I am typing this post at 4:40am. At approximately 8:30am, me and Paco are supposed to be in some kind of corral down at Congress and Riverside, proceeding down the Statesman Cap10K route with the rest of the enormous herd (more than 18,000 people registered, last year). Thankfully, I signed us up for the slow-poke-walkers group. I suspect we may fall back in to the “people who crawl everywhere” crowd in the first 5 minutes if I don’t get a second wind soon.
I hope I don’t come across as somebody who normally stays up all night and then attempts to participate in a 6.2 mile sporting event. In fact, I literally cannot remember the last time I stayed up all night. I don’t even know if I can stay up all night, and since it’s still dark outside I’d say the jury is still out on that count.
Horrifically, I also find that I am now out of coffee. In fact, I literally cannot remember the last time I ran out of coffee.
This is a perfect storm of events so long in coming, so historically unusual for me, that I have no idea what to expect, now, minute by minute. I don’t even know if I’ll finish this post.
See this fabric? A friend gave it to me. It was part of that fantastic stash I received a couple of months ago. Isn’t it cute? Note the Eiffel tower in the background, the cute little French mice in the foreground (they have to be French, right?). So 80’s, to me (I have no idea what vintage this fabric is, actually).
Of course, you can’t tell from the picture, but this fabric has a nice stretch to it. It’s a light to medium weight knit of some kind, and it is the only fabric in my stash even remotely suitable for leggings. As an added bonus, the colors compliment this year’s Cap10K t-shirt. Leggings in this Frenchified knit fabric would liven my ensemble right up, don’t you think?
Well I thought so.
Why I waited until the day before the event to even have this thought is a mystery to me.
Asking me why I didn’t start sewing them until midnight is likewise a mystery to me. It’s like asking me where wind comes from. The wind comes when it comes. It goes where it goes. Much like my ideas.
At any rate, everything I’ve read online says that leggings are one of the easiest things for a beginner to sew. I even have a pretty good serger that’s already setup for knits, since the last time I used it I was practicing making t-shirts.
And leggings are easy to make. I used the Manilla pattern from my Seamwork subscription. I’d had it printed full size at FedEx several weeks ago. It took no time at all to trace out the front and back legs and waistband (12:30am). It took no more than 15 minutes to cut everything out. The legs and crotch came together in less than 30 minutes(1:05am), and would have gone faster if I hadn’t had to unpick part of a seam and sew it back up again (I accidentally serged a fold in the seam) (1:40am).
The problem came when I attempted to sew my first elasticized waistband (2:00am). It was a fail. After carefully cutting a waistband twice as wide as the pattern called for; after retrieving the right size elastic from my sewing box and carefully pinning everything together, I realized that both the elastic and the waistband were much too big for the waist, even given the fabric’s great stretch. So I unpinned everything and decided to try a different approach. I trimmed the elastic down to the appropriate size. Likewise the waistband. I then serged the waistband on to the pants, sans elastic (which I thought I would thread through the waistband, rather than encasing in the waistband). And then I realized that I’d accidentally serged the seam allowance off said waistband; a waistband now too narrow for elastic 🙁 (3:40am)
What’s that? Why yes, I *could* have unpicked said waistband, cut yet another new waistband (I have j-u-u-u-st enough fabric left to do that) and tried again. 3rd time’s a charm, right?
No. It was 3:40 in the morning. Are you crazy? Just… no.
The leggings almost stay up without elastic, but not quite. I could thread a tie through the waistband and make these drawstring leggings, however, they hit me just low enough in the back that I don’t think they would stay up. Also, I’m not up for sewing a tie, and the only thing I have that’s long enough to do the job is a new 54″ shoestring from a set I got to replace those currently in my Converse high-tops, and that’s a mighty skinny little tie for a drawstring waistband. Regardless, I decided that’s what I would have to do. I folded the waistband over and zig zagged the seams together (4:00am). Now my waistband – which is supposed to be 1″ according to the pattern, but which I’d cut to be 2″ – has somehow shrunk down to a 1/2″ waistband that barely covers my crack.
Also, a word about the fabric. It’s for t-shirts, people. T-shirts or dresses. I’ve had some leggings in my life (ironically, I have a closet half full of leggings). THIS IS NOT LEGGINGS MATERIAL. It is not soft or slippery, for instance. While it does have pretty good stretch, it has it’s limits (the seams are totally straining around my calves, which is yet another first for me). This fabric was not intended to cling to the body. I have no idea what kind of recovery it has.
I’m not disappointed in this project, however. I learned lots while making these leggings, and I’d already decided I didn’t want to use the fabric for anything else (I can admire the print without wanting to wear it on my torso). Heck, I may yet run a shoestring through the waistband and give them a shot for the 10K (if I really do the 10K).
I can wear my jean shorts over them.
I’m not vain about these things. There will be people in this 10K dressed like babies and kangaroos. Nobody’s gonna care if I wear jean shorts over my t-shirt Paris mouse leggings.
Seriously. A 10K. In 3 hours (it’s almost 5:30am now).
I dunno about all this impending exercise stuff. I can barely keep my eyes open. I’M OUT OF COFFEE. Paco had Lasik surgery last Thursday and his vision is all kinds of messed up right now… plus, I serged and sewed all night long, so he probably didn’t sleep very well. Maybe I can blame it on him?
Let’s blame Paris.