I am just learning to sew, and i was wondering if any of you have made the riding tights from Suitability? If so, what did you think? were they difficult, and did they fit well? I am not your average Suzy homemaker, so making my own clothes is not for me, but- i would make riding clothes..If it's not too difficult and if they fit well. i did a search, but i did not find anything.
A long, long time ago I made the riding tights from their pattern. It wasn't too hard, but at that time I was also making simple skirts to wear to work, so...
You can adjust the pattern for the second pair if they don't fit right, that's the point. But with the stretchy material normally used for tights, you have a lot of room for error, so it's a good project to start with.
The one thing I would caution, that stretchy fabric can be difficult to sew. It takes some trial and error to get the tension on the machine right, and if you don't use the correct stitch, you won't have any stretch across the seams. Some machines (the cheaper ones) an have a lot of trouble handling stretchy or delicate fabrics without ruining them.
The patterns themselves are not difficult IMO, but the fabric can be a challenge. So just make sure you have someone show you where the tension controls and feed dog control are, and which stitch to use.
What does the cost of materials run when making them yourself? Obviously, I realize it depends on the material chosen, but, ballpark -- 25%? 50%? 75%???
What does that stretchy French terry fabric that riding tights are sometimes made in run per yard? Or say, how much is the winter fleece-y material (polartec?) per yard? I don't think I've seen either fabric at a local fabric store, and I did once look for the winter-weight fabric.
Not that I can sew, but...I've considered whether it was worth the effort (and time, and lessons, and money!) to learn. Maybe someday....
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HB thanks for the warning. that is a fear i have. I just traded my Old machine for a Janome which is for a beginner, but i am a beginner. When i traded my machine i got $50 off the cost of a new one, but the one i got was still pricey. the Sewing place told me it's a good name. Plus i get one free class on how to use it properly. i just need to find out what needles to use for what, and i'm hoping to take even more classes. I have no idea the cost yet.
Ditto on the stretch thing. I tried to talk my MIL, who is quite a sewer, into working on some things for me and she flat out refused. Britches and a hunt coat were too fussy and difficult. I put together a costume for my DD at Halloween that had ribbon appliques, quick and sloppy, and if you can spend time just sewing extra fabric for practice it makes it much easier to deal with the final production. If it hadn't been OK sloppy I'd have been in BIG trouble.
if this is your first project, I would recommend something a bit simpler so you don't get fustrated and get a completed project - one of the main problems I have had with the suitability patterns is directions that are not really clear and well written - my copies are about 6 years old -
knits and stretch fabric (active wear) are a bit hard to learn to work with, but once you do it's not that bad - they are less forgiving of mistakes than cotton - harder to pick out stitches when you make a mistakes, eetc.
Fleece is great, while it has some stretch to it, it sews and handles much like a non-knit fabric. Get a good quality fleece - especially if you are making winter breeches. It will cost a bit more, but in the long run you will be happier with them.
I have worked with the thinner fleece which is cheaper and in some ways harder to work with, it makes up a great pair of tights for wearing under pants, but not as breeches or riding tights.
kwik sew has some good patterns that work well with knits and active wear and many are very good beginner patterns.
in your machine's instruction book, there should list or show the various stitches - mine has a specific dial for knits which I use for most stretch fabric and only on the fleece when I do pants - for vests and jackets I use the regular stitch - my machine does a double type of stitch for knits so that as the fabric stretches the stitches do not break -
good thread is also helpful for sewing - there is nothing worse than having your thread break all the time because you bought the really cheap stuff -
one idea that may be a good beginner project is to do some polar fleece hats, headbands, socks and mittens (gloves are a pain to do) - that gets you used to working with the fleece and patterns with out a big project sitting in front of you to finish - most pattern companies have them and there are even some free patterns on the web -
needles appropriate for your project are needed - make sure you have extra and change them after a couple of projects - I tried to change them after ever other big project - for some reason fleece seems to really dull them - so after each project I may change them - I'll do a set of mitten, socks, hat and one other small items and than change the needle -
Have to agree with Paintedclyde....I am an advanced sewer, and some of the Suitability patterns still give me problems with instructions. Having said that, though, I have used their breeches patterns, and they aren't terribly difficult. I use them to make winter weight breeches from the really good Polartec windproof fleece.
If you're doing this to save money, and you value your time *at* *all*, you probably won't. Garment factories can put this stuff together way cheaper than you ever could at home, even with the retail markup.
Good fabric for breeches and tights is expensive -- I made mine from lycra bathing suit material (a little slippery, but cool! It was Florida.) so the cost was low.
With the newer style of using horse fashions for every day wear - Simplicity or one of the other pattern companies may have a pattern for breeches that would be easier to use. It is worth checking out. You might have to make or place the knee patches a bit differently than the directions say.
thanks everyone. i appreciate the feedback. I don't think it's b/c of the cost that i want to do it, i just think it would be great if i could master this skill. i am the type who wears mostly t-shirts, Sweats, etc.. so if i can learn to sew this type of knit fabric, i'd be thrilled. i did buy a few types of needles and i know i need to use the right needles and use a new one after each project. For me, I'll probably never want to sew a skirt or trousers, b/c i am not in need of more dressy clothes, and i have a bunch now. But i can always use knits. I have to find out what types of classes my sewing store offers.
I have lots of ideas for "simpler" horsey projects if you want them. I have made a few fleece coolers, that things that you put on halters so they don't rub, and I have customized some saddle pads. I started with flat projects (table clothes, bibs, diaper changing pads, pillow cases, etc) and I'm going to venture into toddler sun dresses this spring.
"Real" polarfleece is called Polartec and is made by Malden Mills in Massachusetts. It is the original and the best. They used to have retail store at the mill but it is closed now. I googled and found Mill Direct Textiles, which apparently is being run by the same people. The website looks exactly the same. I don't know how the prices run these days, but they used to have good bargains, vs. getting a lesser quality fleece. They used to have 90" widths from time to time which would be good for making a simple cooler. I use a couple of remnants for throws, without binding the edges.
You don't have to use a new needle for each project. Just depends on when they stop sewing well. I use them until they break, but then I sew through some tough fabrics. So they do tend to bend, which leads to them breaking as they hit parts they ought not hit.
If you are looking for a simple project to start with, go with a saddle pad. Get some of the pre-made quilted fabric and some double-fold bias tape, make a pattern off a pad you like, and work with that. Those fabrics are easier to work with, and it'll let you get used to your machine without starting with a difficult project.
I've done a ton of sewing. I've made show coats, skirts, dresses where I created the pattern, altered some darned complicated dress pants, etc. I was going to make my own wedding dress (beaded and lace, the whole nine yards) before I found my dream dress on clearance at a bridal shop. I wouldn't even try breeches because it'll cost you more to make them than to buy them, and the seams just never do lay quite right with most machines. Mine nests horribly when I work with those types of fabrics, and it's a very nice machine. They really do sell special machines for sewing those fabrics, or at least they used to.
Hi Nezzy! I think its great that you want to sew some equestrian tights. A difference between equestrian pants/tights and "regular" tights is that there is no inner seam in the pants. So the construction is different.
I have a suggestion: buy some lightweight interfacing and trace the pattern, don't cut it out.That way you will still have the original intact.
I have made tons of the helmet covers and sold them...until the fancy helmets came into vogue. I made 1 pair of winter riding pants and 1 muslin pair of the cloth riding pants that look old-fashioned. That was very complicated because the legs were in many pieces. Because I was not thin, LOL, I never made it over in real fabric.
I was considering taking lessons to make a hunt coat, even had the merino fabric at home, but i needed seamstress lessons, and so that never went anywhere. I have also made a bunch of saddle pads.
I think its really cool!