Monday, November 16, 2009

Sewing Review: Jalie figure skating pants #2215

Previously, I sewed the practice skirt and reviewed that part of the pattern here.

This weekend, I sewed the pants for Jalie pattern #2215. My worry with this pattern was that the pants would be more in the style of loose dance pants than tight-fitting skater’s or runner’s pants.

Turns out, it’s kind of a hybrid, but it’s very easy to make these pants in the newest style – tight fitting, but loose enough to cover the skate boot and heel, like this pant from Jump ‘n Style Skatewear.

Here’s what I did:

Pattern tracing. I measured Ice Girl, traced the pattern on sew-in interfacing, and cut out the appropriate size. I extended the leg all the way to the last possible size.

I machine basted the pants together and had Ice Girl try them on with the wrong side out with her skates on.

Fitting. Using my tailor’s chalk, I traced a seam line where the pants fit a bit loose, ensuring that I kept a flare from just above the ankle to the bottom. I also marked the hem line where I wanted the pants to hit the boot.

Sew ‘em up. Pretty basic, but it’s times like these when I love my serger.

Applique. Another gal at the rink makes these really cool black skater's pants with colorful appliques running down the outside legs. So, I felt so smug when I thought of using up my scrap lycra to achieve a mosaic look. Really, I was pretty dumb. I ironed lightweight Heat ‘n’ Bond to the scraps, then I cut about a gazillion different shapes. I sewed up the outside leg seam and ironed on the many, many appliques. Then I edged all of them with a narrow zig-zag stitch and sewed up the inseams. The pants look great, but I will never, ever make another pair of pants like these. No one should ever have enough time to make that many appliques.

Waistband. This pattern recommends creating a casing out of the top of the waistband. I really, really hate threading elastic through casings. So, I had a brainwave. What if I treated the waistband like I would treat the leg, arm, and neck openings of a regular figure skating dress? At three-something in the morning it seemed like a great idea. So, I sewed the ends of the elastic together with a zig-zag stitch, and split the elastic circle in half, fourths, and then eighths with pins. I pinned the pants waistband into eighths and then pinned the elastic to the wrong side of the waist, matching pins. I sewed the elastic along the top edge, folded it over, pinned, and sewed it along the bottom edge. It works really well and I didn’t have to spend any time cursing over losing the elastic end in the casing.

Bottom line: I really like this pants pattern. It’s simple and looks great. It looks even better after my simple alterations to make it fit very snugly. The appliqué treatment down the outside leg seam looks terrific, but I’d go for simple, large pieces rather than tiny shapes.  Jalie patterns come with 22 sizes in the envelope, good instructions, and sturdy pattern paper (perfect for tracing). I’m a big Jalie fan.


merry-one said...

I'd love to see a photo of the pants. My daughter is just getting into figure skating and I have this pattern to make her the skirt and pants. Quick question for you, where do you usually get your fabrics? Thanks.

Ice Mom said...

Hi, Merry!

I would post a photo, but it's become a sport to see if people can spot Ice Girl at rinks and competitions.

I used a heavyweight black lycra for the pants and grab-bag lycra for the skirt. I buy my fabric from the Lycra Lady. She's changed the name of her site, though, so I'll have to post it when I get home.

I've also ordered from Quick service, but some of the prints are of poor quality (they bled through to the other side of the fabric.) Cool prints, though. My friend who makes neat skating pants usese their swirly designs down the pants' sides.

justpat said...

I like you waist contruction. has a heavyweight lycra fabric called moleskin that I use for pants, especially for guys, since they don't wear tights for extra warmth. Jumbo spandex is another heavyweight lycra. it has a slightly ribbed texture on one side, the other is smooth.
Spandex House also has dri-tek fabric that wicks moisture. It looks like regular lycra. I've bought some but haven't had a chance to use it yet.

Denise said...

Have you tried using a large safety pin to thread the elastic thru the casing? Simply attach the safety pin to the front end of the elastic and use it to guide the elastic thru the casing. It's easy to feel thru the fabric and rigid enough to easily push the elastic thru the casing. It's also easy to back it up if gets hung up on a seam allowance. I've never had any trouble threading elastic using this method. Be sure to keep track of the back end of the elastic so it doesn't get pulled thru the opening. (I've never tried this but attaching a safety pin to the back end would make it easier to pull back thru if it accidentally gets pulled thru.)

Ice Mom said...

Hi, Denise. Thanks for your comment! Yeah, I've tried the safety pin thing and I've also used a drawstring threader, which used to be my favorite method.

However, I find the safety pin hard to navigate and sometimes my drawstring threader loses the elastic in the loop.

I really prefer this easier method, which looks pretty good for practice wear. In fact, it's my new elastic method for nearly every application, I think.

Best wishes for success!

Ice Mom

Xan said...

arrrggh, where were you people when I was making all these skating clothes for my kid (now out on her own)! I got more leads on fabric and patterns in one day here than I have gotten for the last 10 years. I actually finally resorted to making my own patterns.

Ice Mom said...

You make your own patterns, Xan? I'm in awe. I alter plenty of patterns, but I'm way too chicken to draft my own.

Anonymous said...

There's a website for a fabric store called Rockywoods that sells 4-way stretch polar fleece. I bought a couple of yard and was a ble to make 3 pairs of the Jalie skating pants for my daughter. She loves them.

Ice Mom said...

Here's the fabric source I use:

The site is in progress, but I'm a Sample Club member, so I have the swatches at home.

Anonymous said...

I have made several pairs of these jalie pants. My Ice Girl loves them especially for 6am syncro practice. The pattern is very easy to follow. I have found heavy weight polar tech fleece sold at Lucy's fabric for around $10.00 a yard. that would make $15.00 pants vs $50.00 pants sold on-line for the same fabric!!

merry-one said...

Ice Mom,

Thanks for your resources. I just ordered the samples from LycraLady. I've gotten some 4 way stretch polar fleece and am ready to sew.

Thanks again.

Ice Mom said...

Hi, Merry.

Glad ordering from the Lycra Lady worked out for you.

If you have the polartech fleece that's smooth on one side and fuzzy on the other, take it from me: smooth side out! The fuzzy side is warm, but it's a lint magnet.

Best wishes for success!

Ice Mom

Ice Mom said...

I'm sorry to hear that folks are trying to spot ice girl.

That is an unfair weight to place on any skater!

kim kardashian said...

I really like the design. Would love to see your next designs.

Liz said...

Lovely post! I make quite a few of my girls' clothes, and it's good to know which fabrics are best. Take care, and I look forward to your next project!
skating pants