My first experience with knits! And let me start off by saying that it was no worse than with any other material. Honest! Although I suppose it’s all relative to how you got on with the other materials. No, but really, I’ve been reading about how scary knits can be to even experienced sewers, so I was very slightly put off. But, you know, the good thing about knowing very little is that you’re also less afraid to get it hopelessly wrong, so I dove in anyway.
The reason I went for it was that I saw the Baby Hudson Pants tutorial over on The Sewing Rabbit’s website (thank you so much for the tutorial!) and was immediately taken with these little darlings. They look comfy, but also have a slight modern edge to them and my baby boy is growing out of trousers faster than a rat shooting up a drainpipe.
The tutorial involved taking a free leggings pattern and adjusting it for the fake pocket additions, meaning you would have two each of the front and back leg pieces to stitch together, rather than just two leg pieces in total, which seems fairly normal for a baby leggings pattern. I dutifully added and subtracted the necessary lines, but my final pattern pieces seemed a little strangely shaped in places. In retrospect I think I didn’t split the two pieces quite in the right place.
I used a 9-12 month pattern and my little guy is 8.5 months. He’s definitely on the large side though, so I guess it’s about right.
Then you had to add in the little faux pockets, which I really enjoyed. I used a really soft grey jersey for the main body of the leggings and then a black ribbed knit for the contrasting parts. I think it worked pretty well!
The only extra bit really is adding those pockets and then stitching up the four pieces just like any other pair of trousers: side seams, inside seams and crotch. There is SO much advice when sewing with knits on how to adjust your thread, needle, tension, etc, etc. Some people say use tracing paper, others say use certain types of stitches. In the end, I used a ballpoint needle and turned the tension down to 3 and it seemed to work okay. I did only use the straight stitch though, as my machine is acting a bit weird. For finishing the seams I used pinking shears, since the jersey is so soft, and hopefully that will be ok.
I guess I found the odd little bit tricky, such as adding the waistband and ankle cuffs. It took me a few minutes to figure out how exactly to sew them on and in which position to give the correct result (everything is backwards Claire, remember, everything is backwards), but it is oh-so-satisfying when the penny drops.
If I were to make these again, I think I would raise the waistband by another inch or so, as I don’t think there’s quite enough room for the baby’s nappy/diaper. On the other hand, they are a low rise style, which looks pretty fresh. I’m going to try a pair of straightforward two-piece leggings next to see how that goes and I think I might even try drafting a wee pair, just for a bit of practice. I have some blue jersey knit to use and I think a bit more fabric printing is in order. I just have to decide what to put on the fabric! Fun, fun!
Happy Thanksgiving Day! Hope you enjoy your turkey n trimmings.