Leggings

To do this you need:

  • 1,5 m of knit fabric - it's important for it to be stretchy, jersey or pure cotton won't be suitable for leggings. The best knit fabrics would be those, which contains at least 5% of elastane.
  • 1m of 4cm wide flat waistband
  • Paper for the pattern, pencil, ruler
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Press leggings carefully and fold them , so that the front leg will be outside. Pin the inner edge of the leg to place the seam on the edge. Pin the side edge of leg to make a straight line - this is the leg's side. There shouldn't be any wrinkles on the fabric. In the centre of the paper draw a straight line and put pinned leggings on it in such a way, that their side will cover with a line. Outdraw the leg's contour.
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Now fold the leggings, so that their back will be outside. Put the leggings to the other side of line and outdraw the edge. If the leg is curling to the underside ( where you can see arrows in the picture) then extend the leg in this place
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Decide about the length of leggings side line. Draw the bottom of the leg at the right angle (90 degrees) to the side's line. Correct the length of legs' inner edges ( if there's a difference between them then shorten the longer line by dropping the facing- the curve in crotch).
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Now decide on the strip's width ( it should be the same as the band's width, which you'll sew inside of it) and measure the cut line length between the strip and leg. Cut the leggings pattern out of the paper and cut off the original strip. Prepare the pattern for the strip separately- it should be a rectangle shape of: 2x strip's width and 2x the measured length of a cut between the stripe and leg. The arrow on the side's stands for the straight grain - put this line along to the fabric, in parallel with fabric edges. Fold the fabric halfway and cut the leggings pattern out from two layers- you'll receive two shapes in mirror image- right and left leg. Cut out with 1 cm for seam allowance, and at the bottom of legs add 3cm - for finishing. The fabric should be more stretchy in the leg's width.
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Sew on the overlock. Leave both patterns folded together and sew up the back and front facings (two curves pinned on the picture below).
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Now spread those two legs, so that the facing seams will meet in the crotch. Pin together the inner edges of legs. Sew with one stitch, starting from the bottom of one leg and ending on the other leg's bottom.
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Cut out the strip pattern from the left piece of fabric. It should be stretching out more along the longer rectangle's edge. Don't forget about the 1cm for seam allowance. Fold the strip halfway and sew the shorter edges together. Then press it along halfway . Adapt the size of band to your figure- its size should be smaller than your body's , but it shouldn't be too tight. Sew the band to be flat, you'll receive a loop. Probably the band's size will have a smaller circumference than the strip. Place the band inside of strip and pin it to spread evenly the excess of strip on the band.
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Pin the strip with band on the upper edge of leggings. Be spreading evenly the difference between the band , strip and leggings measurements. If the strip is way too wider than the band, pin it, so that its edges will stick out a little. In this way it'll be easier to control the place where the edge and band is located while sewing. Leggings should be turned to the inside-out and the strip should be pinned inside.
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Sew the strip with band and leggings at once, so that the edge of band will also be sewn. It'll prevent the band from curling and folding inside of the strip. While sewing keep stretching the band to the strip and leggings circumference . With two hands hold the stretched band and the edges of fabric . Few centimeters ahead of the pressing foot with one hand, and with the other behind the pressing foot. Keep moving the stretched elements along with the machine's work , to prevent the seam from being too thick.
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To finish off the legs, turn the leggings right-side-out. At the bottom fold out the legs with 5 cm from the wrong to the right side. Then fold this fold halfway, so that its edge will touch with the folded edge at the bottom of the leg. Pin the folded parts and legs (3 layers of fabric).
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Turn the leggings inside-out and sew the pinned edges. Sew in such a way, that the pressing foot will be placed on the fold and inside of the leg. After sewing up the edges, turn down the folds on the right side and press them.
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The leggings are ready! And if it was so easy, then why not sew a pair in each color :)
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Sewing instructions prepared by: Janek Leśniak – fashion designer who, together with JUKI, conducts dressmaking courses in Warsaw. He infects others with a passion for making your own clothes on his blog: janlesniak.wordpress.com, where he reveals the arcana of his trade. Combining craftsmanship and design, he builds an awareness of the quality and the fashion industry among people non-related with the business. He has aquired fifteen years’ experience working with such brands as Reserved, House and Big Star. He has independently created original collections and conducted lectures on fashion business at the Cracow School of Art and Fashion Design. He has rejected massive fashion in favour of passion and work under his own name. His official website is: janlesniak.pl