Kids grow too fast. School just started a few months ago, and her pants are already starting to get floody on her. After creating a pattern to make some 18 inch doll leggings, I decided to apply the same tutorial and adjust it to sew up some new shiny (literally), longer leggings that will hopefully last her all winter long. Luckily, we were already needing to purchase new shoes for her to wear this winter, so maybe we can hide those older, shorter pant hems in some boots and high tops!
Before you can sew up some leggings, you'll need to create a pattern. It sounds overwhelming, but I promise you can do it. This tutorial is for kid's leggings, but you can certainly use this to create leggings for ANY size!! I would recommend using fabric with stretch (knit, lycra, etc). You will also need some 3/4 inch elastic, a ballpoint needle and nylon thread.
Get a pair of leggings that fit great and turn them inside out and fold them in half. Grab some copy paper taped together lengthwise or use some butcher paper and trace the pants. Add about 1/2 inch around the side and the bottom, and about 1 1/2 inch at the top for seam allowances, waistband and hems. The straight side edge of the pattern will need to be on the fold of your fabric, so just mark it with your pencil so you don't forget!
Cut out two of your patterns on the fold of the fabric. Line up the fabric pieces right sides together and pin in place. Starting at the top, sew down both the left and right side with a zigzag stitch until you get to the curve (as shown above).
Here'a tip for easily hemming your leggings - while they are in one straight piece, fold the end of each pant leg over about 1/4 inch, then over another 1/4 inch and pin in place. Sew with a zigzag stitch all the way across. Now you won't have to worry about hemming them later!!
Fold the pants in half the other direction so the sides you already sewed are in the front and back. Line up the seams on the inside of the legs and pin in place. Then, starting at the bottom of one pant leg, sew up and all the way around to the bottom of the other pant leg.
For the waistband, fold the top of the pants over about 1/4 inch, then over about another inch and pin in place. Starting at either the front or back seam, sew all the way around the waist hem and leave about an inch open.
Measure your child's waist and add about 1/2 inch and cut the elastic. Place a safety pin at one end of the elastic and put it into the waistband through the opening. Fish it through the waistband (by using the safety pin) until it comes out the other end of the opening. Overlap the ends of the elastic about 1/2 inch and sew over the elastic a few times. Pull the waistband until the elastic is inside the fabric and sew the opening closed.
Now your leggings are ready to wear! My daughter wears leggings ALL. THE. TIME., especially in winter under her dresses and skirts. The lycra adds some sparkle and lots of stretch so she can run and play on the playground without a care. For more warmth, I would recommend a thicker knit fabric.
She chose the fabric for her new leggings, and couldn't be happier with her new fashion statement. The leopard print goes fabulously with her new Skechers Twinkle Toes Heart and Soul High Top Sneaker we found at Famous Footwear.
She looks super grown up with these sneakers on, and loves showing off how they light up when she walks! The school shoes she's been wearing are already starting to wear down, and with the snow that's on it's way, these high tops are going to be wonderful to keep her feet warm and dry.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.