I had the opportunity to be a pattern tester last week! This was my first experience doing so. Basically, when an independent pattern designer (i.e. not the big 4 like Vogue or McCall’s) develops a new pattern, they need testers to make sure the instructions are clear, the pattern pieces are all labeled correctly, the sizing is appropriate, and that the testers are happy with the final product. You test the pattern, provide feedback, the designer revises the pattern, you test it again, etc. It’s just for fun, we don’t get compensated at all, but we get the final pattern for free in addition to the multiple versions along the way.
I tested the Greenstyle Creations Girls Stride Tights. I’ve had my eye on the women’s version for a while, so this gave me a chance to test that out too (not to provide feedback, just to make and wear for myself). I made two girls’ versions in testing, and both are usable. I only made one minor fit change between the first and the second (and I actually still have to hem my first). I tested the 2T size, graded down at the waist because my 2-year old has a small waist.
I think the final product is excellent! The instructions are very clear, appropriate for beginners. The fit seems approximately right. The size chart places the waist and hips measurements the same for the toddler sizes, which I find odd, especially since my daughter is potty trained but many/most 2T-wearing kiddos are not, so the diaper adds to the hips other than the waist. However, the size chart for some other leggings/pants patterns are similar (some do not). 8 months ago, when my toddler was also 2T but shaped much shorter and wider, it probably would have been perfect for us though. The pattern includes an optional gusset, side pocket(s), and criss cross pieces for the ankle area. I did not use any of these options on the toddler version, but I did include the gusset and pockets on mine, and they fit my phone (iPhone6 with a Lifeproof case)!
For my final toddler version, I had to lower the front rise ~3/4″, which I also need to do on my own clothing, so that may just be something about our builds. I used a length in between long and extra long (for my 95th percentile height 2-year old). As already mentioned, I graded the waist down quite a bit, starting a little above the butt (I took out a little from the top of the stripe and more out of the waistband, tapering to the smallest point at the top).
I used performance fabric from Joann Fabrics for these. I sewed them with a faux flatlock stitch on my serger. I think they’d be perfect out of supplex or swim knit, too. My first pair was cotton spandex, and I’ll probably do some more in cotton spandex for my little one who’s not actually going to wear them to exercise.
For my own, I got adventurous and went for the full booty adjustment. Usually I just choose legging sizes based on my full hip measurement, but since I have a disproportionately large butt (or disproportionally small front, depending on how you look at it), they usually end up a little too loose in front and tight in the butt. I usually need to make the waistband a size smaller anyway. So, this time, instead of making a small, I made an extra small with a full booty adjustment. I also shortened the front rise a tad, as I usually do. They keep pulling down at the thighs, though, so I think I need to go up to a small at the thighs and they’ll be perfect. I think I could afford to raise the back rise a tiny bit more, too.
The most exciting part of my leggings are the properly drafted gusset. When you add a gusset, you really need to take out some of the fabric from the leg pieces or you end up with bunching in the upper thigh. This happened to me when I followed the instructions for adding a gusset to the Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs, so I stopped adding gussets. These Greenstyle Strides have proper gussets, with a separate cut line for the legs if you’re using the gusset option.
I highly recommend both of these patterns, which are on sale through Sunday night!