Designs,  Sewing

Leggings

I recently made 2 pairs of self-drafted leggings. I typically wear leggings like these as pajamas year-round and as long underwear beneath jeans in the wintertime. I followed the “Legging Block” draft in Winnifred Aldrich’s book Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear (5th ed., page 164). This is the first time I’d used an Aldrich draft, and I was interested to try it out. The book says that the pattern is “drafted for maximum stretch…Lycra fabrics”, but my resulting first pattern was much too big throughout, especially at the waist! The instructions do have some minor adjustments to create negative ease but not enough for my fabric, and oddly, the instructions don’t use the waist girth at all, so it’s no wonder the waist came out so big. I revised to remove some of the excess ease while keeping the integrity of Aldrich’s draft, and the result is the first leggings in coral pink.

Pattern: self-drafted
Coral Fabric: jersey, polyester/spandex blend
Grey Fabric: jersey, rayon/spandex blend

After the coral pair, I made a few more adjustments to reduce the ease a little more and to adjust the waistline placement. With those modifications, I made the second leggings in grey. I used ¾” braided elastic and zig-zag stitch for the waistbands, and I used mock safety stitch for all the seaming. The elastic was cut 27″ long for both pairs.

These two fabrics do have different amounts of stretch and recovery, contributing to some difference in the fit. I’m not entirely sure how to measure the amount of stretch accurately (it’s so variable!), but I think the coral fabric has around 60-70% stretch and the grey has 30-40%. This is my final pattern:

Looking back, if I were to start over from the beginning, I think I would either try the Joseph-Armstrong draft (Patternmaking for Fashion Design, 5th ed., page 649) or Stuart Anderson’s leg block.

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