Any of you who know me in real life and have seen me any time since high school will know that I just love tights. The more colorful, the better. I love wearing them under skirts, matching colors and designs or completely mixing them up. Under shorts. Love ‘em.
And any of you who’ve been following me on this blog in the past year or so will know that I just love leggings. Again, colorful and under skirts and shorts. I love them for me and I love them for my daughter. And I’ve been finding that my love for leggings has been slowly surpassing my love for tights. Why, you ask? Well, for one, sometimes tights can be a little… tight. I have packed on a little more chub than I’d like around my belly and sometimes it just doesn’t appreciate being squeezed. And sometimes they’re tight around my legs, too. What else? You wear tights in the fall and winter. Leggings, though? You can use them all year round. I wear them in the colder months like I normally do with tights, but I also love how you can pop them on under a skirt when the temperature suddenly drops in the summer, such as during a flash rainstorm or in the evening. You can also wear them with sandals and flip flops. And another thing? While I don’t usually like the look on grown women, little girls’ butts are just so damn adorable in leggings under a long t-shirt. You can’t really get away with that with tights. Got a skirt that’s just a little too short? I don’t dare wear mini skirts with tights, but I feel that it’s more acceptable with leggings. Your daughter’s growing a bit too tall for one of her skirts? Pop some leggings on underneath for extra coverage and get more use out of the garment. Girls can also climb jungle gyms with a dress on if they’re wearing leggings underneath.
Do you love leggings too? Do you have basic sewing skills? Do you have a sweet girl aged 3-14 who’s butt you’d love to see in leggings that you made? (Or, if you find that disturbing, would any girl in your life appreciate a unique pair of leggings you’ve made her?) Well then, just check out my friend Irene from Serger Pepper’s new PDF pattern for Basic Leggings, now available on Craftsy. She has created a pattern with 12 different sizes featuring a high waistband to cover lower backs and tummies (or just to be folded over as the latest fashion apparently dictates) and long legs for growing girls to grow into.
Something great about this pattern is how easy it is, even for beginner sewers. I sew my leggings with a double-folded elastic casing at the waistband and double-folded hems and I usually use a double needle to sew these parts. However this is not the easiest technique for beginners. Irene’s instructions show how to make an elastic waistband without sewing a casing and how to sew on ankle cuffs instead of regular hemming.
One thing I really loved about this pattern is the the size measurement table. While the size of the pattern should be chosen according to hip size, other measurements are given as well. I have a stick-thin 7-year-old and we always have problems with pants fitting her in both the waist and the legs. By comparing my measurements to those given in the table, I was able to cut out my pattern according to the 6-year size but with the 7-year length. And I ended up with a great fit!
I tested out this pattern prior to its release and, while I didn’t sew the waistband and cuffs as she suggested, I found the instructions quite easy to follow as they are very detailed and full of information with pictures each step of the way. She gives indications on what types of fabrics to use, as well as how to use upcycled fabrics, and discusses the types of machine stitches that can be used with stretchy fabrics. (I used the triple straight stitch for the first time and it. was. awesome. Highly recommended!)
My daughter’s leggings were so bombtastical that I just had to continue our tradition of matching leggings and make a pair for myself from the same fabric.
Seriously, how fun are these leggings?! They’re also perfect during impromptu winter trips to the beach! (And these ones were just the right color to match my daughter’s Lucy Wilde Carnival costume!)
Sound interesting? Then check out Irene’s post on her blog Serger Pepper for more information on this pattern and the pattern on Craftsy! And have fun sewing!