I’ve made leggings a few times before using a pattern that I drafted myself. They are great but not perfect. I learned some things from those makes. Firstly, that leggings are very, very quick to sew. Second, that it’s really important to have fabric with a lot of stretch. This time around I used the Virginia Leggings pattern by Megan Nielsen. I’m happy to say that this latest pair is my favorite.
I made these leggings right before my trip to Europe in June and I was so glad to have them with me. There were a few chilly days while I was there and I was very happy to have these as an extra layer.
I’ve had really good experiences with Megan Nielsen patterns in the past and was excited to try this one too. I made version which is designed to sit at the natural waist and has an extra long inseam that creates a rushed effect at the ankle. A few of my previous pairs of leggings were made too short (my fault!) so I was happy to have these be extra long. The inseam for version 1 is 35 inches. Even though I’m 5’11” I carry a lot of my height in my torso so this was a great length for me.
I made either a size S or M as my measurements are between the two – waist=28, hips=39. (I’m not with my pattern stash right now but I’ll try to update later.) The fit is really good for me and the pattern went together really easily. Leggings are seriously one of the easiest things to sew. You just sew up the inseam, the crotch, then the waistband and hem.
The fabric is a 4-way stretch from Joann’s. It’s pretty basic, lots of stretch and thick enough to not have any show through. I learned from my previous experiences making leggings, it’s important to have lots of stretch. The more stretch there is the more comfy they’ll be.
I finished the hem and waistband using a zig zag stitch and surprisingly some of the stitches have popped. Most of the time when I sew knits, I use a twin needle to topstitch (check out my twin needle topstitching tips here) but as these are black and the waistband is usually covered up, I wasn’t worried about how it would look. I’m not really sure why some stitches popped. Maybe I should have stretched it a little bit while sewing? Or maybe I should have used wooly nylon in the bobbin. But no big deal. If it starts really coming apart, I’ll redo it. I used the serger for all the seams and those are all fine.
I’m kind of set in the leggings department right now but next time I need another pair, I will definitely use this pattern again. If you’ve never sewn leggings I highly recommend trying it out. I haven’t worn these very much since returning from Europe because it’s been too darn hot in LA but as the temps cool I expect to be getting a lot of wear out of the this winter. For ultimate coziness, I’ll likely be wearing them with a Lou Box Top (as seen here :) and my Catrin Sweatshirt. Have you tried this pattern? Have you sewn leggings before?