Friday, April 20, 2012

Summer Yoga Suit Tutorial Part One

The sew along to the Project Run and Play sportswear challenge pushed me to try something new.  I do sew with knits because of the comfort factor.  I learned the clothes I make will just hang in the closet if they aren't cozy enough for play.  But even as I ventured into sewing knits, I stuck to making dresses.  With this challenge I decided to undertake my first pair of pants.  This was also my first time sewing a hood, first time sewing cargo pockets (or pockets at all actually) and first time using a double needle.  It was a definite learning experience. 

Are you familiar with the double needle? When you use one, your plain jane sewing machine can turn out this:

It was great because I could sew on knit without using a zig-zag stitch that screams homemade (I actually consider it a compliment if people think my work came from a store.), so the finish was more tailored.  You have two rows on top, with a zig-zag on the bottom, so you still have the needed stretch.  My problem was that my machine was prone to skipping stitches here and there.  You can see them if you look closely at the pic.  And the thread was prone to tangle, so I had to re-thread over, and over.  And over.  It took a really long time because there was so much top stitching.  But overall I'm really happy with the outcome, and I will definitely use the double needle again.  The key was to go slow and not let the bobbin get close to running out.  When the bobbin neared the end, the thread tangled and knotted.

I drafted my overall pattern by tracing (or at least using the basic shape) a much-loved and much-stained pair of pants that fit my daughter a tad too snugly and adding in the seam allowance and room for growth.  I just folded them in half and traced.  First the front.

And then the back.  Make sure you pull out that extra fabric in the back--you know, the pointy part.

I cut out two pockets like this.  To make my pattern for the pocket, I started with a rectangle piece of paper cut to the size I wanted my pocket.  I used a glass to make the rounded edge on the outside, then free handed the inside.  The top of the pocket will be encased in the waist of the pants, and the right side will be encased in the side seam.  Keep that in mind when determining the size of your pattern piece.  If I can figure out how to make it actual size, I'll upload the pattern I used.

I made my own binding using strips of my knit jersey.  I used this method here for the binding.

 I attached the binding on the inside curve of both pockets, and pinned the binding in place on the outside curve.
You can't see it very well but I sewed the bottom layer of the binding to the pocket.

You can see what I mean a little better in this picture.

Then I folded over the top of my binding and sewed the binding onto the pocket and the pocket onto the pants all in one swoop.
I did this times two.

With the front pockets attached, I sewed the front and back piece of the pants together, encasing the side of the pocket.

I didn't get pics of the process, but I made the cargo pockets like you'd make a pillow or a coaster.  For one pocket I cut two rectangles with rounded corners.  I placed wrong sides together, sewed around the edges, leaving a small hole on one side.  Then I turned the pocket right side out and pressed it.  The flap was the same process.

I  centered my pocket on the side seam by folding it in half and placing it right up against the seam.  I placed the top of this pocket about two inches below the bottom of the front pocket.  If you look closely, you can see that I've also topstitched across the top of the pocket prior to attaching it.

You can see the stitching better here. 

Pin in place.

I sewed very carefully and slowly around the edges.  I sewed as close to the edge as possible.

I centered my flaps the same way I centered the pocket.

I placed the flap right against the pocket with right side facing down and sewed it on.

Then I flipped the flap down into place and ironed it.  (I never use my iron except to sew.)

And topstitched.

Now it looks like this.

I turned each of the pant legs inside out, so the right sides were together.  

Then I sewed up the inseam.

So it looks like this.  Of course, you're doing everything twice, so you would have two pant legs that look like this.

I flipped one of the pant legs right side out.

Then stuffed it inside the other pantleg.

...and sewed the crotch seam from the front of the waist to the back of the waist.  If you're in doubt at this point, pin your pant legs together and turn them right side out just to make sure you have everything assembled correctly.  If you need help, Simply Modern Mom has a pajama pant tutorial here with great photos.

 Now you have this.
For the waistband I cut a big rectangle.  Then my picture taking lapsed.   I will try to explain. The length of the rectangle (Make sure the stretch goes long-ways.) is a few inches shorter than my daughter's waist. 1.) I folded in half, so the rectangle is just as long but skinnier.  2.) I sewed the edge so that I had a tube.  3.)  I turned the tube right side out.  4.)  I sewed the ends together to close the loop. From An Igloo offers a different (better) take on the foldover waistband here.

I centered the seam of waistband in the back, pinned and sewed the waistband to the pants.  You should have to stretch the waistband a bit to fit it to the pants.  Also, make sure you attached the band so that the "wrong" side of your seam is on the inside of the fold, when you fold down your waistband.

Whew, are you still with me?  This is my first major tutorial, so let me know if you have any questions, and I'll do my best to answer them.

Next up is the yoga set hoodie, but I think we may have to save Part 2 for another day.

1 comment:

  1. You've done a great job with this tutorial! Very cute outfit and very inspiring!!