Friday, August 10, 2012

Spiral leggings


From my first flick-through the book I always knew this project was a must-make… the spiral leggings on p 52 of Pattern Magic 3, by Tomoko Nakamichi.
The design is, like so many in the Pattern Magic series, excessively cool.  A sorta a-ha design; seemingly simple and obvious when you see it laid out like this, but nonetheless innovative and edgy.
I know I’ve raved about the Pattern Magic books ad nauseum over and over again before, but just allow me just another small rave… every time I attempt something from Pattern Magic I feel like I learn something new and profound about sewing and fabric manipulation.  OK, OK, I know several of the designs in the book are barely wearable, true; but they are without exception exciting and forward-thinking.  The process is about thinking outside of the box, getting out of the rut.   The designs are never predictable, and never ho-hum,  I love this sort of innovation in my sewing as well as in my wardrobe!
above 2 pictures from Pattern Magic 3

The fabric I used is a deep purple-grey, synthetic stretch knit from Fabulous Fabrics.   Actually, I bought this fabric specifically for this project, it is exactly what I wanted.   I bought this fabric with my birthday gift voucher, from a group of my friends; the other piece I bought with this voucher became my red dress, and I still have some more of this grey stretch left too, to make something else.  I have the best friends! 
above; mine
I drew up the paper pattern but there was lots of fiddly diddling.  I needed legs both wider and a lot longer than the dimensions stipulated in the book!  Well, that’s hardly surprising, really :)  Also I mentioned my fabric was exactly what I wanted? well it was, but there was only one small problemmo… the fabric stretched just one way, not two.  Or is that two-way, not four-way?? I can never get that right.  But you’re getting my drift here I hope….
My point is that the “girth” of the leggings stretches around my legs in some but only some parts of the spiral.  A minor technical complication...
I also made minor modifications to the style of the leggings: as follows:
The pattern is for straight-ish legs with very little tapering; and after the first try-on I decided that I wanted mine to be a lot more tapered, to be skinnier around my calves and ankles.  It’s probably hard to tell from the pics but I can assure you they are substantially skinnier than the book version!
The other style adjustment which is probably easier to distinguish between the two, is that my leggings are form-fitting and “rumple-less” about my hips, while the ones pictured on the model in the book have the rumples going all the way up the side of each hip, right up to the waistband.  Since I wanted to wear mine not as pants, but as leggings underneath a dress or skirt, I wanted for the top part to be tight and smooth and have no rumply bits that would bunch up to make my hips look falsely lumpy and bumpy underneath a dress.  I prefer for my hips to look smooth and streamlined, not lumpy and bumpy, thank you very much  :)   Just a personal preference there, of course  ;D
Consequently I drafted and sewed the top part of the leggings to fit my abdomen snugly.  I cut a tall waistband to be 3cm shorter than my natural waist measurement and attached the waistband to the top edge using this method with no elastic, and they sit up quite securely and comfortably and don’t feel like they are going to slip down.
I hemmed using the twin needle on my sewing machine, instead of the band suggested in the book.
All in all, because of my 1(2?) way stretch issue and desire for a skinny-leg modifications; I probably tried these on, pinned, took them off, did a bit of basting and tried them on again… at least a dozen times over; but y'know what? I'm perfectly satisfied.  Last year I devised and made a pair of leggings I dubbed scrumpled leggings, and these ones are satisfyingly even more scrumply!

Details:
Leggings; from p 53 of Pattern Magic 3 by Tomoko Nakamichi, made of grey synthetic stretch knit
Dress; body &soul, a thing I’ve had for about twelve years.  I probably should copy this one over again, I love it so.  One of those RTW things that I love so much I probably never will part with it!
Shoes; Perrini, had these for even longer than the dress, probably 20 years!

41 comments:

  1. haha, What? I'm the only one who always wants my hips looking lumpy and bumpy?? ;)
    (That made me laugh!)

    cool leggings!

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  2. Why don't you want lumpy looking hips?I cannot understand it;)

    Your leggings are so cool.If I had more vertical real estate I would be copying them immediately.

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  3. Those are groovy leggings and seeing them flat makes so much sense. I must get one of these pattern books to play with. Carolyn, you look wonderful in the leggings.

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  4. Glad you gave these a go - they are just 'so you'...

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  5. Okay these rumpled leggings are fabulous! I haven't gotten PM3 yet and now I really need to. You look fabulous in these, good point and no rumples over the tush, that would be really awkward looking in the best of circumstances!

    I've been trying to figure out pieces to make for my fall wardrobe and you have reminded me that I need to include at least one piece from one of my Pattern Magic books at long last!

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  6. You look amazing!! I would never have thought that those pants could be so wearable! I can clearly see the differences from the pattern book photo and your version.

    I love that top! I was waiting read the pattern that you used so I could copy your outfit. If you do decide to remake it, know that at least one sewing blogger will follow your lead!

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  7. Those leggings are spectacular.

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  8. What a creative and interesting design. I love the final look, especially with your top!

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  9. This is one book I don't have - but clearly it is a must buy. Your leggings look great and thanks for the link in the post re finishing jersey.

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  10. I didn't get this book either, but call me another convert. These looks so slimming on you!

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  11. These are the coolest leggings ever. A new goal for me, when I get to my goal weight-these are at the top of my sewing list. And obviously Pattern Magic 3 is at the top of my shopping list, cause you know I don't have nearly enough sewing books. Yeah right. 8-D

    I love these.

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  12. How clever and the end result looks wonderful.

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  13. You look fabulous in those leggings (ha! As if you wouldn't!)

    Gosh, everything you make is fabulous.

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  14. Okay - you've convinced me. I must make some knit garments. These are the coolest leggings.

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  15. What a fun spin on an old classic! And I get it Carolyn, okay? I gotta buy that book already.

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  16. This style looks like so much fun! It makes me want to try it (and I haven't worn leggings since I was, oh, twelve?) I think you're more than justified raving on those books. :)

    As for the rhubarb---I had never noticed it required water up here (most older yards have a few plants that have been there since homesteading days, and the Canadian prairies are not exactly wet) but the climates are definitely different. I guess it's like star-crossed lovers---perfect for each other, but doommed to grow far apart.

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  17. the leggings look great and is that a new word, scrumply? i like it. you are making me jealous and annoyed with myself, as I still have not made anything from the Pattern Magic book despite leafing through it many many times.

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  18. Brilliant!!! You are so inspirational! (note to self: "Be Adventurous - Get this book!")

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  19. Those are outstanding, and I agree, the original are a little over the top with their wrinkled nether regions, sort of reminiscent of an elephant. Who wants to look like that before their time. They look fabulous with your lovely top. They would be a great one to take a copy of.

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  20. Love these leggings! I can hear my DD1 requesting them in about 30 different versions!

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  21. what a stylish addition to your wardrobe - and a good idea to keep a nice sleek profile at the top - everything will hang nicely as it should.

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  22. Great job, you tempt me more and more to get this book!

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  23. What a great look both pieces are interesting to look at and they look great on you.

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  24. These are the coolest leggings ever!I should be ordering a copy of that book very soon.

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  25. LOVE! thank you for all of the great tips Carolyn, They turned out fantastic.

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  26. That is so cool!!! That's it. I'm ordering one of the pattern magic books now.

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  27. May I be the 300 person to say HOW COOL THESE ARE!!! What an idea- I love them.

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  28. Wow, so interesting. I love seeing what happens to fabric when one "thinks outside the bun".

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  29. these are great! What a great idea. I really should go through and try something from the pattern magic book that I have someday...

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  30. AWESOME!!! I've not seen anyone try that yet, the design in the book looked so interesting. Well done you, they're fantastic xxx

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  31. Nice innovation in your sewing...i liked this legging a lot.Its a wonderful share by you.I must say that you are truly gifted..very creative and artistic.

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  32. oh my!! it's great idea. I love it :)

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  33. such an amazing idea...

    you look great by the way :)

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  34. These rumpled leggings are really great..!!everything will hang nicely with these leggings.

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  35. I kinda like the look of those leggings for women. Great pics!

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