Leggings are a great staple in your kids wardrobe…but if your kids are like mine, you need a lot of them! My little girl goes through at least 2 pairs of leggings a day! So why not supplement their wardrobe with a few homemade pairs…they are great for stylishly sending your little one off to daycare in…
FIRST STEP: PATTERN
Take your leggings and put one leg inside the other, as in pic 1 below. On your drawing paper draw a straight vertical line, longer than the length that you need…this will be your straight grain line. Mark the front and back.
Match your grain line with the side seam of the leggings…this is the middle point between the front seam and back seam…it can help to pin this side seam onto the grain line on your paper to keep things super straight.
Then simply draw around the leggings shape! Yes its a little tricky as you do not have a flat shape, but take your time now…its worth it. To make super sure the measurements are correct, measure different parts of the leggings and ensure it matches up to your pattern. i.e. same depth from waist to crotch, same inside leg seam length etc…Ignore seam allowances at the moment…just get the final garment measurements correct first.
Now while this may seem a little daunting…getting the pattern right will mean you will be able to make heaps of different leggings…all from the one pattern…you can do it!
Ok, now we have the basic shape. If you have a child who is a little taller than most…or a little shorter…who has a bigger bottom or a smaller tummy…then tweak those parts of the pattern to ensure a better fit for your child. Once done…lets add seam allowances…for the leg seams and crotch seam I suggest .75cm (especially if you are using an overlocker). I added 3.5cm at the waist and 2.5cm on the leg cuff. Neaten up all your lines (retrace final pattern if necessary) and see if your pattern looks similar to this…
NOTE: If your child is wearing a nappy they will need a waistband rise from middle of waist to back seam to help accommodate this better, as shown above. If there is no nappy, you may have a straight waistline seam from front to back.
YAY! Congratulations! You have your own leggings pattern! Now lets test it!
I hope you have been fabric shopping and have bought stretchy fabric, elastic (same thickness as your sample unless you want to get creative) and matching cotton thread. See HINT below for more tips on fabric.
STEP TWO: SEWING
First step is of course to cut your pattern out. With your chosen fabric, right sides together, cut out ONE PAIR of your pattern piece…that is 2 pieces which are a mirror image of each other…if you haven’t cut a knit fabric before…see HINT below…
OVERLOCKER…if you are lucky enough to have an overlocker, overlock cuff seam first on each leg…then placing inner leg seams together, sew…repeat for other leg.
MACHINE SEWING…if you are sewing these with your sewing machine…use a zig zag stitch to finish the cuff seams nicely. Change your stitch to a straight stitch (2.5 length) and with inside seams together (right sides together), stitch down inside leg (as in pic 2 above)…repeat for other leg.
So now you should have 2 leg pieces…turn one leg right side out and place inside the other leg as in pic 3 above…match the crotch seam and pin…pin the rest of the seam ensuring fabric doesn’t slip and then SEW.
Yay! Now you have the basic leggings! Just hem the legs with a sewing machine… (see HINTS if you need help with this)…and then finish the waistband.
Turn your waist down by the same thickness as the elastic and sew into place…ENSURING that you leave a 2cm gap between the start and the finish to thread your elastic through. Thread elastic through your waistband…sew the ends of elastic together…then finish the waist band seam! DONE!
Now grab your little one and get them to try on your new handmade creation! Take photos, give yourself praise and show off! You deserve it! Tag us on those instagram shots too so we can see your wonderfulness!
NOW…please do not get disheartened if your leggings need a little tweaking…if you get them right the first time, congratulations! If not…thats ok…pin point the areas that need work…tweak the pattern and try again! It is definitely worth it and those pesky leggings that are not so perfect…can be your kids new PJs! Also, don’t forget you can always message me on FB or email me if you get stuck! I am more than happy to help you get them right!
I am so happy my little girl has groovy leggings to wear to day care now…she just looks adorable and now that I have sampled this pattern a few times…I will make them using more expensive fabrics…because a girl can never have too many leggings…ENJOY
-If you get stuck with creating your PATTERN, I have this leggings basic pattern size 1 you can use…the measurements are for a size 1…but I have marked the points where you can make them bigger or smaller as needed…you may need to make a few samples to get them right, but once you have your pattern MAKE HEAPS…
-To HEM your leggings, turn the bottom cuff up 2cm, with wrong sides touching…and stitch in place. By tweaking the pattern you can make your cuff hem any width…I experimented with 2 different hems above…
-FABRIC…the leggings above are all made from Spotlight fabric…when choosing a knit fabric, give it a stretch to see how stretchy it is…less stretch means a tighter fit, more stretch will mean a looser fit. Ensure you buy a bit more than the length of the pattern…i.e. buy 55cm of fabric to make this size 1 pattern which is 48.5cm long…I always struggle to find great knit fabrics…so if you have any resources let me know 🙂 xx
-CUTTING…make sure you cut your pattern with the stretch of the fabric going horizontally…you will have a much tighter pair of leggings if you cut the other way. If you purchase a one way print fabric (like the green above)…it will be easy to know which way to place the pattern…if not, then give the fabric a stretch…you want the stretch to NOT be in-line with the grain line. If you look at the orange pair of leggings above…I cut them the opposite way (deliberately) and they have a much tighter fit than the others…believe me you will notice it when you put them on!
-CHEAT SHEET…if you are finding the pattern making way too daunting…buy a cheap pair of leggings you like…carefully unpick the stitching…and trace around the shape! Super super easy …