I wanted to use the Lapwing Trousers pattern to make some yoga pants. I teach dancing and I need some new dance pants, because my current options are getting very tired. I thought the Lapwing trousers pattern would work well for this, because they’re already the right sort of shape.
My sewjo has been in hibernation for a little while, and I’m quite used to winter being more about knitting and crochet than about sewing, but Me Made May usually kicks it back into action, I find. I also volunteered for the Simple Sew Bloggers #memademay instagram takeover, as a way to buckle down and get this done (because honestly, I’ve been planning this make for literally years, and not getting around to it!).
I wanted to make a couple of changes to the basic pattern. Firstly, I wanted to make it in jersey, for ease of movement, secondly I wasn’t going to include the pockets, and finally, I wanted an elasticated waist rather than the drawstring.
The fabric I was using is a mystery Jersey. It’s a man-made fibre with a lot of spandex, so it has great stretch and recovery. The colour is is a greyish-brown or brownish-grey whichever way you choose to look at it! In my head I’m calling it ‘pewter’. The colour shows best in the first photo here but the second one shows how well it drapes.
I checked my measurements against the finished garment measurements on the back of the packet. The only relevant one that wasn’t given was the thigh circumference, and although I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to be a problem, I worked it out from the pattern pieces, just to be certain! I was making the size 20, and because I was using jersey, I decided not to make any grading amendments. (If I was using a woven fabric, I would have needed to add an extra 1½ inches or 3cm of width into each of the pattern pieces, a fairly easy grading adjustment.)
The only pattern adjustment I made at the cutting stage was to make sure I could accommodate the elastic for the waistband. The pattern includes enough allowance for a 3cm waistband/drawstring casing channel. However my elastic was 4cm wide, so I added an extra centimetre at the top of the waistband when I cut out both front and back pieces.
I followed the sewing order given in the instructions:-
- Outside legs (I could ignore all the pocket instructions and just sew the outer left seams straight down)
- Front centre seam, back centre seam
- Inside legs
For the waistband, I turned the allowance under and pinned, making sure that it would be wide enough to fit my elastic, but still be reasonably snug, so the elastic wouldn’t twist or shift around. Then I stitched it, leaving a gap to insert the elastic. When inserting the elastic, I made sure I pinned the other end outside the casing, so it didn’t slip into the casing channel while I wasn’t paying attention! I made sure the elastic was lying flat, and not twisted, and stitched the two ends together.
That just left the hems. The Lapwings seem very long!
I ended up taking 10cm off the length. I’m 5’7″, so I’m taller than average (google tells me the average height for UK women is 5’5″). A more petite person than me might be able to get the pattern out of a smaller piece of fabric. Having said that, I’d rather err on the side of caution and keep the length initially, because you can cut it shorter if you need to (and with the Lapwing, it’s a straight leg, so you don’t need to worry about keeping any shaping), but if you’ve cut it too short it’s harder to fix.
When I first envisaged these, I saw them as yoga pants, for teaching dance in, maybe doing some Pilates, but with the Lockdown, these are going to be super for Working From Home in! They are really comfortable, but when we’re all allowed to go out and about again, I reckon they’re dressy enough for out of doors too!
Béa blogs at Béa’s Sewing Adventures.
Although the Lapwing Trousers are designed for woven fabrics, we love that Bea has transformed these into jersey Yoga pants and you can find all of the fabric requirements and sizing details on the pattern envelope below.