Leggings refer to close-fitting legwear that usually stops at the ankle and has an elasticized waist. The tight, sleek look of the leggings makes the legs look elongated, which is one reason why I love wearing leggings with all my tunics. They make my legs look good. Agreed that the knit leggings available in shops are quite good and come in all shades and tones, but I love my woven cotton.
The pattern given here lets you make good looking leggings in your favourite cotton cloth.The bias cut of the pattern gives it the necessary stretch and the gusset we sew to the pattern allows you to wear it comfortably.
The leggings come somewhere between the tights and pants in the garment grades. You should be able to distinguish Leggings from pants. They are not to be worn as an alternative to pants. They are usually worn under slightly long tunics/ tops or long jackets.
This leggings pattern is one of the easiest pant patterns to draft and to sew. After you have made it, you will wonder why you didn’t make one. The elastic waistband and the bias cut make this very comfortable, and the slit opening near the ankle maintains the close-fitting cut.
How much cloth is needed to make leggings
You can calculate the length as twice your height plus .25 meters.
I took about 2.10 meters long cloth, which is 42 inches wide.
Body measurements needed for making the leggings pattern
- Length of leggings
- Knee distance from waist
- Knee round
- Ankle round
- Hip round
Make a leggings Pattern
To make this pattern, either you can make a paper sewing pattern or draw directly on the cloth. Here I have drawn directly onto the cloth as this pattern is one of the easiest to cut.
Fold the cloth half lengthwise, then fold these two layers by half diagonally, as in the picture below. This will give you a bias cut which is needed to give stretch to the close-fitting pattern. If you are making this with a knit fabric, you do not have to make a diagonal cut.
On the fold side, Pin the 4 layers together if you want to, to prevent shifting.
Mark the height of the pattern first. You need to mark the height of the leggings you want plus some 3.5 inches more ( as bottom hem allowance and for elastic waistband)
Then mark the following measurements.
A- B = G-C = Hip round + 7 inch divided by 4
A-G = B-C = Crotch line = Hip round divided by 6 plus 11 inch
H-I = at Knee distance = Knee round + 3 inch divided by 2
D-E = Ankle round + 3 inch divided by 2
E-F = 3 inch for the slit opening placket.
So now you have two pant legs cut and ready
Cut a Gusset.
The gusset is a piece of fabric attached between the pant legs to give a little room there. You can sew these pants without this gusset, but it will be slightly difficult for you to move around freely.
How to sew leggings
Stitch the gusset between the crotch seam on the front and back, aligning the gusset’s wide edge with the bottom edge of the crotch line.
Double stitching is necessary as this seam bears a lot of stretching. Trim the seam allowance. Finish the fabric edge with a zig-zag stitch.
Join the leg inseams together with a 1″ seam allowance till F where you have marked the slit opening. Double stitch the seams. Finish the fabric edges with an overlock or zig zag stitch. Turn right side out. You now have the pant almost ready.
Make the slit placket opening. This placket opening is made so you do not have trouble getting your foot in and out of the tight legs.
You can skip this if your cloth has good stretch or if you have tiny feet. Close the opening and see if your feet will be comfortable getting in and out of the opening.
To make a projected placket for hook and eye on the slit, the seam allowance of one side is turned under till the seam so that there is a small projection.This will slightly overlap the other edge. You will be attaching the hook in this portion.
Checkout the post on sleeve plackets for more details and on other sleeve plackets.
The other edge is turned under properly as you normally do, fully under. This is where you will be attaching the thread bar for fastening the hook
Finish the hem with a narrow hem, by turning under 1/4 inch first and then 1/2 inch .
Sew the hook and the thread bar. Checkout the tutorial to sew hooks and thread bar for more details on attaching the hooks and bars.
Another option is to sew an exposed opening on this slit opening. A bit of golden metal showing through the slit will definitely look good.
Make an elastic waistband.
For making the waistband, turn under the top edge 1/4 inch first and then 1″ inside. Press in place. (as it is a bias cut pressing is not optional)
Top stitch along the edge. Leave a 1″ gap open to insert elastic. Cut elastic of size waist round minus 1″. Insert this with the help of a safety pin. Stitch the gap closed. The leggings is ready.
Updated on December 23, 2022 by Sarina Tariq