Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pattern Notebook: Partially Successful Leggings

There's a bunch of legging patterns going around, and they all seem to be working out pretty well for people, Jalie has one, Megan Neilson's got one, and just this second while googling leggings patterns, I came across this fantastic tutorial about drafting your own leggings pattern. Anyway, I'm lazy, and I already had a pattern, which was the 6-2012 #124 leggings from Burdastyle.  I am not a fast sewer, but I timed myself making these and from deciding to make them to wearing the finished item took 1 hour and 23 minutes.  Amazing!

I used my usual method of picking a size in a knit - I wrapped the fabric around myself and measured that.  This time I wrapped it around the top of my thigh.  Then I measured from crotch to crotch on the pattern.  My measurement was actually smaller than the smallest size there.  I was a little suspicious, but carried on anyway.  I took the supremely lazy way out and simply traced off the second smallest size (36) figuring the extra width could act as my seam allowance.

The bottom was a little loose, so I sliced a totally arbitrary amount off the bottom 6" or so from each legs inseam.  Apart from that they seemed to fit pretty perfectly as leggings.  I wore them for whole day and was totally comfortable.

For the waistband, I used a swimwear-type treatment; I serged on some elastic to the wrong side.

Then I flipped over and I was planning on zig-zagging it, but I happened to have wooly nylon in my bobbin and the twin needle my machine already.  It actually made for a pretty nice finish!  I used a 1-1 ratio on the elastic to fabric, since there is already some negative ease in the pattern.  It looks wavy here, but looks fine when it's on me.

The legging hems are too small to fit comfortably around the free-arm of my machine, so I turned the leggings inside out, and then hemmed the inside of the loop.

This might be totally obvious to some, but I remember reading about this method when I wanted to hem my jeans on my featherweight (which doesn't have a free-arm) and I honestly don't know if I would have thought of it myself, so I'm passing along the tip.

The leggings seem to be mid-calf length in the magazine picture but when I pulled mine on they went all the way to my ankle.  Hmmm

Then I went for a run in them

Can you see the problem?  They did that annoying legging thing of working their way down my leg.  If I pulled them up so they only come to my mid-calf, they don't fall down anymore.  It's OK as a workaround, but if I make them again, I'll give myself a little more room in the rear and thigh area.  I think I was probably pretty sloppy with my measurements the first time around.

So that's it! Fastest make ever.  Happy Sewing everyone!


  1. I just read your review (and even commented on) on PatternReview. This was a helpful review! Thanks for posting. I'm sewing up some running tights (and soon regular, under the dress sorta tights, too) and have seen some really good reviews of Cake pattern's tights. Dixie DIY has a nice review of them... but I think she isn't using them for running. http://dixiediy.blogspot.com/2013/11/cake-espresso-leggings.html I'm gonna post my review of Papercut's leggings this week. They've had some good reviews by a handful of folks around the blogosphere.

    1. Glad you found the review helpful :) And boy did you get those papercut leggings turned around fast!

  2. I really like this color! And damn gurl, you're looking fit!

    My current favorite waistband for leggings is a folded fabric band. I cut it to be 6" tall and about 75% the total width of your body, sometimes even smaller depending on the stretchiness of the fabric. I've had good luck with this being tight enough to keep the pants up without any muffin-top action, and it might help keep your pair from sliding down so low.

    I took pictures for my genie pants tutorial: http://madebyjulianne.com/tutorial-genie-pants/


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