Sewing: Grown Up Leggings


I’ve been thinking about making my own leggings for some time. I just didn’t want to do it with my regular sewing machine. Certainly it can be done, but if you have a 4-way lightweight stretch jersey, it’ll take twice as long to sew. Having a serger really is a game changer for me. I whipped up these pants in just over an hour, including making the pattern.

I had some leggings that were getting threadbare, but I really liked the rise and the fit, so I sacrificed them for the pattern. I simply cut carefully along the seams and laid it out flat. Since cutting out the pattern, I no longer had seam allowances. I didn’t want to manually measure all of my seam allowances so I made up this little trick. I’m sure it’s been used before, but maybe you can benefit from my funny little discovery?

Tape three pencils together, keeping the middle one higher than the other two. It’s just 1/16 shy of 5/8 inches. Not shabby. Not shabby at all.

I sewed everything in a slightly different order than the leggings that I made for Felix, and I like how it went. It was a bit easier:

  1. Sew front rise right sides together
  2. Sew elastic to the wrong side of the fabric(you might need to stretch the elastic a bit during sewing)
  3. Roll the elastic down
  4. Sew the back rise, right sides together (including elastic!)
  5. Sew the legs closed, right sides together
  6. Finish hems
This also gave me a flat waist. I’m sure I could go in and tack that elastic down with twin needles, but I think I’ll leave it as is. It lays nicely.

These leggings feel like pajamas. You’ll definitely see me sporting these at Alt Summit this year. And here are some legging tutorials if you’re interested in making your own: Baby Leggings Tutorial & Pattern • Basic Leggings •Printed Leggings • Ruffle Bum Leggings • Ruched Leggings • Making Leggings

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    1. One of mynew years commitments is to start sewing again. I literally have not created anything new in over a year!
      Today I Got the most adorable vintage heather gray sweatshirt with an all over floral print. I just need to take it in can’t wait. Sounds unimpressive but I will have to sene you a link when I blog it. If. Haha
      I am obsessedwith black and white stripes. Oh to have knit fabric sewing abilities and zipper kknow how!

    2. kathy says:

      amazing! i need a serger!

    3. Christine @ Projects Around The House says:

      Love these leggings! That fabric is awesome and I never see ones like that in the store. Another reason why I need a serger :)

    4. marissa says:

      Adorable! And the shoes totally rock!

    5. Karen Stevens says:

      If you don’t have a serger, this is a fabulous tutorial (you have to join, but with all the classes it is well worth it) You can draft your own custom leggings, and sew them with NO SERGER in under one hour.

    6. Andrea says:

      These are great! You’re right. A serger is a life changer. Couldn’t live without =)

    7. Kristin H says:

      What a brilliant idea to add the seam allowance. So much more efficient than unpicking the seams, especially serged ones. You are so brave – I can’t bring myself to buy a pair of leggings, let alone make my own and wear them in public. Great job!

    8. Chris says:

      Could you make me some pants too? I don’t want the stripes, and they don’t need to be QUITE so tight. Also, I have big legs that rub together, so you may need to include some friction pads between the thighs.

    9. Lindsay says:

      Those are ADORABLE! I wish I could get away with wearing leggings, but I feel so self-conscious in them. They look great on you.

      • Sarah Helene says:

        I agree with Lindsay, the striped leggings look FAB on you! I cannot wear them, but you’ve given straightforward directions including using an old pair of leggings for your pattern, CLEVER indeed! BRAVO! Sarah in Minneapolis

    10. April says:

      Wow! I just realized how long your hair is. Very pretty. :D

    11. this is fantastic. growing up my mom sewed tons of leggings for me… it was all i would wear.

    12. Monica says:

      I love them! I will have to try this order of operations out…

    13. […] I used a pair of old leggings for the fit of these, but I had to alter the pants a lot afterwards. I’m going to start from scratch for her next pair. For how to make baby leggings (9-12 mo pattern included) click here. For mama leggings, click here. […]

    14. […] face it–leggings are in the for the long haul. Give your legs some extra love with this grown-up legging tutorial on I Still Love You. While horizontal stripes look good on a select few, the rest of us can […]

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