It is no fun when your legs are being boiled in a sweaty wasps nest, so I never wear tights. But I do love a cosy pair of leggings.
Black leggings are great for every day, but I’ve been admiring some colourful leggings online, and my current big project is to transform my wardrobe into a treasure chest of all the things on my fashion Pinterest board. Plus there was some amazing red and black dalmatian print knit fabric on ebay! Time to learn to make leggings!
Here are the ingredients, I also used a pencil, some selotape, some duct tape and my overlocker. My least favourite thing about the process was this pattern paper which was very fragile and kept tearing.
After reading lots of online tutorials, So Sew Easy’s leggings tutorial with a video showing the measuring process seemed like the clearest and easiest place to start.
While I love So Sew Easy’s tutorial and am thrilled with the resulting pattern, I wish I’d know a couple of additional things. If you have a tummy, measure round your widest part too. When I held the final pattern up against my body, it was obvious that I needed to modify it to add a little extra fabric to stretch over my cake storage facility.
When you make the first mark on your paper 2 inches down on your centre line, this mark needs to be more than 2 inches down the paper if the difference between your front and back rise height is greater than 2 inches, or you will run out of paper when you come to mark out the waist of the leggings. I stuck more paper together when I discovered this, so all was not lost.
The ankle measurement I took was too tight. The dalmation leggings are so tight on the ankle that while they are comfortable to wear, they are a squeeze to get on and off. And if I had hemmed them, they wouldn’t go on at all. I’ve gone back to my pattern and modified it to allow extra fabric on the ankle for the next pair. Better to modify the pattern immediately than try and remember this in the future!
Also use the duct tape from the video to help with the measuring. It was easier to measure up my leg by securing the end of the measuring tape in place with the end of the strips of tape on the ankle and knee. The same trick works with another piece of duct tape to secure the measuring tape in place at the crotch – using the leggings I was wearing as a guideline.
Sewing the leggings was easy, just a couple of simple seams.
Spending extra time pinning the elastic carefully to the waist made it easier to gently stretch the elastic without slipping as it was sewn into position.
It took a couple of hours to get the pattern just right, but only about 30 minutes to make the leggings. Now the pattern is perfect, the next pair should be even quicker!