Active Wear – Yoga Pants : Part 1

100_0270I am so excited to start making my yoga pants! One of my goals for this year is to make more of my own patterns rather then relying on the pattern companies. With this goal in mind I began making my sloper patterns last year. Now I can benefit from that , by using my pant sloper. I begin by tracing the front and back pieces onto some pattern ease I had laying about.

100_0274After tracing I create the leg shape, a slight boot flare. To do this I measure my knee circumference, divide by 4 and measure this amount out from my center/grain line along the knee line. My knee measures 15″. Divided by 4 gets me 3-3/4″. I measure that 3-3/4″ out from my center grain line towards the inseam, and then towards the side seam. Repeat for both pant legs.

I use this same technique at the hem line but this time I measure out 4-1/2″ on either side of the center grain line at my hem.

Join the knee to the hem connecting your new cross marks along the side seam and inseam.

Next I blend the line using my fashion ruler from the knee to the hip, and then from the knee to the crotch.

100_0276In this picture you can see that I lowered my waistline considerably. My sloper sits at my natural waist, but I want the yoga pants to have a lower rise. I am using 3″ elastic for the waistband, so using a tape measure I measured from my waist to where I want the top of my pants to sit, I then deduct the 3″ waistband which tells me I need to measure down from my pant waist 5-1/2″. This is the dashed red line you see.

100_0271Now I have my correct yoga pant shape. I still need to adjust for the stretch of the fabric. Form fitting knits require whats called “negative ease”. Generally we add ease to a pattern so its comfortable to wear or for the design, but because we want the knit to hug the body and it has a stretch capacity we can actually remove ease from the pattern. After using my stretch chart on my fabric I determined that it has a moderate 25% – 30%stretch to it. My pattern making book tells me to reduce each vertical seam by 3/8″ to compensate for this stretch amount, that’s the inseam, side seam, and crotch seams. By using a 3/8 seam allowance I can use my blue line as my cutting line then and just create a stitch line 3/8″ inside of that.

Additionally I need to raise the crotch/inseam point up by 1/2″. The red line is my stitch line, the blue line is my cut line and the pencil line is my original pattern tracing.

I also need to make a waistband which needs to have a finished width of 3″. Next I measure the patterns waistline stitch line on the front and back patterns, multiply by 2 which gives me a finished length of 31″. I am now ready to make a pattern piece…a long rectangle which measures 31″ x 6″ and lets not forget to add the 3/8″ seam allowance.

Voila’ my yoga pattern is ready to try.

If your pant pattern is already for stretch fabrics you will choose your pant size based on your hip measurement. Don’t forget to adjust the leg length by measuring your inseam and then comparing it to the inseam on the pattern. Most patterns have a lengthen or shorten line marked about mid leg..adjust yours to suit at this point.

You can also check the crotch length, by taking a tape measure and measuring between your legs from your back waist through to your front waistline. Stop and start the measuring where you want the rise of your pants to be. Compare this to your pattern by first marking the stitching line along your crotch seam. Then using your tape measure, follow the stitch line on the front and back and compare to your desired crotch length. Adjust accordingly.

100_0278     100_0277

Well that is all for today. Please post any questions you may have. Don’t forget to pre-wash your fabrics, very important with knits. And look for the sewing turorial of these pants later this week.

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