Modal Leggings and a Tessuti Top

For my latest project with Cali Fabric, I ordered a whole lot of modal-blend fabric. 7 yards, to be precise! (I find ordering in yards a bit annoying – I can make leggings from 1m of fabric, but not 1 yard! And since this contains a natural fibre, I ordered plenty for each project to make sure I didn’t lose necessary length to shrinkage!)

leggings Collage.jpg

I got 2 yards each of this lovely wash-out eggplant and 90’s terra cotta colour. On the one hand, these unsaturated colours are SO NOT ME, but on the other, they do blend in well with all the floral I love to sew!

This fabric is thinner and more stable than what I’d usually use for leggings, so I made some pattern changes as I cut. I’m paranoid about leggings ridding down through the day, getting too short at the ankle, or baggy at the knee. To counteract all of that, I added 2″ at the ankle, 1/5″ rise at the waist, and 2″ extra circumference to each leg! That’s a lot of extra fabric, but I’m happy to report it successfully means these leggings stay in place all day.


The fabric is an interesting one. The “good” side of this fabric is buttery soft with an almost suede-like texture, but inside, you can really feel the 45% polyester in the blend. Basically, it feels like modal on the outside and poly on the inside. It’s not as spongey and think as bamboo rayon usually is, for example, but it does have an undeniably lovely texture and drape.

two looks Collage.jpg

This is me, demonstrating with a casually awkward lunge how much extra length is needed in leggings as you bend and move. 

For my post, I wanted to show the leggings clearly without, um, showing everything clearly to everyone! So just for photos, I whipped up a black pencil skirt with a tube of ribbed rayon knit. I wouldn’t wear it for real, but it does do it’s purpose!


Tessuti shirt collageCollage.jpg

Now for the top. I pinned this shirt last winter, and somehow it keeps popping up in my Pinterest feed reminding me that I like the style. Son on the night after the American election, when I needed some cheering up, I splashed out for Tessuti’s new Isla top. It’s like a more exaggerated version of my TNT Olivia Oversized Tee from Maria Denmark. I like the juxtaposition of tons of baggy volume with tight sleeves and fitted at the hips.

Here’s the weird thing though – the pattern has since disappeared from the Tessuti website! They still have the post announcing it’s launch, but it’s the links to the store are dead and the pattern is not listed. Does anyone know what happened? It all fit together well, so I doubt it’s a technical issue… I asked on their blog two weeks ago, but my comment isn’t showing and there is no answer. MYSTERY!

-mix Collage.jpg

The neat part about this pattern is that there is no shoulder seam – instead, the front continues over to the back and makes a yoke. I’m not sure if I’ll wear it bloused up at the hip, like I am with the skirt, or long like a tunic over tight jeans. Which do you like best on me?




16 thoughts on “Modal Leggings and a Tessuti Top

  1. I just checked their website and it’s there??? after seeing your Cali Fabrics post, I wore mine yesterday, and love love it too! Those colors are really pretty, and I bet my daughter would love those colors


    1. You are right, is IS back! I drafted this post a week or two back, and checked the pattern again when I scheduled it a few days ago… so magically, it’s back since then! So odd!


  2. I like the leggings with the mini skirt, I think you should wear it for realz! I think one my new favorite combos that I never foresaw myself liking is leggings, knit pencil skirt, and oversized top. It feels casual like wearing jeans, but its more comfortable! I definitely need to make some new leggings because mine all bag out at the knee midway though the day. I think the recovery is just shot. hopefully I will get motivated after I finish up my christmas sewing.


    1. THis skirt is cute in theory, but in practice is a too-stretchy rib knit that bags out. I should make a knit mini though! (Incidentally, a knit mini was the first thing I sewed 5 years ago when i was getting in garment sewing! No pattern, of course, cause that would be intimidating… 😛 )


  3. I love the pencil skirt! Wear it! It looks awesome with the tee and the tights (leggings) and the ankle boots. It all looks great – and you look great! (And, from one teacher to another – I hope you’re holding it together until the end of the semester. Thinks are just going crazy at my school at the moment, but with three more workdays I guess we’ll be fine. Let’s just not talk about grading. At all.)


    1. We have 6 more work days to go! We are at school right up to Friday the 23rd this year… AGH! But it’ll be so good to have a long vacation afterwards! Good luck to you!!!


    1. As it happens, I’m wearing them today: purple leggings with a black and white tweedy knit dress, and a purple and grey scarf that normally feels to washed out, but if perfect with this outfit! I guess muted colours do have their benefits! 😉


  4. I agree with Megan. I really like the black skirt with that top and the leggings. Your modifications make me interested in making a pair. I have bought a pair to wear with a skirt that is too short for me.


    1. Making your own leggings is such a game changer! Comfortable, and they stay in place all day, which store bought ones never did on my figure!


    1. Oh, interesting theory! It is a similar yoke, but different arms and overall silhouette? The pattern seems to be back up on Tessuti’s site now, so whatever it was, they worked it out!


  5. I rang tessuti after reading this post last week. I was told that the Isla top pattern would be available at the end of the week in store and online. I haven’t checked back to confirm its availability


  6. Gillian, I love these outfits on you. Very well done! Where did you find the fabric for the Isla top? It’s perfect for the top.


Leave a Reply to Carol Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.