Everyone who goes creative every now and then knows the feeling when you take a pile of material and create something from it. Many moms start sewing just as I did – simple clothing for the children, a toy, then more difficult clothes for the children…and then it comes. Then you find out you can sew something for yourself. Leggings are an ideal item to start with, they’re simple and you can make them even without a pattern.
I don’t mean to fail to give importance to the patterns in general and credit to people who can construct them. I myself buy patterns for more complicated clothing and I find it to be a good investment.
Back to the leggings – you will need some nice jersey, mine is 95 % cotton + 5 % elastan. You can sew the jersey on a common sewing machine but I really recommend you to do this on a serger/overlock sewing machine, preferably with a walking foot. I use this machine in my tutorial, if you don’t own one, use an elastic thread and a zigzag stitch where I use the overlock.
You will need:
– leggings that fit you well
– elastic jersey – length according to how long you want your leggings to be. 1 meter was enough for my 3/4 leggings (width 1,5 m)
– matching thread
– 1,5 – 2 cm wide elastic, length of your waist minus 2 cm
– usual tools like sewing machine, overlock machine, scissors, pins, textile marker
Fold the fabric right sides together. No need to fold it exactly in half, it’s enough to fold as much to make your folded leggings fit on it. So the first step is to fold the fabric and pin it so the fold doesn’t move. Then fold your leggings is half and place them straight side on the fold (see photo). Make sure your leggings are folded very precisely. Then pin them to the fabric and trace them with the marker on the fabric adding 5 cm to the top (for the elastic), about 1 cm at the bottom (to hem the legs) and about 1 cm for the side seams.
Once you have the leggings traced, put them aside and pin the folded fabric again so it doesn’t move while you cut. Cut out the traced piece which will be one leg of your leggings.
To make the other leg just fold the fabric again and put the first leg on it (exact same steps as at the beginning). Now comes the difference – you could trace the leg again and cut it our but I prefer to pin the leg properly to the fabric and then cut the second leg with my first leg still on the fabric (sort of cut around the first leg).
Stitch each leg from the seat down (inside of the leg) as you can see marked red in my brilliant drawing.
Now you have two legs turned right side in.
Turn one leg right side out.
Put this leg inside the one which is still right side in. Now the legs are right sides together. Stitch their seat together on the overlock machine (marked red).
This is the seam.
Now you can turn the leggings right side out.
Now for the elastic, pin it some 5 mm below the upper edge of the leggings, on the inside of course.
From now on you’ll be working just with the normal sewing machine. Stitch the upper edge of the elastic with a zigzag.
Fold the elastic inside. The upper edge of the elastic from the previous photo will become the lower edge now. Now stitch the the lower edge with the zigzag stitch but this time from the outside.
This is what the zigzag will look on the inside – my seams weren’t aligned in a few places but it was mostly on white places on the outside and thanks to the matching thread the stitches aren’t visible.
The last step is to hem the legs. I didn’t make photos but it’s very easy. Just cut the legs as long as you want them + half a centimeter. Now fold this centimeter inside and stitch again on the inside with the zigzag stitch. And you’re good to go!