I seem to have strained my wrists, so I’m taking a crochet break (boo) and continuing with some sewing (yay!). Following on from my last sewing post, I’ve attempted some leggings.
For leggings I often have the problem that they aren’t long enough. I also really don’t like it when leggings have a lot of gathering going on at the waist because it can show through when wearing with a tighter fitting top (and it’s unnecessary bulk on the tummy, no one wants that!).
I’m not new to sewing but I do need to develop my skills so I’m trying to stretch myself with just one or two new skills each time I make something. Usually I make skirts, which really only need to fit at the waist, so they aren’t too hard to get right. These leggings required fitting to my complete lower half – so that’s the new skill this time around.
I used the method on So Sew Easy to draft my own pattern to my measurements. This worked fine and took me about an hour (including taping together a zillion sheets of paper). I used a 0.95 factor for negative ease but could have gone to 0.9 in retrospect.
For the fabric I ordered the same as I used for my black maxi skirt, which was better quality than I expected for the price and definitely good for leggings. However I think the grey version is not quite as thick though it does the job fine.
The leggings sewed up nice and fast but definitely came out too long by about 2-3”. I think maybe because the pattern seems to assume that the fabric won’t stretch in the vertical direction but mine does. Not a problem because I can shorten them (this never happens to me!!). They also need the seam at the knee taking in, I suspect because the extra length means the knee point is a bit too low, making them a bit baggy at the knee.
I ended up struggling to re-hem the ankles. I had originally hemmed them before sewing the leg seam because I thought it would be less fiddly. Re-hemming them meant stretching the leg over the free arm of my machine and they really did only just fit, in fact I think the fabric got overstretched as a result so the ankles are still a bit loose.
When I make these again I will take out an inch between the knee and thigh, and also an inch between the knee and ankle on my pattern and hopefully they will be a perfect fit first time!
Have you had success with self-drafted patterns? Let me know your tips!
4 thoughts on “Sew Your Own Basics 2”
These look awesome! I’m going to give the pattern a try.
When sewing tight circles, I sew from the inside, rather than looping over the free arm. Hard to describe, but using a bracelet as an analogy, it would be standing up and I sew on the bottom on the inside.
Thanks and nice tip! However I had to sew from the front as I was using my double needle to get two rows of straight stitching but with stretch. It doesn’t look the same from the back. In hindsight I could just have used the zigzag stitch and gone for the neater fit, I will remember the tip if it happens again! Hopefully next time it won’t be a problem though!
Your leggings look great! And so satisfying to have a self drafted pattern. :)
I hope your wrists feel better soon so you can get back to the crochet.
Thanks Kate! Yes, it is useful to be able to tweak it to fit! And my wrists are doing better thank you :)
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