Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Leggings, the $5 version

So I finished up my first leggings class for teens this past Sunday. Talk about multi-tasking! This makes me think of the times I've been in the kitchen making lentil soup, pesto sauce and filling up the ice tray all at the same time. If you can handle cooking multiple dishes at once, you most certainly help four students who all need your help now. That was certainly the way I felt during my leggings class on Sunday. I had to go the bathroom, but I didn't leave the classroom once during the 3-hour workshop. And I'd just had an iced coffee to boot! Somehow, I just got in the Zone of super-concentration for the afternoon. I focused on my students, what they needed and getting out on time, more or less.

So I moved from the cutting table, to the machines, asked a student to assist another, and did some magic with the seam rippers. Four pairs of leggings of varying quality emerged completed by a little after the end of class. I even managed to sew on some stretch lace by request from my youngest student, a 9-year-old (who incidentally seemed to have the least fear of the advanced Viking sewing machines. She put down a whole of straight stitching on her fussy fuschia knit while I was with one of her peers. It wasn't perfect, but she did it!)

I didn't end up doing the twin-needle stitching on the hems after all. It's just too complex to set up individually. In a future seminar, I might set up a machine or two with these needles in black and white threads. Then, we could just pick the thread that best matches the chosen fabric and get it done and over with. Or I could suggest in my materials hand-out a fabric that has some white or black in it. I'd also make my class slightly longer. It's so difficult to complete any project in 180 minutes, let alone a pair of leggings. So all workshops - hats, underwear, t-shirts - are going to be 3.5 hours at least. It makes my life easier and less stressful. Everyone's more likely to walk out with a completed project. There's nothing less like leaving a one-time class with a project that's not done and you don't have a clue on how to finish it. None!

But I loved how my students were just so enthusiastic: they all had previous experience on the Vikings. The entire class had learned how to make pajama pants, one had even made a simple dress. I think it also helps that they're used to computers, so a sewing machine with a glowing display and up and down buttons are kid-friendly.

Even if they never touch McCall M5512 again, I hope they wear their leggings. To me, that's primo! If you don't wear what you make, you're less likely to sew. No one's going to see the crooked stitched, the less than perfect waistband, so why not just wear it. Besides, you spent money on it, you might as well as get some wear out of it. For example, I've got a short sleeve top on today underneath a Sandra Betzina tunic. The short sleeve top is a little big, the neckline wonky, but the fabric is so soft and comfortable. It's suitable as the extra layer that I need during this damp, cold day.

Back to Sunday. I was able to finish my leggings after the students left. I'm wearing them now beneath my black yoga pant.

I've since ordered this pattern, because I prefer my leggings long ankle-length. This accessory is so inexpensive, you can easily make it for less than $5, which makes it much cheaper than the basic black one I got for about $15 at Marshalls recently. I'm incredibly thrilled with this easy-to-make accessory, that I just want to share my knowledge with other women. How likely would you be to sign up for a how-to-make leggings workshop? You can not only make pairs for yourself, but children too. It's practical!


goodworks1 said...

What a great idea to run a leggings class! Thanks for posting about your experience. Leggings are moving to the top of my to-do list!

the_lazymilliner said...

Thanks, goodworks1...I need to getting working on this pattern. And I just picked another at the pattern swap I hosted recently...