Sew leggings by making a custom pattern for yourself!
Hey y’all, today kicks off leggings month here on the blog! I’m going to start by showing you how to sew leggings that fit you, starting with a custom pattern drafted to your own measurements. Over the rest of the month, I’ll talk about fabric, show you waistband options and hem details you can add.
To sew leggings, you’re going to need:
- Measurements for your waist, hip, thigh, knee, ankle, waist to ankle and rise. We’ll go over those in more detail in the video below
- Kraft paper, wrapping paper, exam paper or some other large paper to draw out your pattern
- A ruler – I’m using this one (affiliate link) in the video
- Optional – a French curve (affiliate link) or flexible ruler (affiliate link)
To make your leggings, watch the video below, which you can also watch on YouTube here if you prefer or if the video below won’t load for some reason.
How to Make Leggings
- Mark your waist to ankle measurement minus 10% vertically in the middle of your page.
- At the top of your line, mark 1/2 your waist measurement perpendicularly
- Measure down your rise amount from the waistline. At this point, mark your thigh circumference. *
- At the bottom of the vertical line, mark your ankle measurement
- Halfway between the thigh and ankle measurement, mark your knee measurement.
- Connect thigh to knee to ankle lines to mark out lower legs.
- Subtract 1/2 of hip from thigh measurement. Divide this measurement by 3. Mark in 1/3 of the measurement on the front thigh, then 2/3 on the back thigh. Draw curves from these marks up to waistline. *
- Drop front waistline 1 inch, redraw waistline.
- Cut 2 of this pattern (mirrored) from fabric – do not add seam allowances. Fold right sides together and stitch inseams using 1/2 inch seam allowances. *
- Turn one leg right side out, insert in other leg, match crotch seam and curves. Stitch crotch curve.
- Test fit. See this post for fitting adjustments.
3. If 1/2 of your hip is bigger than your thigh, use your 1/2 hip measurement here
7. If you used hip measurement instead of thigh for width, subtract your thigh measurement. Also if you carry more weight in your tummy than your butt, you may wish to scoop 2/3 in front and 1/3 in back
9. If you wear above a women’s size 12 or so, you way wish to take 5-10% off your circumference measurements before cutting your fabric. The larger your size, the higher percentage to take off. That’s to get approximately the same percentage of negative ease that a smaller size would get by not adding seam allowances.
Later in the series this month I’ll show you how to add different kinds of waistbands, discuss fabrics for leggings and show you some options to add detail to the hems. But for now, you’ve got a leggings pattern that will be the building block for all those options.