That thing on social media of the lady declaring her hatred for leggings being worn as trousers. Yes. Yes and Yes.
Also, I can never decide whether I actually like the whole idea of leggings. Yes they're far more comfortable than tights, but as a wardrobe item they don't fill much more than that space for me - oh and maybe for a bit of very ad hoc yoga or running.
That's not to say I've never worn them, I had a tropical print pair featuring parrots I think, when I was in my early teens that I wore with my Grandpa's huge collarless white shirt and I thought I was the absolute epitome of cool. And then there was the blue and grey striped pair that I wore with a very long black t-shirt and my navy Docs in my late teens. The t-shirt bore the legend, "You can't hug a child with nuclear arms" and on the days I was feeling less right-on, I'd wear it inside out. Yes. My mum just adored that look.
Probably because of that fashion nonsense I haven't really worn leggings much since but when one is thoroughly sick and tired of wearing jeans in the winter, leggings enter the fray. And when you've found this stellar knit that you adore but can't picture yourself making it into a top or a dress, leggings have to be the solution. And when you have just enough 4-ply silk crepe to make a tunic length Inari, then you need leggings to wear underneath it.
The Inari Tunic - is an exact replica of this one here. I was intending to lengthen the pattern and make some fit alterations to the shoulders after the first version, but other than catch-stitching down the facing I changed nothing. I had very little fabric so I just went with what I could fit on the silk. Which is absolutely divine by the way. It's so thick and drapey and feels so buttery and I love love the slightly sandwashed look it has. Just divine.
I bought it online from Emma One Sock when making my bridesmaids dress, but it didn't match the lace. So I dyed it. Twice. But it still didn't match so I ended up finding different silk and sticking this back in my stash. And it is absolutely perfect for this project and I'm so excited that I can wear this utterly beautiful fabric on a day-to-day basis.
Following lots of very positive reviews from various sewing bloggers, I used the Espresso leggings pattern by Cake Patterns. I'm sure you already know this but the pattern is essentially a giant dot-to-dot where you use your measurements to join the dots to get a custom pattern. The thing I hadn't realised is that the negative ease that a leggings pattern required is built into the template. It's very clever and the fit is ace. I've made the crotch depth super high - like just below the bust high - which is a combination of inaccurate measuring and using narrower elastic than the pattern suggests. So I may alter that next time.
Although I like the warmth of them being so high.
And I think that officially makes me old.
The pattern is quick to draft and so quick to sew up so I made this pair and a grey ponte pair in a couple of hours. I serged everything, used a ribbon in the back to determine front from back, zigzagged the waistband and twin stitched the hems. The latter two have already burst stitches so I will redo them with a different stretch stitch.
But obviously the main thing about these leggings is the ridiculous fabric. It's so ace. It's very abstract but it reminds me of feathers. I think of a flurry of tropical birds when I look at it. (Maybe I haven't come so far from 13 year old me after all.) Strictly speaking I don't think it's the best for leggings - its a viscose jersey, very lightweight and thin and I feel cold just looking at these pictures, but hey.
The jury is still out for me on leggings, but they're useful and these guys are fun and I like the combination with the Inari. And my son's 60 something preschool teacher thinks they, combined with my trying-to-be-Isabel-Marant sneaker wedges, are the best thing in the world. So that's good.
What do you think about leggings as trousers?
See you soon (and by soon I mean hopefully in the next week or so - not April) x