Last week, my local WalMart put out an incredible bin of sale fabric. Chiffon, stretch lace, t-shirt knits, sweater knits, courderoy... all $1/yard!!! seriously. I think I bought like 20 yards of material, and would have bought more if I weren't afraid of what the hubby would say when he saw it all.
So, my first project was some "leggins" made from brown stretch lace. (my only options were brown and pink, but you don't complain when its $1!) I know lots of people probably think its crazy to make your own leggings (mom included), but I'm a pretty crazy person. Plus it really isn't hard. If you can make pajama pants, you can do this.
Step 1: find your material. You can make leggings out of anything stretchy - t-shirt material, sweater material, swimsuit or leotard material, get creative! Figure out how long you want your leggings, then add a couple inches, and thats how much you want to buy. I got 1 1/3 yds and had about 6 inches left over.
Step 2: make your pattern. This is easiest if you already have some tight pants to trace. Other leggings, skinny jeans, exercise pants (or what I used, long thermal underwear). If you dont, you'll end up having someone trace your legs onto tissue paper, and thats going to be awkward, and then your going to have to get the crotch worked out... frankly it will be a pain. If you are like me and don't have a lot of junk in the trunk, you can make your back and front identical. Just fold your pants/leggings/whatever in half and get them to lay as flat as possible, and trace onto tissue paper adding an extra inch at the top and bottom (for your waistband and your hem) and a 1/4 inch seam allowance on all sides. You should end up with something like this:
|Pattern piece for leggings|
|Leg pieces for leggings|
Step 4: Fold the pieces right sides together and pin the inside leg seams. I put my pins vertically along the seam line when I sew knits to keep the material more steady. Sew from the crotch to the hem with a 1/4 inch allowance (if you cut a little unevenly youd rather cut the hem straight than have a wonky crotch seam, right? right.) Now, clip close to your seams and continue.
|see those pins? vertical and close together!|
|With one leg inside the other...You can kinda make out that U shape, right?|
Step 6: make a waistband by cutting a piece of 1/4 inch elastic to be the size of the waist of your leggings plus a half inch. pin elastic to the top (on the wrong side of the fabric), overlapping the extra, and sew with a wide zig zag stitch. Then fold under again and sew with a wide zig zag stitch again, this time with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
|Elastic pinned to the waist|
|Sew the elastic on with a wide zig-zag stitch|
Step 8: turn right side out and admire your leggings, then put them on and keep your legs warm(er) when you wear a skirt and its 12 degrees outside! ta-da!
|The finished leggings|
|Yeah, I made that.|
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