Hello all! Today I've got to share with you my latest uni project. We had a week to make a leotard or catsuit and I opted to make a leotard out of this fantastic purple metallic foil with raglan sleeves and a turtle neck.
I started by drafting the leotard block from Winnie Aldrich's patterncutting book, then I adapted the sleeves to raglan sleeves with a dart, which was surprisingly easy to do. To transfer the pieces to the fabric I layered up carbon paper on the bottom, then the fabric, then the pattern pieces on top. The markings were then transferred using a tracing wheel.
The first step after cutting out was to cut out a strip of knit interfacing and fusing it to the centre back to stabilise it ready for the invisible zip.
The invisible zip went in really well. I darted off the end of the zip so it would blend because I didn't have a centre back seam. Then it was a case of sewing everything together for the fitting. Everything was tacked with a 'running stitch' which was a wavy straight stitch which allows the fabric to stretch but is easier to remove than overlocking. The fitting went fairly well and the only thing that we changed was make the sleeve more fitted to the arm.
I then transferred the changes to the pattern and then back to the fabric to ensure the changes were even on each side. I turned the sleeve hems over and topstitched them with a twin needle. Then it was just a matter or overlocking all the tacked seams together before inserting the elastic. We have an industrial overlocker available to us so I used that. My goodness is it a powerful beast.
The elastic measurement was the front leg measurement -1cm and the back leg measurement -1.5cm added together + 3cm for a 1.5cm crossover on each side. Then I pinned it evenly along the leg hole, stitched, turned in and topstitched with the same stitch that I used for tacking earlier. I sampled it with a twin needle but the finish wasn't quite as good.
This seam matching up has to be one of my proudest sewing moments.
I think the only fit issue is the wrinkling at the back, which probably would benefit from a sway back adjustment. Next time I'd pinch out the extra room from the pattern piece.
Overall I really enjoyed this project. It was great to learn how to handle knit fabrics properly, e.g. never press them always steam them. Also, if a seam has stretched out it will quite likely go back into shape with some gentle nudging and a good steam. I think that this has been one of my most accurate makes yet. It makes me very happy that all of the seams match up. Now I've just got to find an occasion to wear it to!
Thanks for reading!