Stretchy Remnant Possibilities

Spring is in the air! Excited to see soft and bright colors, in the landscape and in fabrics. It makes me think about sewing something.

Since I made a pair of shorts a few posts ago that I was not particularly proud of, I did a re-do of that project and added a contrasty/matchy leotard.

leotard & shorts

Jalie yoga shorts and Kwik-Sew leotard

I was happier about these shorts than the red pair in which I practiced using the double-needle. With this blue pair, I did much better with the double needle. Let me hasten to add, the process still wasn’t trouble-free. If I had a job doing this, I would have been so fired, by now.

My idea to make the girls a white shrug/sweater led me to this pattern, which also included a little dirndl-like skirt and a short-sleeve leotard.

sweater

Kwik Sew shrug/sweater

Everyone should have a white sweater in their closet, right? Except maybe Goth chicks. This little front-tying shrug can go with a lot of outfits. The fabric (not a remnant) is a white sweater-knit that is very easily snagged, so maybe it isn’t a good choice for kids’ clothes. Since there was a leotard included in the pattern, and it looked easy, I gave it a try. The Kwik-Sew leotard was easy and very basic, compared to the Jalie ones I’ve made before. And the sizing is different. This one is a size 8 or 10 girl, and I altered it some by adding 2 inches to the length of it, like I do with the Jalie ones. It looks huge. I may not have used all of the 5/8″ seam allowance, having been accustomed to the smaller allowance of the Jalie patterns. It’s a leopard leotard. The 1-yard leopard (they call it “Big Cat”) spandex fabric, and the turquoise (less than a yard) and silver (scrap) fabrics for the shorts, are remnants. The Big Cat fabric is normally $16.99 per yard, but half that price when sold as a remnant. From the yard, I had this much left over that I can possibly make a cute infinity scarf as part of the outfit shown on this pattern:

spandex remnant

Big Cat remnant project with leftover fabric for another project

The pattern is Simplicity 1323, an American Sewing Guild Design. The retail price of the pattern is $18.95 but during JoAnn’s Simplicity sale it sold for $1.99. Thought I could give this one a try; it looks cute.

Short and Sweet, with Remnants (& Twisted Straps)

Where have the past few days gone? I’ve been languishing in a Mucinex and/or Nyquil-induced stupor. Worst cough; broken ribs? Ugh.
I haven’t even left the house since Sunday and it’s already Thursday night.

Since I was fairly incapacitated I tried to do some remnant projects. And I didn’t totally screw them up. I got in some good practice projects, using up lycra spandex remnants.

Jalie leotards

Jalie leotard pattern 3354

The orange and blue leotard with the twisted 😈 asymmetrical shoulder straps is going to be used as a swim suit. This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is Twist. For more Weekly Photo Challenge: Twisted, look here.
As they say, “filthy with meaning!”

I discovered a very compelling detail about my remnant stretch-knit-fabric stash. Of all the different lycra-spandex remnant rolls I’ve got racked up, each one has a different percentage of lycra or spandex, meaning that some fabrics are much more stretchy than others. When you look at a pattern envelope under the fabric suggestions, it will tell you that you need fabric for this project that has, say, 50% stretch in both length and width. Or, 70% stretch. But when you look at the label on the fabric bolt, it won’t say “this fabric has 50% stretch.” You have to measure a length of the fabric between your fingers and thumbs, line it up to the graph on the pattern envelope where it says “this much fabric must stretch to………..here.” I thought my DH could come up with formula for that. Some fabrics have 13% lycra, some 7% lycra, some 18% lycra. How stretchy does that make them? I still don’t know. But it would be helpful to know if you need to use a larger size pattern for less-stretchy fabric, and how much larger?

I love the Jalie patterns. I had a question about one of the patterns, and emailed the company to ask it. I got a friendly, personal, valuable response about my prospective sewing project the next morning!

I bought a pattern from Jalie that was a downloadable pdf. I found that it was very easy to use that way, although I prefer buying the paper pattern and having it posted to me. For the same price, I got a download and had to use my own paper and printer ink, but it came to me immediately, whereas I had to wait a few days for the paper one to be shipped from Canada.

Jalie patterns

Jalie 3022

Jalie pattern 3022 is for yoga pants or shorts. We went to watch a granddaughter at gymnastics practice, and there were leotards and matching shorts sets for sale on the premises: $45 for a leotard and $25 for shorts, or $65 if you bought a matching set. Wow! That is the retail cost of a gymnastics outfit. If you could learn to make them yourself, using a cute little Jalie pattern that costs about $15, some knitted elastic, and a yard or less of lycra-spandex remnants that are 50% off the regular price, you could have a cute outfit to exercise in. I wanted to see how long it took me to make a pair of yoga shorts from start to finish.

First I had to trace the pattern on to Pattern-Ease (Jalie patterns come in 20 or more sizes). Tracing the pattern, cutting out the material, sewing it up–this pair of shorts took me just under 2 hours to make.

tracing pattern

tracing the pattern

I did hurry and as a result it looks rather unprofessional: seams a little uneven, and I didn’t use a serger to coverstitch the hems as the instructions said. Next pair will be better. I like the contrasting colored waistband and the seam down the back of the pants legs. I should mention that I use designated “Stretch” needles for working with these knits. I used Jeanne Binet’s technique for sewing stretchy knits without a serger. You can find some You-tube videos that show you exactly how to do it, and what great results!

leotard and shorts

Jalie leotard and matching shorts

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