Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday's Tute: Cropped Capris

Spring has sprung in Ohio.  Curly has done some growing and needs a wardrobe revamp.  Creating new clothing makes for lots of fun for Curly and Mama.  ;)  I've been wanting to use ruffle fabric for some time.  I found this tie-dye version online.  It does have a bit of a see through issue.  She'll wear these with a shirt to cover, so it works ok for us.  This week's tutorial is a bit of a two for one.  I'll show you how to create a leggings pattern from a pair of leggings.  Then I'll show you how I used the leggings pattern to make this pair of ruffle capris.

Knit Fabric with lycra or spandex
A pair of leggings that fit
Elastic for the waist (I use 3/4")
Ballpoint sewing machine needle
Sewing supplies

Directions: (Some of the directions are specific for the ruffle fabric.  If you're not using ruffle fabric ignore them.)

 1. Fold the leggings in half down the center front.  Pull out the crotch curve as pictured.
Trace around the perimeter of the leg.  Leave seam allowance and an allowance for the casing. (My casing is 1 1/2") I did the full pant leg for future use.

 2. Mark the pattern for type of pattern, size, casing.  I also marked lengths for shorts, capri, crop, and then the full pant.  This way I can use this legging pattern for all of these lengths by folding the pattern at the appropriate length.

 3. Lay the pattern with the outside leg seam on the fabric fold.  Make sure your ruffle fabric is folded so the ruffles are running straight on both layers.  It's like working with horizontal stripes.  They need to run straight or the pants will look a bit odd.
Pin or weigh down your pattern.
I folded my fabric over two times to enable me to cut both legs at once and be sure my ruffles would line up on both legs.  If you cut the legs separately make sure to lay your pattern so that each leg has the ruffles in the same spot.  Otherwise your ruffles won't match up when you sew the legs together.

 4. Be careful to cut the bottom hem edge of each leg so that the leg ends with a full ruffle.

 5. Legs cut and ready to stitch.

 6. I used a serger, but will give directions for a regular sewing machine.
Use a 2 wide by 2 long zigzag stitch and a ball point needle when sewing with knit fabrics.
With right sides together, stitch each "J" (crotch) curve.

 7. With right sides together, stitch the inseam.  For ruffle fabric: start at the crotch and sew, down, toward the hem.  Repeat for the other leg.  You don't want to sew ruffle fabric against the natural lay of the ruffles.

 8. Stitch a casing for the elastic.

 9. Trim the backing fabric away from the ruffle at the pant hem.  Be careful not to cut the pant/ruffle. I left about a 1/4" of backing as to not take any chance of cutting the ruffle loose.

10. Completed ruffle capris.

Please be sure to show us your knit capris...ruffle fabric or not. ;)  You can email pictures to us at squigglytwigsdesigns   at  yahoo  dot com.

Happy Sewing!

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