Cavallo Tights SewAlong: Day 1

Welcome to the Cavallo Tights SewAlong!

Every day this week, I will be walking you through the construction of the Greenstyle Cavallo Tights, through video tutorials, blog posts and support in the Fabric Fairy Facebook Group. I also have some prizes to offer at the end, and some BONUS video tutorials for using your coverstitch and serger.

If you need to purchase the pattern, you can do that here (aff link):

If you need fabric and supplies, you can get 10% off through 7/17/20 with the code “CavalloSAL” at the Fabric Fairy. You are also welcome to use stash fabric, if you prefer- my main priority is that you join in and have fun!

If you need to find a tutorial on how to assemble a Greenstyle pattern, you can find a tutorial for that here.

Sew-Along Schedule

Our schedule for the week is as follows:

Day 1: Supplies, Fittting, OPtions and Cutting Fabric (YOU ARE HERE)

Day 2: Patches & Pockets

Day 3: Sewing the Legs

Day 4: Attaching Legs Together and Sewing the Waistband

Day 5: Hem and Catch Up

Bonus Videos!

Each day will have a bonus video as well- these will focus on how to use your Serger or Coverstitch machine, covering everything from threading to troubleshooting. I’ll be releasing these exclusively here on the blog and on my YouTube Channel, so please consider subscribing so you won’t miss out!

All of the videos for today can be found at the bottom of this post- so check out my notes on each video segment, and then dive right in!


Here are a few of the supplies I find helpful when constructing the Cavallo Leggings. This portion of the video starts at time index 3:34.

  • Needles: I use these for my Serger (75/11 or 80/12 SUK stretch needles) and these for my sewing machine. Another great option for hemming knits with a standard machine is a twin needle.
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Clear Elastic (1/4 or 3/8″)
  • Basting Spray for attaching riding patches
  • Marking devices: Frixion pens and/or Chaco Markers
  • Sewing Clips
  • Fabrics: This pattern requires fabrics with 75/50% 4 way stretch. My favorites include Supplex, Poly/Spandex, Zen knit, Olympus knit, and Repreve. I would NOT recommend using brushed poly, cotton lycra, french terry, or rayon/bamboo spandex. For a bottom weight fabric, you’re looking for something around 13 oz or 260 GSM.
    • Depending on your size and options, you’ll need 3/4-1.5 yards of 58-60″ wide fabric
    • If you are adding in the Riding patches, you will also want to find 1/4’1/2 yard of some stretch suede, quilted knit, or similar fabric.

Cutting Fabric on Grain:

Before you cut into your fabric, you want to make sure its on grain. Cutting off grain can result in twisting legs, or other fit issues. I have a video tutorial for finding the grainline on knits here.

Fitting Tips:

The fitting portion of the video reviews some suggestions for achieving your personal fit, including flat/full seat alterations, full tummy alterations, rise adjustments, height adjustments and more. That portion of the video starts at 11:00.

I highly recommend making a muslin to evaluate your fit before making extreme changes. Fitting adjustments are usually best done in small increments- 1/4″ for example, can make a big difference in the rise of a pair of pants! Make sure your muslin fabric is similar to your final fabric, in stretch, weight and recovery. While it is tempting to use a “cheaper” muslin fabric, you won’t get accurate information if your muslin fabric composition differs strongly from your final fabric.

Pro-Tip: To save on fabric costs, you can make a muslin of the shorts version of the pattern- this is a great way to evaluate how the waistband, hips, crotch and thighs fit without using up an entire yard of fabric.

Pattern Options:

The Cavallo’s have quite a few options to consider:

  • Scoop or Slant Pockets with hem, band or binding
  • Mid or High Rise (for pants, waistband also has separate rise options)
  • Symmetrical or Asymmetrical Waistband
  • High or Ultra High Waistband
  • Shorts, cropped or full length
  • Riding Patches

Sewing the Cavallos with a Standard Machine

I’m devoting an entire video section on how to sew the Cavallo tights on a standard sewing machine. In this part of the video, which starts at time index 29:48, I demonstrate several stitches you can use for the main construction, as well as for decorative top-stitching.

If you are using a standard machine, you may want to consider hemming with a twin needle. Another helpful tool is a walking foot, which helps your machine compensate for the stretch in the fabric and avoid wavy seams.

Day 1 Video!

Ready to view the Day 1 Video? Let’s get this party started!

Bonus Video 1: How to thread your Brother 1034D Serger

I am using the Brother 1034D Serger that I purchased from Amazon here (aff link). I actually own two of these, one for light and one for darker thread. I’ve considered upgrading several times, but I keep coming back to them, because they are inexpensive, easy to operate, and haven’t given me any trouble!

Bonus Video 2: How to thread your Babylock Coverstitch

I am using the Babylock Coverstitch 2 machine that I purchased from a local dealer. I absolutely recommend this machine to anyone looking for an easy to use workhorse.

Well, that’s it for Day 1! Please let me know how you’re doing. If you’re joining the event in “real time”, you are encouraged to post a picture of your progress in the Fabric Fairy Facebook Group. At the end of the week, I”ll be giving away a fabric and pattern prize! If you’re joining later on, please drop me a comment and let me know if this video was helpful.

I’d also love it if you took the time to subscribe to my blog and my YouTube Channel– that way you’ll stay up on any new posts or videos, and I can connect with you on those platforms to answer any questions!

Note: This post contains affiliate links. I sew and share my tips for the joy of the craft, but a little extra affiliate encouragement goes a long way to helping fund these projects, so I really appreciate when you use them!

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  1. Katherine Kirk on July 13, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    Thank you, Sarah. All of your tips are so very helpful. I don’t have a heavy weight stretch fabric, so I am upcycling a top that is of heavy weight fabric, and for that reason, didn’t wear it too often. I am making the shorts, so I found plenty of fabric in the top for the Cavallo shorts. I also ordered some Repreve from the Fabric Fairy. Looking forward to tomorrow’s post.

    • Sarah on July 17, 2020 at 10:18 am

      Thank you for joining the SAL- and good job up cycling! Good for the environment too!

  2. Jane Renzetti on July 17, 2020 at 10:09 am

    Hi Sarah. Really enjoyed this sew along. I have been nervous about seeing my own athletic wear and this has given me more confidence. Looking to get some fabric and wanted to know if you think 300gsm is too heavy and if 70% stretch is okay.

    • Sarah on July 17, 2020 at 10:16 am

      That fabric sounds perfect- assuming the 70% is 4 way. I’m so glad the sewalong was helpful!

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