Simplicity 8424 Barre Leggings

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I made these leggings last year, and am just now getting around to blogging them. I’ve worn them a couple times, but feel pretty meh about them, which is why it’s taken me so long to write this post.

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The pattern I used is Simplicity 8424, a super enticing collection of ballet-inspired activewear. I was impressed with how cute and on-trend Simplicity was with this pattern. It includes leggings (with 3 variations), a tank top, a wrap top (see my version here), and a cropped sweatshirt.

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These leggings are pretty simple, with thin elastic in the waistband and criss cross ties on the bottom. The ties look cute on the pattern envelope, but less so in real life. They are pretty bulky, and look awkward with any type of shoes or socks (which are required at the barre studio I attend). My other complaint about this pattern is that the leggings are quite baggy at the knees. Other people have also complained about this on Pattern Review. Apparently this is typical with Big 4 legging patterns. You’d think that they could figure that out…

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I think a lot of my frustration with this pattern may actually have been frustration with my serger. It does not do well sewing seams in one pass. I typically sew knits using a zig zag stitch on my sewing machine and then finish them on my serger. Does anyone have tips for getting the tension just right for serging-as-sewing seams?

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Now that I’ve made two different garments from this pattern, I can conclude that it’s not for me. It’s a real bummer because the designs are so enticing. I could probably make them work with some effort, but that’s not in the cards. Dressmaking Debacles has also made multiple pieces of this pattern, with some better luck. See her review here.

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Pattern:  Simplicity 8424, View C, size small
Fabric: 1 1/8 yards black activewear knit from Joann’s
Notions: 3/8″ elastic from stash
Cost: $7.50 fabric = $7.50
Time: 3 hours

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