Leggings are quickly becoming a universal staple in everyone’s wardrobe. You can wear them to the gym, to the couch, or pair them with a blouse and heels for a more fashion-forward look. Regardless of how you’re styling them, sewing leggings can be a bit intimidating for newbies or those without a serger. Luckily, we have tips and tricks to make leggings easily with a regular sewing machine!
Fabrics & materials used:
- 1 yard 5.6 oz Silver Matte Tricot w/ High Compression
- 1/2 yard Pink Floral Printed Max-Dri Anti-Microbial Performance Tricot
- Walking Presser Foot
- Peg Legs with Add-Ons by Patterns for Pirates
There are several ways to get around using a serger, one of the easiest being zip-zag stitching. This can sometimes come with it’s own set of problems, namely ugly seams that may bunch up or pucker when sewing something skin-tight like leggings.
My favorite solution (as it is with most projects) is French seams. If you’re not familiar with this type of seam, not to worry – they’re incredibly simple! First, be sure that you have a walking foot for your sewing machine. These have wide plates and help to move your top and bottom fabrics at the same rate, causing less stretch and puckering while sewing knits.
I recommend cutting out one size larger than you need, or adding an 1/8″ to your seam allowance as it’s pretty inevitable that sewing French seams with a zig-zag stitch will shrink your garment just slightly.
Begin by sewing your pattern pieces WRONG sides together. Use your widest zig-zag setting to ensure the greatest stretch. Trim your seam allowance and fold your seam so the RIGHT sides are together. Zig-zag stitch again, encasing the raw edges within the seam, like you see below.This can be repeated for most seams for any project. One of the advantages to using them is that you can sew all WRONG sides together first and do a fitting before finishing your seams.
Above, you can see all the finished seams from the right side of the garment. The image below shows what the inside looks like. Everything is neat and clean, not raw edges to scrunch up while you’re working out!
How do you sew knits without a serger? Do you have other tips to suggest? Comment below!