Today I get to share an easy leggings tutorial!
With all the fun knit that is becoming available I make leggings for my girls all the time.
It’s really easy…all you have to do is follow these 6 steps:
#1. Grab a pair of leggings that fit well. Fold them in half (as shown in the picture below). Place them with the straight side along the fold of your knit fabric.
Now trace and cut. (Or if you are lazy like me you just cut.)
Follow the outline of the premade leggings EXCEPT add an extra 1.5″ at the top, an extra inch at the bottom and the amount you need for seam allowances (I use a generous .25″ seam allowance) along the side that is NOT on the fold.
When you are done it should look like very much like the picture above.
*Note: You will do step #1 twice because you will need two of these pieces cut out of your knit fabric.
#2. Now that you have your two pants pieces cut let’s hem the bottoms. (Which is something you normally don’t do first but….I have found this is the easiest way for me.)
To hem these little leggings find the smallest end of each pants piece. Next I like to serge those ends and then turn them under .25″ to the wrong side and top stitch as shown in the picture above.
BUT if you don’t have a serger no worries! You have several choices but my preference would be that because knit won’t fray you can simply turn those ends under .5″ top stitch and call it done.
*NOTE: I keep saying “top stitch”. It is best practice when using knits to top stitch with a double needle…which does make your clothing look more professional. BUT….I rarely do that. Especially on leggings. When I top stitch here I always just use what I call “the lightening stitch”.
On my machine it’s stitch 3 and looks like a lightening bolt. It’s the stitch you want to use when working with knits because it will still allow your fabric to stretch! (Which you will need when little feet are trying to poke them selves out the bottom of leg holes!)
#4. Lay your two “hemmed” pieces of fabric on top of each other with their right sides together. As shown in the picture below.
Serge (or sew using the lightening stitch) from the top of your pants (the large side opposite of what you just hemmed) down the side to where the curve ends.
DONT SEW ANYMORE THAN THAT! When you get to the tip of the curve stop sewing!!! And now your pants will look like that crazy thing in the picture above.
#5. Take your newly sewn seam lines and make them touch in the middle. (This will meaning changing how they are laid out on your table..and when you do this suddenly that alien vase shape you have suddenly turns into a pair of pants with two legs!)
Now serge (or lightening stitch sew) the legs of your pants together by beginning at the hem of one leg and sewing up from the hem along the leg, arcing across the crotch, sewing down the other leg and ending up at the bottom hem. And your leggings should resemble the picture above.
Note: It is best practice to pin your front and back pieces together before you just start sewing…this will help to make sure that both of hems come out even, you match up your crotch seam, the fabric doesn’t shift, etc.
#6. It’s time to add the waistband.
Fold the top of your leggings over 1.5″ and sew around the perimeter of the pants leaving only a 1″ opening to insert the elastic waistband. It should look like the picture below.
Cut a piece of 1″ wide elastic to a length that is 1″ smaller than the waist of the child who will be wearing the leggings.
(Yes, SMALLER you want the elastic to stretch and fit snuggly to keep those leggings on!)
Insert a safety pin through one end of your elastic and use that to thread your elastic through the casing you’ve made. Once you get the elastic all the way around the waist sew the two ends together and stitch closed that 1″ opening in the waistband.
AND YOU ARE DONE!
But only for a short time…because once you make one pair….you will make a million more…
…which is ok because they are cute and comfortable to wear for any occasion…from school pictures to exploring mysterious little caves.
PS: These leggings were especially fun for me to FINALLY make because I got to use some of our Four Corners knit and I was so happy with how they turned out.
PPS: You don’t want to mess around with trying to make your own leggings pattern? Well…in May we are releasing a leggings pattern that combines all the small things that I look for in leggings for my girls to wear (like a higher rise and enough fabric at the bottom to cover the ankles and scrunch up!) so watch for that on the horizon…and just know the samples will be made out of Four Corners knit as well….I’m so happy to finally be sewing with it!!