Hi, Rachael here of @thefrenchseams on Instagram. I am delighted to be writing this for Maeve and the DressFabrics blog. I learnt to sew from my Mum when I was little but it was only when we bought our house that I took out the sewing machine to hem curtains. I realised then that there was more to this and I was keen to learn, I signed up for a local sewing course and after the first class I found the Instagram sewing community and I was hooked. That was in January 2017.

Having had our first baby in late 2018, I found myself wearing jersey and more comfortable stretch fabrics more and more often, so I really wanted to make the Avery Leggings from Helens Closet. I had made a few Blackwood Cardigans from her range, and liked her style and found the instructions really straightforward. I then saw the Navy Sports Lycra on Maeve’s site I knew it would be a perfect match. It’s such lovely quality and colour. And it washed beautifully, and of course no need to iron!

Cutting out was very easy, with my trusty tinned food as pattern weights!

I cut View A with the narrower waist band. Per my measurements, I cut a size XL, and as usual with Helens patterns I don’t need to grade between waist and hips. However I did add 1” to the rise and 2” to the leg. The pattern is drafted for 5’ 6” and I’m 5’ 9”. This size too only took 1m of fabric!

You get dropped in at the deep end straight away with the gusset!. It was a bit tricky, but my fancy rainbow overlocker thread made up for it! And the fabric isn’t too slippy, so it holds together and pins well.


Then once the legs are sewn (only one inner leg seam which makes for a lovely finish) and you turn it out, suddenly they look like leggings!

The waistband was relatively straightforward, as long as you mark your facing very clearly! Its very easy to get confused between the two waistband pieces. I used my Clover Chalk Liner Pen, also from Maeve and it worked a treat.

Inserting the elastic went pretty smoothly, with lots of pins, and concentration. Although you cannot press the fabric, it holds a finger press with pins very well. The waistband is lovely and wide, and very comfortable to wear.

As above, I tackled the hem with lots of pins, and my trusty seam gauge, and a zigzag stich on my regular machine.

And voila, you end up with a fabulous pair of leggings – chocolate optional!

I’ve worn these a lot, and they wear and wash really well. They hold their shape and have great recovery. I’ll be making more in the future! 

Paired with my Agnes t-shirt in navy cotton jersey with glittery planets.

And also my Stella Hoodie with glitter stars. Spotting a theme here?

Lycra fabric gifted, and all opinions my own.

Many thanks to Maeve for this opportunity, and Happy Sewing everyone. Stay safe!

Thanks for the blog Rachael – it only took me months to publish it but we restocked our Sports Lycras last week so it was good motivation to get this out into the world.

Unfortunately – Helen’s Closet is pdf download only so I can’t stock her patterns in the shop but I highly recommend them for beginners to advanced sewists, they are well drafted and have brilliant instructions and online support and tutorials. I love all her patterns – I’ve made most of them and would gladly just wear her patterns for ever. 

Maeve xx

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