Thursday, April 21, 2011

Leggings for Cora...

I finished a second pair of long johns or leggings for Cora the other night. for some reason the crotch area is bunched in a funny way in the photo. Leggings are upcycled from a merino wool sweater.
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you can see my unique seam across the middle of the butt. i used orange thread to contrast the pink. The challenge in doing the butt, was that i wanted the ribbed collar of the original sweater to be the waistline for the leggings, but without having to cut it off and resew it back on. After folding a few different ways t achieve a good butt shape, and trying the leggings pinned up on cora, the inside of the leggings was looking like i was experimenting in origami. wished i had thought to take a photo of that. After cora wore these for a day, i noticed the vertical seam in the but was coming apart. ah ha, when i started sewing these a couple months back, i sewed using a straight stitch. i have been in the process of learning about sewing with knit fabrics, and read that there is a steep learning curve when using a sewing machine, perhaps vs. using a serger? i now know that a straight stitch is not adequate for knits, since the fabric needs to be able to stretch, and if you stretch a straight stitch in a fabric that wants to stretch, it just wants to pull those threads apart. It needs boinginess. think of it like a straight stick vs. a coily slinky. the slinky has stretch, and can be extended. if you pulled on the stick, it can't stretch. the stitch has to be able to stretch with the fabric that is also stretchy. there, i said it in a number of different ways, and hope some of that makes some sort of sense to any readers.


  1. I don't have a serger. When I sew things that need to stretch, like wool pants for my son, I always use a straight stitch, but I stretch the wool as I go. It may look a little wonky from all that stretching when you get through, but it bounces back (especially once you wash it). I've never had a busted seam this way.

  2. Thanks for the informative comment Kris! I'll try experimenting on the next pair. I knew about stretching fabric with a zig zag stitch, but it hadn't occured to me to do that with straight stitch.