Sew Nice I Made It Twice – Manila Leggings


I may have mentioned my search for the ideal leggings on the blog before. I live about an hour north of San Francisco and about 30 minutes east of the Pacific Ocean. The weather here is not the same weather as Southern California, yes we have surfers, but they wear wetsuits. I wear the wetsuit for the land, aka leggings, like, almost every single day. Now don’t get me wrong we often get heat waves in the high 90s, even in the hundreds, and I relish them, but on the day to day I need layers, and for me this includes leggings


I have bought many pairs of leggings and never find them uncomfortable, but often times am left wishing that they were a bit more bootyful. This and my desire to eventually have an entirely handmade wardrobe have made me search for the perfect leggings pattern. So far I have tried the Cake Espresso leggings, which somehow didn’t work out for me at all, even though you draft them to your own size. Many people had a lot of luck with the Espresso leggings, but the women who didn’t mostly had problems with the crotch curve and booty. I am still considerings starting from scratch and making these leggings again, but I really want a crotch godet and am not sure how to add one. Any suggestions?

After my failure with the Espresso leggings which are supposed to be the perfect leggings pattern, I took a little break from my leggings pattern search. During this time the Manila pattern was release and I saw several people in bloglandia have success with it so I decided to give it a go myself. Even though it doesn’t have a godet, I thought I could add one later.Galaxy Leggings Squat

I forgo a muslin, something I often do with a knit seeing how the combination of the pattern and the fabric really create the outfit. So unless I have something very similar I don’t always see the point. This was one of those times. So I went straight into cutting my Galaxy Fabric that I bought from Spandex World while I was on vacation in NYC.


I cut a straight size large and immediately lengthened the pattern so that I could remove the petal hem finish that comes with he pattern. I decided that because I was on the smaller size of the measurement in the hip that I may not need to give a full booty adjustment. I was right and wrong, they fit and are comfortable, but are not much nicer than a pair I would buy at Target. There was a dip at the waistband at the center back which means the leggings still needed more space for the booty. There was too little fabric to make it all the way up and around, aw, poor fabric. And poor me.Manila-Galaxy-Leggings-Front-View-

I still love these leggings, but they were definitely a wearable muslin. Not only did I need to add more space for the junk in the trunk, but the galaxy leggings are also a little tight in the calves. When leggings are tight in the lower leg it makes them feel as if they are constantly being pulled down. Definitely something that I needed to fix.

I also used the serger to make this pair. I don’t know if it was my cheap thread, a too tight pattern, or my machine’s tension, but the seams on this pair began to pop immediately. So I reinforced them using my machine. In the future I want to invest in better thread because the tension looked fine to me. My machine might also need cleaning. Anybody know of anyone who cleans Janome overlockers in the Bay Area?Peacock-Manila-Leggings-#1

The Peacock feather legging material is identical to the galaxy leggings with a different print. So I could take what I learned from my first pair of leggings and apply it to my second. I widened the lower leg by 1/4 inch on either side. I gave the leggings a bottom adjustment using this tutorial form the Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Files. I am not sure if this was the right way to do it for a 4-way knit, but I do know it didn’t turn out quite how I wanted. I ended up with a bit of a saggy bottom. I think that I may have just over done the adjustment and next time I will just take out a smaller wedge. I also bought the Palmer/Pletsch guide to sewing and fitting knits. I am hoping they have some insights in the book. I’ll keep you guys posted. Maybe it will even be my first book review.


Besides the big bottom in this pair, I somehow sewed the waistband much looser then the galaxy pair. The lower leg is also still a little too tight, this means that this pair actually fits worse and pulls down more than the unaltered pair. Oh, how come I can’t just have a magical fitting wand.

Manila-Peacock-Leggings-frontSo, to summarize. These leggings are a great start, and both pairs are wearable, but I still need to spend more time fitting. Also, I still don’t have a godet, but I did get Oh Lu Lu’s bike short pattern while they were still free on Craftsy. They have a godet and I am hoping that even if the pattern as a whole doesn’t work out, I will learn how to put a godet in. So look for those coming up on the blog sometime soon.


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