The alternate title of this post is: Why You Have TNTs.
Let's get this straight right off the bat: I love Seamwork magazine. The patterns are cool, the articles are in-depth and unique, and I learn something each month. But I've had no luck actually making the patterns (see my Oslo cardigan here). I've made a ton of leggings from my TNT, McCall's 6137. That pattern is only one piece. The Manila Leggings have a front, back, waistband, and the super cool petal cuff. I wanted to try a pattern with more pieces to see how it would affect fit and maybe provide more opportunity for fun details.
I'm now 6 months pregnant. My other pairs of leggings actually fit fine, I just have to yank the rise way down under my belly. I prefer a low-rise legging anyway, pregnant or not. To determine the right size for my Manila leggings, I extensively studied a pair of RTW leggings as well as my me-mades. I ended up tracing off a size small, though my 38" hip put me at the top end of a small/lower end of a medium. I then removed 1" from both the front and back rise (to match my RTW pair). I tested my fabric against the stretch guide provided with the pattern and it worked.
Oh the fabric...it is an AMAZING poly/spandex ponte from Mood, with an almost embossed floral pattern. Nikki from the Mood Style blog made a great dress with it here. It's thick and what I imagine scuba fabric to be. I'm beyond sad that the leggings didn't work out because the fabric is insane.
Anyway. I'll spare you photos of the leggings on me (I'd have to be fairly uncovered and showing too much preggo belly) but they are far too tight in the legs, too baggy around the waist, the front rise is too long and the back rise too short. The finished dimensions match my RTW leggings but the stretch of the fabric doesn't, so they're too small. They might work when I'm not pregnant, so until that time they're going into the UFO pile. No sense messing around with either the leggings or the pattern in the next three months.
A note about construction: my fabric was so thick that I used a flatlock stitch on my serger for all the construction. A flatlock stitch butts the cut ends of the fabric together rather than creating a seam allowance. I noticed that my RTW leggings use that stitch on the waistband to reduce bulk. I did a few test samples with grey thread before switching to black.
I love the way the flatlock turned out, especially on the waistband, and since it's not difficult to do I'll try it again in the future. For reference, my settings on my Brother 1034d were: left needle 1, right needle (not used), upper looper 4.5, lower looper 6; stitch length 3.5; differential feed 0.
I can still get the benefit of the Manila leggings if I use the petal cuff pieces on my TNT. It's likely that I'll do that in the future, rather than messing with the fit of the Manila. Ain't nobody got time for making TWO TNT leggings patterns!
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