Monday, April 30, 2012

Color block leggings - tutorial.

I have been debating myself whether to save this part for a monster post in the end of the week or dividing it up a little as things get you can see I decided for the last option.
I'm going to try the sew along competition in Project Run & Play again this week - this time with fewer expectations :-) 
The theme for week 4 is a color challenge: pick a color and make an outfit. 
That is a BIG challenge for me for several reasons. I rarely make a piece of clothes in just one color and even more rarely do I put a whole outfit together in the same color. As we have already established I LOVE color blocking and I have decided that picking colors that come from the same basic color must be okay.....pleeeeaaase!
As you have probably guessed from the headline it is the leggings you have to focus on in this post....and yes the color I have choosen is RED.
I got the idea for these leggings a while ago and then I forgot about them again (does that ever happen to you?) and when I was thinking about what to do for this challenge they popped up again. They worked out almost as they looked in my head. The inspiration is a tuxedo pant but with a wider band down along the leg. I made them from my usual legging pattern (see tutorial further down) and one of those classic mistakes when you work with knit fabric happened....there was a lot of stretch in the fabric and they turned out not so tight as I wanted them. But when you are sewing when the kids are in bed you sometime ship a fitting you should have done - yeah yeah next time, right!!

Grumpy kids. By the way Evelyn is wearing Oliver+S Hopscotch Skirt

Color block leggings - tutorial.

A little design process.
My usual legging pattern with the lines drawn on for the side band. Because leggings are  always made with stretch (and usually knit) fabric you don't need a side seam. The line you see in the middle of the side band is where the side seam normally would have been in a normal pair of pants.

The pattern is now divided in a front, mid and back part and seam allowance has been added. I'm adding 0.75 cm for patterns that I sew together on my serger/overlocker.
Notice the notches I have circled in. It's a little help to yourself when you are sewing to make sure that it's the right parts that are sewn together. 

The two different fabrics has been cut and the three pieces has been sewn together. Just to be clear you need another one of these for the other leg. So you cut two of each pattern piece with the fabric lying right against right (or wrong against wrong - does not matter in this case.)
I have chosen to iron the seam allowance against the light pink band so from the front it will look like the middle band stands out a bit. See next photo.

See what I mean?! Okay maybe not...but you will in real life.

Here we are with both legs and the inner seam has been sewn too. You iron the inner seams towards the front - that gives a nicer visual.
Crotch seam has been sewn.
Trying to decide which fabric to use for the lower leg ribbon.
Went with the bright red. To the left you see the ribbon sewn on the leg from the outside. The right side is the inside look.
Divide your elastic for the waist in four equals and do the same with the waist on the leggings.
The legging's waist are going to be bigger than your elastic and when you add your quarter marks of the elastic to the quarter marks of the legging's waist you make sure that the elastic is divides equally on the fabric.
The elastic has now been sewn on to the legging's waist.

Bend the elastic down one time and stitch from the inside the elastic to the fabric. Remember to stretch the fabric while you sew otherwise the stitch will not be 'stretchy' and will break the first time someone is trying to put them on.
Sewing an elastic to knit fabric like this is not super super pretty and professional but in my opinion the best and easiest way to do it when you only have a household sewing machine and serger/overlocker.



  1. Wonderful and very original leggins! Thanks for this idea!!! Marcy from Italy

  2. I just bought some Nononsense leggings but I might have to buy myself another pair after seeing these ones!


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