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Cake patterns: 5555 (Espresso Leggings) - Type:Activewear    printable version
Viewed 319 times 3 more reviews
Review rated Very Helpful by 8 people   
Reviewed by:michellep74
Friend of PR
About michellep74starstarstar
Member since: 7/19/07
Reviews written: 140
Sewing skills:Intermediate
Favored by: 105 people
patterns reviewed: 121
Bio: more...
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Posted on:11/25/13 3:40 PM
Last Updated:11/25/13 3:50 PM
Pattern Size:Plus-Sized Regular Petite 
Project Photo:Cake patterns: 5555 by michellep74

Cake patterns: 5555 by michellep74  Cake patterns: 5555 by michellep74  
Pattern Photo:Cake patterns 5555
Cake patterns Pattern Info
Pattern Rating:Great Wardrobe Builder
See other patterns in this category: Accessories    Pants    
Available for sale on PR: $7.50 (See envelope) Click to Buy
Current Tags What is a Tag:
Fabric:Poly-Lycra Knit  [See other projects in this fabric]
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Pattern Description: From the Cake Patterns web site:

"Create custom-fit leggings in a flash! The innovative Espresso template from Cake RiFFs makes it simple — just measure, mark, and connect the dots for a pattern that fits just right and sews up quickly. Elastic waistband slips smoothly beneath other layers."

This is a good description of the pattern. The connect-the-dots drafting method is very clever and produces a good base result.

Pattern Sizing:

Custom sizing! You'll take around a half dozen measurements, and then use those measurements to connect the dots on the pattern template. Taking my measurements and drafting the one pattern piece took about 30 minutes.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes, in that the line drawing is of a pair of leggings, and my leggings look like leggings. ;)

Were the instructions easy to follow?

The instructions are simple and easy to follow. This construction of the leggings is super, super easy (two seams, a waistband, and a hem), which a beginner could easily do. The drafting of the pattern piece is more unique, but I thought that the instructions for that were quite good.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?


* For a shortie like me, it's great to have a pattern that I can customize in both length and circumference. Drafting the one pattern piece was far more enjoyable to me than taking a commercial pattern and making a bunch of adjustments.
* One pattern piece! Once the pattern piece is drafted, these take about 40-45 minutes to cut and sew.
* This is a super versatile pattern to have in your arsenal. I can see making up a ton of these to go with various dresses, etc. Once you have the pattern piece drafted, you can also play around with slicing and dicing for color-blocking, etc.
* These only took one yard of fabric (and I'm plus-sized), so you can invest in high quality fabric and not spend a ton for your final pair of leggings.


Even with the drafting system, I still had to do my usual adding to the back rise, and taking away from the front rise. This could have been a measuring error on my part, but I was hoping to avoid this.

Also, the template doesn't account for having larger calves--you take a knee and an ankle measurement. After my test pair, I added a bit at the calves, since my calves are quite a bit larger than my knees and ankles.

Fabric Used:

For the pair pictured, I used an activewear knit that I purchased at Rose City Textiles on our trip to Portland last month.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I followed the instructions, as written, for my first pair. After wearing those for a day, I tweaked my pattern piece by shortening the front rise by 1", lengthening the back rise by 1", and adding 1" to the calf area. I think that I will probably shorten the front rise a bit more for future pairs.

Note that the amount of vertical stretch (or lack thereof) in your fabric can really affect how the rise fits for these.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I will definitely sew these again, and I would recommend the pattern to others.


Really fun and fast little project. I see a lot of these in my future.

More pics, details on the pattern drafting, etc, on my blog:

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4 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
BeaJay said...
Great leggings. I need to make myself some of these. They look very comfortable.
11/26/13 5:38 AM
KathleenS said...
They look like leggings! The draft your own is interesting and probably teaches you a bit more than usual about how a pattern needs to be designed/altered to fit your shape. Do you think this is a perfect pattern to buy the PDF or does having the tissue version still have advantages?
11/26/13 6:47 AM
michellep74 said...
@KathleenS, I think that the pattern is worth getting just for the drafting exercise. I have the printed pattern, which is on durable paper. With the PDF, you'll need to print out quite a few sheets of paper because the template/pattern piece is pretty large, but then you'd be able to cut directly from the template, rather than tracing. I think it depends on your personal preference.
11/26/13 2:01 PM
KathleenS said...
Thanks for the reply Michelle. I prefer paper patterns in general - I just wondered if this might be the exception but it sounds like not.
11/28/13 3:44 AM
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