January means resolutions and often those are to make a fresh start in attaining and maintaining fitness goals. Did you know that sewing your own active-wear leggings is actually pretty simple and a great way to get the perfect fit?
The Women’s Activewear ‘Get Moving’ Fitted Bottoms & Leggings pattern was written with exercise in mind, but adding a gusset will help reduce the chance of popping a seam during stretching.
The stitching where the inseam crosses the rise seam receives the most stress during wear and inserting this diamond-shaped gusset piece will help strengthen that area.
This add-on can be utilized on the girl’s size Jocelyn’s Leggings as well, so the following pictures are of new leggings for one of my daughters. They’ve both been requesting fleece leggings for lounging around the house (specifically to wear with their shirts I made last week), though I do not recommend fleece for activewear.
**If you do choose make a fleece pair, you should probably sew at least one size bigger since most fleece doesn’t have the stretch required for leggings.**
First things first, cut out all the pieces for your leggings (right leg, left leg, waistband) along with the athletic modification gusset corresponding to the size you’re making. It can be found here. (Save to your computer and open with Adobe Reader to ensure accurate printing. If you print from your browser, your 1″ square will likely be off, meaning your piece won’t be the correct size either.)
To insert the gusset, we need to change the order of construction from the legging pattern directions.
Instead of beginning with sewing the rise, you’ll want to sew the inner leg seams first. You’ll end up with a right leg and a left leg like the picture above. Turn one leg right side out and set aside.
**Tip: I like to use my sewing machine’s triple stretch stitch (which, on the stitch selector, looks like three lines of stitching side by side). It allows the fabric to maintain stretch, but looks like a straight stitch rather than zigzag. By going forward-back-forward for each stitch, it is also a fairly strong stitch for high-stress areas.**
Take your gusset piece and pin it right sides together to the inside out leg, matching one of the wider angles of the diamond to the top of the leg’s inseam (above left). Next, pin the sides along the raw edge of the curved rise (above right). Using a 3/8″ seam allowance, stitch along those two sides of the diamond, starting and stopping 3/8″ from the points.
**Tip: When you reach the inseam, stop with your needle down and lift your presser foot. Pivot, put the presser foot down, and continue stitching the second side of the gusset. **
Slide your right side out leg into the inside out leg (right sides together) and match the opposite wide angle of the gusset to the top of the second leg’s inseam. Match up and pin the remainder of the rise and stitch. Make sure this line of stitches touches the ends of the first stitching on the gusset so you don’t have any holes at the points.
You can now turn your leggings right side out and admire your new, finished gusset! Yay!
Follow the pattern to attach the waistband and hem the ankles and your athletic leggings are done!
Put them on and get moving (without having to worry as much about popping a seam)!
Happy Sewing!! ~ Joelle