Lets make Tights!

I haven’t made tights before. Before we go any further, lets clarify what I mean by tights. In the UK, tights are what North Americans call pantyhose. They come in everything from slinky 7 denier to thick wintry ones. They’re a wardrobe staple, and probably have a place as ‘not very reliable’ methods of birth control.

When I was asked to participate in The Wolf & The Tree’s Ladies Gazelle Tights Blog Tour I agreed thinking, ‘well, here is something new and different’. I have long legs and often end up buying tights 1 – 2 sizes larger to get the leg length; footless tights and leggings are always too short; perhaps the way to go is to make my own.

The Wolf & The Tree has an active FaceBook Page, a website and an Etsy Shop (click for the links). The owner, Saskia was helpful in replying to any of my queries, and of course in her generosity she donated the pattern. Thanks Saskia.

Two patterns are included; one for a two way stretch fabric and one for four way. I used the four way stretch pattern. The instructions take a bit of reading, and options include full footed tights to shortie shorts, and socks. With those options I think its well priced and one that will be used repeatedly. It’s also on sale! Keep reading for the coupon code.

When last in Vancouver I found a dangerously attractive store called Fabricana. Oh dear … Let’s say that I was besotted with the shiny psychedelic fabric that screamed “Fame!” at me. My sensible side also purchased a swimsuit mesh for the waistband. The experienced sales woman assured me the Fame fabric was four way stretch but … the lesson I learned is that while it might seem stretchy on the edges, always check the middle (because it was a lot less). From that point on this was a learning curve in sewing stretch fabrics.

Sewing custom tights takes some measuring. I’m a bit warped as I’ve broken my right leg a lot; I didn’t realize how much difference that has made until I measured myself. I traced off my custom pattern onto freezer paper and realised it looks a bit like a mermaid tail; and it possibly will become one at some stage. I chose to make the mid rise option with a triple height yoga waist band, which I folded in half to get the width and recovery I wanted. I used a Stretch needle and my finest Wonder Bob thread. In retrospect I should have used Fleecy Nylon thread as I have already had some seam popping. I should also have used my Serger. I read a few blogs about which stitches to use and played with the fabric scraps. I’d thought I’d cracked it…

Through the trials and tribulations I realized that my fabric wasn’t the four way stretch I thought it was. I would have been better with the two way stretch pattern. I ended up taking them apart after they barely skimmed my ankles, let alone my hips! I sewed the fabric back together, adding more inches until they fit. My ankles are both swollen from old injuries and the fabric clung like Nora Batty’s. I had a flash of brilliance to alter them into Boot Tights; sock bottoms and tights legs. Out came the scissors and here is the result.

Overall, the pattern is great.  I learned a lot and already have some very definitely four way stretch pink lace to make another pair. I can also see me being able to use the pattern to make my own leggings for winter. My husband didn’t really want to take any photos for me but I insisted. I also have some great tights to wear to my next Lady Gaga concert.

I’m pleased to have been able to participate in this tour. The going was occasionally tough, but the support and funky fabric kept me smiling. As I said before, the pattern was given to me to use. The dodgy photography is my Husband’s.

You can get your own copy of the patterns HERE or HERE. You can use the code YellowRibbon to save 25% through Friday May 27. 2016.

Be sure to check out the other blogs this week for as no two have sewn the same item!

5/23/2016 Amy Carter http://wallyandgrace.blogspot.com
5/24/2016 Patricia www.sewfarnorth.wordpress.com
5/25/2016 Heather Tinkey Jones http://allthingskaty.blogspot.com/
5/26/2016 Essence Adventureswithbubbaandbug.wordpress.com
5/27/2016 Michelle http://littleheartthreads.blogspot.ca/
5/28/2016 Kelly www.handmadeboyblog.com
5/28/2016 Larissa www.connectedbyathread.wordpress.com