Making my own leggings at home
I am perpetually working towards my goal of making all my new clothes. Before I bought my serger I tried to make a pair of leggings for myself but I ran into a couple problems with my old machine, which coincidentally was the reason I bought my new sewing machine and found a serger for sale.
I ended up putting that project on hold even after getting my serger because I was getting more wrapped up in my schoolwork, but this past week I decided to finish it off and upgrade it a little.
Overlock stitching is very important for sewing on stretchy fabric however If you only have a standard sewing machine you can make due, but the seams won't be as strong.
These are three common stitches that work on stretch fabrics. The first is a simple zig-zag stitch, which would work, but if your machine has the three point zig-zag (2) I would recommend that one instead, as it would help the strength of the stitches. The third is a standard overlock stitch which is the strongest of the three.
After moving into my new apartment I reorganized my fabric and found some that I bought years ago for a Spiderman costume. The red fabric is very sturdy 4 stretch athletic fabric and worked incredibly well for these leggings, they felt much better than any pairs I had bought before. The blue fabric is a breathable mesh, also bought from the athletic apparel section at my fabric store.
I traced all the different parts of a pair of leggings that I like the style of onto some packing paper that I have saved for making patterns. This pattern has 4 pieces. A waist band, cuffs, a front and a back piece. I cut out four pieces of the waist band and four cuffs. Then two of the front pieces and two of the back.
Because I wanted to add an accent at the bottom of the legs, I cut the spot I wanted to be blue off at an angle on both the leg pattern pieces
If you are going to add accent pieces then the first step after cutting everything out is sewing the accents to the main body pieces.
After the accents are sewn down, the pattern can be sewn together like normal. The first step to sewing pants is to attach the front pieces together at the crotch, as well as the back pieces.
Then, open them up and match the front and back rights sides together, making sure the center seams line up together. After sewing the inner seam together you can line up the outer sides and sew them as well. Now you basically got pants!
To sew the waist band, sew both the pairs right sides together, you should have two separate waistbands. Inside one out and pin it right sides together with the other band, matching the top ends together and the side seams, sewing the tops together.
If you would like to add extra support to the waist band you can add an elastic band on the inside. Measure the waist and remove one inch to determine the elastic length. I hand sewed the seam of the elastic to the seam on the inside of the of the waist for extra stability.
I made the cuffs in a similar fashion, without the elastic.
The last step is sewing the cuffs in place. Now you have yours own leggings in any color you want!