my rear cancel each other out?

My weight is kind of a moving target these days, so the fit currently is a little large (as evidenced by the puckers in the center back). Still, I’m pleased with how it turned out.

The belt (obi, sash, whatever you want to call it) was made using Mimi G’s free pattern and tutorial. I made this from 2 layers of lycra cotton jersey, doubled so it won’t curl. Great little tutorial, very easy to follow. The sash is very flattering (even for my rectangular figure), although Matt makes pirate jokes when he sees it.

I also sewed a cowl-neck top. I am a big fan of draped necklines, they seem indescribably elegant. The pattern I used is called Day-to-Night Drape Top. (Interestingly, when I was dictating notes into my Android phone, it recorded the pattern name as “Stay Tonight Grape Top.”) To make the shirt more Minnesota friendly, I put the sleeves from her Birgitte t shirt pattern on it per the designer’s suggestion. The fabric is an ITY jersey (poly-lycra stretchy knit).

Not bad, right? I wear this to work sometimes, too.

Again, the designer says something like it’ll take you an hour from cutting fabric to a wearable shirt, and it took me… Omg, a month or more, working a couple hours a week. I made mistake after mistake – first measured myself wrong and made the wrong size, cut the front piece so that there was a flower blossoming right at the apex of my bust, misread the instructions and had to sew the back neck about 3 times before it looked right…

The whole process of sewing continues to be part satisfying, part irritating. Measuring, cutting, sewing, pressing – the whole process still seems so alien to me. Nothing turns out quite as I imagined, but I’m nevertheless putting together clothes that can be seen in public. Call it a tentative win? I don’t know. I just keep plugging away and hoping I improve.

In other random thoughts, I took about 1244 pictures (with my tripod and remote) to get 4 that I felt were OK to post. I used to never hate being photographed, but now I feel kind of weird having my picture taken. I don’t have any real “body issues” – that is to say, I know how I look, and I’m OK with it – but what is with this middle-aged awkwardness? I deleted the forced smiles, stiff expressions, jazz hands – you can thank me later. 😉

Ruffled blankets

I made blankets! When this project idea was born, I thought I’d just serge 2 pieces of cotton jersey together and be done. (We have receiving blankets that are just like this, and the girls love ’em.)

But we all know I can’t leave a simple project alone. This turned into an interesting undertaking (x3) because I learned a lot of stuff. But before we go into that, here’s the fabric, a cotton-lycra blend (purchased at GirlCharlee; NAYY).

I washed and dried the yardage several times and cut 3 blankets that were 38″x58-ish” (smidge over 1 yard x full width), following recommendations that I’d seen online that toddler quilts be about 36×50 inches.

Ruffles – I learned how to make a rolled edge on my serger following this tutorial. I decided to make it a lettuce edge and set my serger’s differential feed to maximal stretch and also yanked the heck out of the edge to make it super-duper wavy.

I tried the gathering foot on my sewing machine but couldn’t get it to perform consistently well. You can see that on the same strip, sometimes it would make terrific ruffles (bottom part) and then have a “dead zone” of mostly flat fabric (top part).

So I used a ruffler foot and followed this tutorial to determine my desired ruffle settings. (Excellent tutorial, btw. I intend to go back and make all the samples suggested so that I have a standard chart to refer to the next time I need to make a gazillion miles of ruffles.)

One thing that I don’t think was addressed in the tutorial was that stitching speed can affect the degree of ruffling. I tend to sew very slowly at first and then speed up as I gain confidence, except – oops.

Not a camera trick

If I’m remembering right, stitching faster made the ruffles deeper and the strip shorter.

Attaching the ruffle was simple – just draw a border on the main fabric and attach the ruffle with straight stitches. I decided to curve the corners (slap a dinner plate down and draw around the curve) because I didn’t want to deal with trying to fit the ruffle around a sharp corner. When 1 ruffle strip ended and the other began, I just curved one piece down and overlapped it with another piece curving up.

Applique – I had little pieces of quilting cotton with the girls’ drawings on them that I thought to use as appliques. (I got them via a school fundraiser, the kids draw stuff, it’s digitized and printed onto mugs, t-shirts, pillowcases, etc, and I chose to get quilt squares.)

Here’s one that didn’t make it onto the blankets

Having never appliqued anything before, let alone a stiff woven onto a stretchy knit, I wanted a tutorial. I followed this one and also the instructions on the package of Steam-A-Seam Lite (SASL; like a fusible double-sided sticky sheet).

Basically, peel off 1 cover of the SASL and stick it on the back of the applique, cut the applique and SASL together, then peel off the other cover, position, fuse onto the blanket fabric, and zig-zag stitch around the edge. Before fusing the first one, I stabilized the knit on the wrong side with iron-on/tear-away paper, but it turned out that the applique fabric was so freaking stiff from the digitized image printing, further stabilization wasn’t necessary.

Quilting – When I finally put the 2 layers together, I thought the blanket felt wimpy-thin and belatedly remembered that the receiving blankets that I’d first modeled this project on always seem kind of off-grain and rumpled… so I decided to add a quilt batting. The Warm and Natural cotton batting (available at Joann’s, wait for a sale or coupon) had good reviews. I used June Tailor washable spray adhesive (OMG, stinky) to stick 1 side of the blanket to the batting. I then sewed the 2 halves right sides together, left a hole for turning, turned and closed the hole, and topstitched around the edge

I couldn’t imagine machine quilting (I have no idea how to do it, especially on unstable cotton-lycra jersey), nor could I imaging fudging my way through machine quilting 3 blankets, so I decided to sew these really crooked eyelets to pseudo-tie the quilt together.

I had to fake-hoop the fabric in my hands to make the eyelets. Essentially, I squooshed extra fabric in the general vicinity of the feed dogs so that nothing was under tension from the rest of the blanket pulling downward off the table. This theoretically allowed the feed dogs to move the heavy blanket around in the circle, but as you can see, it didn’t always work. Mmm, crookedness is part of the charm, OK?

They were washed and dried and presented to the children. They were a hit! My heart sings when I see how much they love their blankets.

Jordan, Casey, Meredith

Play dress and leggings

Meredith’s favorite clothes are still the play dress and leggings. I made an outfit for her last year and thought I’d try my hand at a different pattern this winter. These are both “wearable muslins” made with fabric that I’d originally bought with the intention of sewing cloth diapers. Now that I know the patterns work (and how I’d like to tweak the top a little), I’m ready to use up some of the more expensive fabrics that I’ve been purchasing for the girls.

Striking her pose (click here for a back view)

The dress is the Hopscotch top by oliver+s. The pattern also includes a skirt, which I did not make this time. It is very similar to a t-shirt but with an extra style boost via the crossover neckline. There’s a little bit of gathering at the front center, too. To make the dress from the top, the pattern is simply extended (A-line) to dress length, with no changes to the bodice.

Sorry about the picture quality, I have no daylight hours for photography, and the wall color is a pretty awful background for a mostly-white dress. You might be able to see the crossover detail a little better in the photo below.

The pattern directions were nicely written and well illustrated, so the construction was pretty straightforward. The pattern was drafted well, all the pieces came together and seams matched up. I used Lastin (clear swimsuit elastic) instead of the recommended interfacing or twill tape to stabilize the shoulders and front seam. I added elastic to the sleeve cuffs at the last minute, but it was probably unnecessary. I deepened the hem to 1 inch because I dislike how narrow jersey hems curl and flip upward after a few washes, and I am not about to pull out an iron every time I wash a kid’s play dress. I constructed it using a sewing machine, serger, and coverstitch machine. (Hey, if I have the machines, I want to use them!)

Meredith prefers her tops and dresses to be very loose fitting, with the sleeves extra long (covering her wrists). Even though her measurements indicated she should be a size 5, I cut a size 7 to give her the extra ease. What’s a bit weird is that the neck opening is still somewhat tight and we have to force a little to pop her head through it every time (crowning, ha ha). I did double-check to make sure I had traced the right size. She may have her mama’s giant noggin. Next time I sew this, I will lengthen the upper bodice piece to give her more head room.

All in all, I’m not sure that I really like this as a dress – the crossover is very near the top, and the rest of the dress just hangs from that seam (sort of boring and reminds me of a nightgown). I guess that’s why the pattern is pictured as a shirt and separate skirt with an interesting pocket detail and a row of buttons!

The leggings are made using Jalie 2920. This is a very simple pattern – 1 piece. No side seams, just the inseam and center seam, and a foldover waistband. I had a sizing problem with this pattern, too. By her measurements, Meredith should be a size I, and that’s the size I dutifully traced out. It seemed short, but that was consistent with this review, so I just lengthened the legs substantially. I sewed the 2 seams and had her try it on. Uh oh, it was skin-tight (no pictures, it was positively indecent).

Attempt #2, I measured some of her favorite Hanna Andersson leggings at the high thigh (just under the crotch seam) and the inseam, and I picked a corresponding pattern size (now size M). I made the new pair with no changes, and these leggings were comfortable and the proper length. Go figure.

I do like this simple pattern, and given that it has a range that that goes from toddler to plus-size adults, I can see myself in a pair of these leggings someday, too. Just have to remember to measure the pattern and compare it against something that fits (not just blindly follow the size chart).

The fabric for the dress is a medium-weight cotton jersey without much stretch (which might explain why the neck seems small). The leggings are a thinner cotton-lycra jersey. Both are from Fresh Produce (but purchased via Girl Charlee). If you’re interested in technical details, the review of the dress is here and the review of the leggings is here.