I was a pattern tester for the Aila Leggings and received the sewing pattern for this purpose free of charge from The Last Stitch. This blog post was not part of the tester agreement and I wrote it voluntarily.
I’ve been following The Last Stitch for a while now, because she’s one of a few sewists producing excellent content on the topic of activewear. She has written a book on sewing activewear and one on mastering the coverstitch machine.
Johanna recently put out a call for testers for her first garment sewing pattern and I excitedly applied. I had my first half marathon coming up and wanted to make special leggings for the occasion.
So far, I have made two versions of the Aila Leggings. First, I made a pair of bike shorts in leftover fabric from a previous project. I wanted to check the fit on the shorts length before sewing a full-length pair. As it turned out, I love the fit of this pattern on me. I even like it better than the leggings pattern I have drafted myself. Crotch and bum drafting is hard!
The second pair I sewed is the full-length color-blocked version. The original pattern only has two sections, but I bought three coordinating colors of fabric recently so I added another style line halfway between the first one and the hem.
This pair has the zippered pocket in the waistband. When I had finish sewing that, it felt magical! I had never sewn a zipper into stretchy fabric before, but Johanna’s instructions are so good that it turned out really nicely.
I also tried reverse coverstitching the seams on these leggings for the first time. It turned out pretty well. I used a triple coverstitch with wooly nylon in the looper, but the extra stitches do make the seams a lot less stretchy.
The fabric I used for this pair is Yoga Stretch from Discovery Fabrics in the colorways Vivid Berry, Nebula and Deep Burgundy. I’m very excited about this fabric! It feels like high-end RTW activewear and has great stretch and recovery while still being nice and firm. It has a really lovely hand, that’s almost like cotton. You should definitely get your hands on it if you can!