In today’s post: Learn how to sew your own super soft leggings! The best pattern and fabric to use for leggings just like the ones your friends are selling.
I’ve built up a collection of leggings over the past couple of months and let me tell you, it takes all kinds of willpower now to put on a pair of jeans. Leggings are JUST SO COMFY! I still wear jeans every few days because it kind of feels like if all I wear is leggings I’ll have given up on life, but boy do I love these soft stretchy pants!
Since I’m cheap, I decided it was time to make my own super soft leggings because I don’t want to spend almost 30 bucks a pair . Today I’ll tell you what pattern you can use (it’s free!) and what fabric you can use (it’s cheap!) to make your own super soft leggings.
At the end, I’ll also give you my best sources for long shirts to wear with your leggings !
Best fabric for leggings
Ok, lets start by talking fabric. You can make leggings out of any stretchy knit material, although you’ll have the best luck with knit that has 4-way stretch. If you want the super stretchy, buttery soft material that LulaRoe leggings are made from, look for: Brushed Poly Spandex Knit. This is the holy grail of leggings material. For some sad reason, my local fabric stores haven’t caught on and started selling this fabric yet, so I order it online. I’ve found some really gorgeous floral prints at Raspberry Creek Fabrics, and Fabric.com has some cute prints and solids.
Brushed poly spandex knit has great stretch and recovery and is usually pretty cheap, around $7/yd. Since you’ll only need a yard and a half per pair of leggings, making your own can really save you money!
Best free pattern for leggings
If you’re looking for a leggings pattern that is very similar to Lula’s, go download the Peg Legs Pattern by Patterns for Pirates. It’s free! And it comes in a bunch of sizes which makes it easy to get a good fit.
The pattern itself is very professional – it’s kind of hard to believe it’s free – and it includes detailed instructions for sewing your leggings. Because of this I won’t go through the whole sewing process; but I will give you a couple of tips for making your leggings even more like ones you’d purchase.
Tip #1: Size up one size. This pattern has a lot of negative ease, meaning it’s meant to be smaller than your body. That’s fine, because we want leggings to fit tight. However, I feel like it’s sized pretty small, almost like compression workout leggings. If you want it very tight, go ahead and sew the size you measure. But if you want more relaxed comfy leggings, I’d recommend sizing up one. I measured and found that my Tall + Curvy leggings were quite close to an XXL in the Peg Legs pattern, so that’s what I cut and sewed even though my measurements were just under XL. It was a good choice.
Tip #2: Topstitch the “rainbow seam” with a double needle. You assemble the leggings by sewing each leg closed at the inseam, and then sewing the legs together with the seam that goes from front waist, down under the crotch, up to back waist (I always call this the rainbow seam because it looks like an upside down rainbow). The Peg Legs pattern doesn’t tell you to reinforce this seam, but I think doing so is a REALLY GOOD IDEA. This seam will have the most stress of any seam in your leggings, and it would be pretty embarrassing for it to pop open. After sewing this seam, press the seam allowance to one side and topstitch using a double needle. This gives you extra security, and makes your leggings look more like the Lula version.
Tip #3: Add narrow elastic to the top of the yoga waistband. The Peg Legs pattern includes a yoga waistband but no elastic. I find that leggings with no elastic tend to slip at the top, and I like that my pair of Lula’s has narrow elastic at the very top. So I added some.
I cut the waistband about an inch LONGER than directed in the pattern. Then I cut a piece of narrow elastic just a little shorter than the waistband. I sewed the waistband together and folded it in half, as directed in the pattern:
Then I slid the elastic inside the waistband and pinned it right up against the fold, overlapping the ends. I used a double needle to sew the elastic right into the top of the waistband.
Then I attached the waistband to the leggings as directed in the pattern.
With these three adjustments, I ended up with a pretty close copy of the LulaRoe leggings I already had!
Long shirts to wear with leggings
Ok, I really don’t like to wear leggings out of the house unless I have a shirt that covers my bum. Here are a couple options if you’re looking for some longer shirts (some of these are affiliate links):
This is the V-neck tee I’m wearing in these photos. It’s just a nice basic tee that’s a good length for leggings. It’s a good weight and not clingy. I think I’ll be ordering more.
This is a flared tunic top that’s similar to the Perfect Tee. The fabric is soft and comfortable and it has washed well so far.
Swing tunic pattern: I created this pattern to be quite similar to the Perfect Tee.
And finally, if you love soft leggings but don’t really want to take the time to sew your own, check out the VIV Collection leggings on Amazon. There are tons of prints at a great price! I order the Plus size ones and they fit perfectly.
Want more sewing tutorials for women? Check out these posts: