27.4.15

Super Stretchy

I have just participated in KCWC, but in the can't-quite-fully-commit way that all my sewing seems to be done these days.  I managed about 4 hours of sewing.  Not daily.  Not keeping the "wild things" theme.

I sewed several pairs of what we used to call "bike tights".  "Skins" is a brand of sports clothing that is covet-able amongst children at the moment.  At upwards of $65 a pair, they seem like pretty pricy bike tights to me.  My boys each have one pair, and they wear them so often that I think that they get washed at less than hygienic frequency.  They get worn under shorts for football (all codes) and under looser shorts for gymnastics.

Last time I was able to order fabrics from Eclipse textiles, I ordered some Atlanta Plus, which feels like a pretty similar fabric to me (I don't currently have a supplier for small quantities of fabric from Eclipse...if you know of one, please put their details in the comments).

The first pair were a straight forward Jalie 2563.


For the next pair, I was inspired by the Fehr Trade Steeplechase leggings to make a pair with no inseam.  I did this by cutting a curvy side seam into Jalie 2796 compression shorts and sticking the 2 pieces back together at the in-seam.  In concept, this worked well.  In reality, none of my kids fit this pattern very well, saying that they are too tight in the bum and too loose in the legs.  Shame, as they look really good on.  I will have to apply that same concept to a different legging pattern.





For the third pair, I man-i-fied Jalie 2563, by cutting out a crotch panel and following my own tutorial to create more room in the crotch for the boy bits.  That is the pattern piece on the left most in the photo below.




And now for the super stretchy bit.  Nearly 2 years ago, I replaced my bottom of the line Janome overlocker with a Bernina 1150 MDA.  The Bernina has a much nicer looking stitch, but I have found that I am more likely to end up with holes or stitching coming apart on my close fitting lycra gear, (including a set of dance costumes that I made :(  ).  I went back to the manual this time, to see that I had chosen the optimal stitch setting, and discovered a 3 thread super stretch setting.  This stitch uses both the needle threads, so at first glance, it looks like a 4 thread stitch.  There is no upper looper thread.  Instead, an upper looper converter accessory is attached, so that the upper looper thread no longer carries thread and the lower looper thread is diverted so that loops are formed.  All news to me.  I have really pulled on the length of these seams, and they have not broken threads.  I thought that this was worth mentioning, for other self taught sewers that may have not picked up on this detail in their manual :).

And the verdict.  My younger son is happy to wear the first pair.  My daughter has claimed the second pair, after they were rejected by my older son...but she says they are a bit tight, so we will have see if she wears them.  The third pair look really good on my older son, but he is not keen to wear them, as they are not "skins".  Maybe when I show him the list of jobs required to earn enough money for skins, he will come around??  Not sure.  Might have to keep them for the younger son to grow into.

6 comments:

  1. Oh yes, the much coveted Skins! Both my boys wear Diadora compression shorts which are pretty much identical. My daughter has recently found that Kmart do a pretty good range of men's and womens compression gear and at a very affordable price. She is a student after all and funny how less fussy they get when they are picking up the tab. I have made her colourful compression shorts in the past but like you said, the stitching can sometimes have durability issues. With the amount of use my youngest son's Diadora shorts are getting at the moment, I may need to follow your lead!

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    1. I am off to Kmart tomorrow to look for socks for gymnastics so I will check their range out - thanks!

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  2. I've been searching (in an offhand kind of way) for a pattern to make swim trunks for my son. Looks like you've nailed what i'm after, but I don't know if I can be bothered with the adjustments you've made. You've done a greatjob, and heck KCW is whatever you want to make it!
    I am thrilled to bits with your revelation about the super stretchy three thread overlocking. This is just the sort of tinkering I love. I've made a few pair of lycra cycle shoe covers for my husband and they needs heaps of stretch and the regular overlocking seams weren't holding up as well as they should. thanks for the tips!

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  3. My daughter swims and combines it with weight training so I made her two pairs of girly-fied Comox Trunks (Thread Theory Patterns) and her friends are jealous!!! I used a stretchy cotton fabric, and used a three tread overlock. Thank heavens she likes what I sew for her at least for outfits out of the water, because the swimsuits are super expensive. I'm going to try the Fehr Trade pattern.

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  4. The Charles Parsons company is in Brisbane and if I go past there I might see if they do sales to the public. They bring in a lot of fashion fabrics (a lot of the ones I buy at the fabric sale are from them). I need to get onto better swimmers for my son ... I'll put it on the list.

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    1. IT would be great if you could do that! I do get to Brisbane most years to visit the in-laws, so could stock up.

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