This time I’m going to show you a quick way of sewing leggings. For last months I’ve been working on tutorial series for Juki. The commission is slowly drawing to a close and soon I’ll be fully dedicated to this blog. But firstly we’re going to do a photoshoot of our work’s results next week. And because I’ve prepared more top clothing pieces rather than the bottom, we need something neutral to put on model’s legs, that will be also easy to match with the other projects. And as we all know LEGGINGS are the basic of basics. Therefore today I’m introducing you to a tutorial of sewing this piece of wardrobe.
For one pair of leggings you’ll need:
You can read about patternmaking in the last post (LINK). Fold the fabric along halfway and cut the leggings shape out from two layers – you’ll receive two mirror image pieces- right and left leg. Be cutting with 1 cm for seam allowance, and at the bottom of the legs add 3 cm – for the trimming. The fabric should be more elastic in the leg’s width.
Sew on the overlock. Unfortunately I advise not to sew on the regular machine. It is because there’s needed a very elastic fabric and therefore there will be needed elastic seams. Also, the regular machine might not be able to work out with such stretchy knits, so the seams might break and the threads may not bound.
Leave both patterns folded together and sew up the back and front facings (two curves pinned on the picture below).
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.
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 1 cm 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 (flatwise), 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.
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 inside-out and the strip should be pinned inside.
Sew the strip with band and leggings at once, so that the edge of band will be inside seam. 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. If your fabric is slippery ( e.g. like Lycra jersey) you should baste (I am not sure, if it’s a right word – I mean sew by hand) all elements together before sewing on overlock.
If this technique seems too difficult for you, you can make the strip in the same way as I did it for the skirt in one of the previous posts (LINK). But then you should use a stiff band, so that it won’t be curling inside of the strip.
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 5 cm part halfway, so that its edge will touch with the folded edge at the bottom of the leg. Pin the folded parts (3 layers of fabric).
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 the leggings right-side-out, and turn down the folds and press them.
The leggings are ready! And if it was so easy, then why not sew a pair in each color :)
This tutorial has been prepared for you by Janek