I don’t normally go for large bold prints on pants or leggings. It’s just not my thing. It’s been trending, though, and I’ve made an exception or two in the past for some exceptional prints. I’m sure my loulu print is not exceptional, but I still really like how it came out. It may be that I have beer goggles for my own work. That happens sometimes.
I never thought that I’d be able to make pants until I spontaneously gave it a whirl for my Prince costume. To be fair, what I made were really more leggings than pants. And to be fair, they didn’t end up fitting exactly as I intended. But stretchy knits are very forgiving, and they were still flattering and comfortable and 1970s-inspired enough.
Making those pants/leggings made me believe that I could make actual leggings, to actually wear. Like, not as a costume. I’m beginning to think that there’s very little difference between an outfit and a costume anyway. Costumes and outfits are both curated looks with a specific intention behind them, even if that intention is to get out the door as fast as possible.
I wanted new leggings. I did a lot of mental acrobatics to convince myself that I needed them. My old Forever21 stand-bys were getting stretched out. They always were a bit on the scratchy side anyway. New leggings can cost nearly a hundred dollars so I decided to try making my own. And why not try making my own pattern while I’m at it? (Read about making the fabric print pattern in this previous post.)
There are a few mandatory details I think all leggings should have: a diamond gussett to prevent camel toe, some sort of detailing on the back hip area to make your butt look better (details along the pant legs are nice, too), flat seams, a flattering sewing pattern. I haven’t seen this yet, but I really hope someone adds a kind of seamless shorts lining to increase the thickness of leggings in that area and eliminate the possibility of VPL forever. Maybe I’ll give that a shot next time.
I riffed off the pattern of my Forever21 leggings, winged the gusset, skipped the back hip detailing because that would require more time and effort than I had, and am still puzzled as to how manufacturers create flat seams along pant legs and shirt arms. There must be a special machine that does that.
I could not make the pant leg seams flat, but happily discovered that the “regular” seams weren’t noticeable at all when wearing. I made the leggings high waisted with a wide waist band, because I think wider waist bands are more comfortable. The gusset works fine. The pant legs are a little tighter in parts than I’d like (may need to be more generous when cutting the fabric, but you really don’t want to risk bagginess with leggings). I went with a wider hem on the pant legs just to try it, and I don’t like the look of that so much. Next time I would definitely go with a smaller hem. I may eventually alter them and narrow the leg openings a bit while I’m at it as well to get a more tapered ankle fit, which I think looks better. I miss the back detailing a little, but am happy to report the fit is still flattering!
What I love most is that because I made a matching bikini out of the fabric remnants, I can now put the top and leggings together to create a matching workout outfit. Matching workout outfits always seem to be an unattainable luxury for me, so this is so much fun!
I hope to make another print soon, and have a second go at making a swimsuit and matching leggings again.
For my experience with Spoonflower and more about the fabric, see the bikini post.
Note: I may have to post rather infrequently, like maybe biweekly or once a month, going forward, but do have several projects in the works.