Drafting and Sewing Leggings // Stretch Yourself

This series is sponsored by Baby Lock.  For over 40 years, Baby Lock has been dedicated to the love of sewing by creating machines for sewing, embroidery, quilting and serging – all with ease-of-use, high quality and a touch of elegance.

stretch yourself header

I’ve always loved sewing with knits, but recently I’ve developed an even greater obsession with it because of leggings. I’ve never had a problem finding leggings that fit (they’re all so stretchy most everyone can find the right size). What I have really enjoyed is making leggings in different colors, prints, and materials than are available in stores! The process of drafting your own to measurements is really quite easy, and once you have the pattern piece made, watch out, because you might become addicted to making your own leggings!

Make sure you also hit up Mad Mim to learn to make my second-favorite bottom apparel right now, the Maxi Skirt!

Draft and Sew Leggings - One Little Minute Blog - Great Simple Tutorial-09

Let’s just all admire my leopard print pattern for a second. I’m a total amateur designer, and have to say I’m pretty proud of this one! Plus, my favorite homemade leggings so far are made from a leopard print lightweight sweater knit. They are on a very tight rotation.

Notice that to make a pair of leggings you will only need two pieces of fabric, cut to your pattern, and one length of elastic. It doesn’t get much more simple than that!

Making Leggings- One Little Minute Blog - Measurements-10 To get started, you’ll want to take the following measurements and write them down somewhere. It will be helpful to wear tight fitting clothing and mark where you take your measurements with chalk, like Mim taught you in her drafting a tee post. I’ll explain each measurement in a little more detail in case you don’t recognize some:

Waist: Technically, this would be your natural waist, or the most narrow part of your abdomen. For this pattern, though, you’ll want to measure the circumference of wherever you’d like the waistband of your leggings to hit.

Hip: The circumference around the fullest part of your bum.

Thigh: The circumference around the widest part of your thigh. Mark where you take this measurement with chalk, or a washable marker

Knee: The circumference around the top of your knee, above the knee cap, with your leg straight.

Ankle: The circumference around your ankle, at the length you’d like the hem of your leggings.

Waist to Ankle: Distance from where you took your waist measurement to where you took your ankle measurement (or the desired hem length).

Ankle to Knee: Distance from where you measured your ankle to where you measured your knee.

Knee to Thigh: Distance from where you measured your knee to where you measured your thigh.

Front Rise: Squeeze a ruler between the top of your thighs, so it sticks out parallel to the floor. Measure from your waist to the ruler.

Back Rise: Squeeze a ruler between your thighs with the ruler parallel to the floor sticking out behind you. Measure from your waist to the ruler. (You may need some help with this one!)

**Rise Depth: This measurement will help form the curves on the front and back of the pattern piece, to allow the upper part of the leggings wrap down between your legs before separating off into two separate leg tubes. I’ve always been a bit mystified by those curvy parts on patterns for pants, but turns out it’s not very difficult to figure out!  To find your Rise Depth, divide your waist measurement in half  (because each pattern piece only covers half of your waist) then subtract that number from your full thigh circumference (because each pattern piece covers one full leg). This gives the full depth. Rise Depth= Thigh-(Waist/2)

Here’s an example using my measurements: Waist: 30″, Thigh: 21″

21-(30/2)= 6, so my Rise Depth is 6″

Now we divide the Rise Depth between the Front and Back to know where to add those inches on the pattern piece. The Front Rise Depth is 1/3 and the Back Rise Depth is 2/3 (to accommodate that fine booty!)

Front Rise Depth = Rise Depth*.33  So, 6*.33 (or 1/3) = 2″ for my Front Rise Depth

Back Rise Depth = Rise Depth*.66  For my Back Rise Depth, 6*.66=4″.

Please don’t get freaked out by the math. It’s really simple, I just explained it as detailed as I could (with lots of examples of calculations) so you can understand the theory rather than just finding the number you need. I hope it helped!

If the fabric you want to use is very stretchy (in this post about knit fabric and selection, I talk all about stretch) you may want to subtract some a bit of negative ease from your circumference measurements (Waist, Hip, Thigh, Knee, and Ankle) before creating your pattern so that your leggings end up tight, not baggy. For a minimally stretchy fabric (10-25%) I’d suggest subtracting 1/2″. For a very stretchy fabric (25-50%) I’d suggest subtracting 1″.

Draft and Sew Leggings _ One Little Minute Blog - simple!

Grab a piece of drafting paper that is a few inches longer than your waist to ankle measurement. You also need a pencil and a ruler. Fold your paper in half lengthwise (hot dog style) and crease the fold. When you unfold it you can begin drafting.

Draft and Sew Leggings - One Little Minute Blog - drafting the pattern-06

The center fold of your paper will serve as the center of your pattern. Lay the paper out flat on a hard surface.

1. Make a mark about 2″ from the top of the page, on the fold, then measure your Waist to Ankle measurement along the fold and make a mark at the ankle.

2. At the ankle mark, draw a line perpendicular to the fold the length of the Ankle Circumference, with the fold  in the middle of the measurement.

3. Measure the Ankle to Knee distance up from the ankle line and make a mark.

4. At the knee mark, draw a line perpendicular to the fold the length of the Knee Circumference, with the fold in the middle of the measurement.

5. Measure the Knee to Thigh distance up from the knee line and make a mark.

6. At the thigh mark, draw a line perpendicular to the fold the length of the Thigh Circumference, with the fold in the middle of the measurement.

7. Connect the ends of the thigh, knee, and ankle lines.

8. Gently round out any corners in your lines.

9. Starting at the end of the right side of the thigh line, measure your Front Rise Depth towards the center and mark.

10. Starting at the Front Rise Depth mark, measure and draw the Front Rise Height up perpendicular to the thigh line.

11. Starting at the end of the left side of the thigh line, measure your Back Rise Depth towards the center and mark.

12. Starting at the Back Rise Depth mark, measure and draw the Back Rise Height up perpendicular to the thigh line.

13. Connect the tops of the Front and Back Rise Height lines with a gentle curve (the back rise height should be slightly higher, if you have a bum!)

14. Use your ruler to draw a line from the top of the Front Rise Height line to about 1″ from the right end of the thigh line.

15. Starting about half-way down the line you just drew, gently curve out the corner to meet the end of the thigh line.

16. Use your ruler to draw a line from the Back Rise Height to about 1″ from the left end of the thigh line.

17. Starting about half-way down the line you just drew, gently curve out the corner to meet the left end of the thigh line.

Draft and Sew Leggings _ One Little Minute Blog - rise height

Yay! You’ve drafted the whole pattern! Give yourself a pat on the back.

Draft and Sew Leggings - One Little Minute-12

To finish up the pattern, use the corner of your ruler to make sure your four corners of the pattern are all squared off. This is where the pieces will meet, and need to do so at a right angle. Finally, decide what width of elastic you will use for the waist. Add 2 times + 1/4″ your elastic width (example: for 1″ elastic I’ll add 2 1/4″ ) to the waistband of the pattern. Just measure that distance straight up from the front and back rise heights, and re-connect them with a gently curved line. For the hem, just lengthen the pattern by the width of hem that you’d like. I used 1/2″.  We won’t add any seam allowance, because we expect the fabric will stretch.

Draft and Sew Leggings _ One Little Minute Blog - easy to follow steps

Yay! Now the fun part, cutting and sewing! Use Mim’s tips to find the grain of your knit, ensuring that the stretch is going widthwise across where you lay your pattern. Using a large cutting mat and rotary cutter is the most precise and fast way to cut, but you can use whatever you’ve got! Fold your fabric in half and lay the pattern on top. Weigh down or pin, and carefully cut around the edge.

Draft and Sew Leggings _ One Little Minute Blog - inseams

In addition to your two pattern pieces, you’ll need a length of elastic about 1″ shorter than your waist measurement. (or just stretch it around your waist until it’s comfortable, overlap the ends 1″ and cut. Sew the elastic together end to end, overlapping the ends by about 1″. You may want to use a zig zag stitch and go over the elastic several times to ensure it stays together!

Fold each of the two pattern pieces down the center line, with right sides together. Match up the point of the inseam and the ankle.

Draft and Sew Leggings _ One Little Minute Blog - simple construction

Sew or serge along the inseam line on each piece. Turn one piece right side out and place it inside the other.

Draft and Sew Leggings _ One Little Minute Blog

Line up the edges of the pieces, matching the seams you just made. Sew or serge this center line.

Draft and Sew Leggings _ One Little Minute Blog -elastic waist band

Turn the leggings inside out. Look! Pants! One side of the waistline will be slightly higher than the other. This is the back of the pants. Line the overlapped part of the elastic up with the back center seam on the waistband.

Draft and Sew Leggings _ One Little Minute Blog -elastic waist band insertion

Find the front and sides of the elastic circle, and match them up with the front seam and sides of the leggings. Pin the elastic just inside the legging fabric at the waistband, overlapping the fabric on top of the elastic by only a scant 1/4″.

Draft and Sew Leggings _ One Little Minute Blog -elastic waist band fold

Sew the pants and elastic together along the narrow overlap (with a zig zag or stretch stitch). Fold the elastic down into the pants once, and pull down on the pant fabric, pulling the fold of fabric tight against the elastic.

Draft and Sew Leggings _ One Little Minute Blog -elastic waist band, finished

Fold the elastic down once more, again pulling the fabric tight along the elastic.  Sew along the bottom edge of the elastic on the inside, securing the band. Using this method, the elastic becomes fully encased in the fabric, and is sewn in place (rather than just threaded through as in a casing) so it stays aligned.

Draft and Sew Leggings _ One Little Minute Blog -Finishing

Finish the hems of the pants as you choose (Mim’s post on finishing techniques is very thorough.) On this pair, I simply folded the ends under and zig zag stitched them.

Draft and Sew Leggings - One Little Minute Blog-Tribal Leggings!

Look at that! You made yourself some homemade (and seriously awesome) leggings!

The first time you make some, it will take a little while because of making the pattern. Once you have your own personal pattern, though, whipping up a new pair (every week…) will be a snap! I’m totally in love with the few pairs I’ve made, and every time I spot some funky fabric I now immediately think “LEGGINGS!!”

Draft and Sew Leggings - One Little Minute Blog-Awesome Tribal LeggingsDraft and Sew Leggings _ One Little Minute Blog -Stretchy Pants!

Here I am  just hanging out in my new leggings, doing the tree pose because my pants are stretchy and I can! And check out how stretchy they are! (ha! I must have been getting a little loopy by the time I took these!)

Draft and Sew Leggings - One Little Minute Blog-Awesome Tribal Leggings!! Draft and Sew Leggings _ One Little Minute Blog -Stretchy Tribal Leggings

Pattern: self-drafted legging pattern (you can do it!!)

Fabric: Amazing tribal print that someone was getting rid of and handed down to me (score!!) Similarly awesome leggings print styles herehere, here, and I share my favorite places to buy knits on this Knit Fabric post. (Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for $50 to The Fabric Fairy!)

This week we have taught you to make and finish tee shirts, and alter them into dresses and peplum tops. Now with today’s leggings and Miriam’s Maxi Skirts, we’ve pretty much got you covered for a little while!

Tomorrow we’re excited to teach you all about sergers, and more specifically the Baby Lock Diana.  Although anyone with a sewing machine can sew knits no sweat, using a serger takes the construction to another level. Similarly, going from a serger to a coverstitch machine takes things up another notch. The Diana is both a serger and coverstich machine in one! We can’t wait to share the fun things it does to make sewing with knits even more fun.

BabyLock Footer- One Little Minute Blog




  1. Trish Hanson
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    This is great! Especially the explanation on measuring the the front and back rise! I’ve just started sewing clothes and have made a couple of pairs of simple pants but had no idea how to measure this. I have just used another pr of pants and drawn around them. Now I can get a much more accurate fit EVERY time.Thanks so much for this series. I’m lovin it!

  2. Posted January 11, 2013 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I´m loving this series and can´t wait to try to make things, but I must say I love the fact that your drawing has hips :)

  3. Posted January 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    So much fun! I can’t wait to make some leggings!

  4. Gina M
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Bicycle pants… usually a heavier, more elastic knit (‘road rash’ protection in a fall). Would they be made similar to the leggings? Any advice? (I am impressed with all your prints matching at the seams! Good job!)

  5. Posted January 11, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    so cute! i can’t wait to try to make some! definitely loving the tribal print fabrics from in the second link you posted! xo

  6. Posted January 11, 2013 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    OK, another thing to try…. and love how they will be custom to fit me exactly …. thanks Miranda, :)

  7. Posted January 12, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Awesome! My 14 yr old granddaughter loves these!! She got some store bought ones for Christmas, but you can never have enough with all the patterns available to you these days. I love leggings as well, but have a hard time finding anything that fits properly, so this is great for me too. Thanks!

  8. Posted January 16, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Wow! This seems so easy! I’m learning soooo much from you guys tutorials! Thanks for this amazing series.

    • Miranda
      Posted January 16, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      You’re welcome! They ARE easy, I hope you make a bunch!


  9. Andrea Crawford
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • Miranda
      Posted March 12, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      You’re welcome! Glad you like it!

  10. Posted May 11, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    i’m really curious… you have us take our hip measurements, but that doesn’t seem to be used anywhere in the pattern. am i missing something?

  11. Shania
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Where can I find this type of fabric? What exactly is the fabric called?

  12. Posted August 31, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    que clase tan excelente, se merecen un 10 sobre 10, buenisima clase !!!!!!! fiuuuuuuu, abrazo y sigan adelante enseñandonos gratis para las personas que no tenemos verdaderamente como pagar estas clases y moldes .

  13. Melanie
    Posted September 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Hasta el patron lo entendi, muy bien explicado. para mi que soy una principiante lo entendi bastante bien.
    Pero despues se me complico si me podes explicar mejor te agradesco!!!!

  14. nicole
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    did you use a standard foot for every step?

  15. Sume
    Posted October 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    tried it tonight, but think I did the rise-thing wrong, because it is a bit bulky especially in front…way to much…..When you have to measure from waist to ruler…must it be straight down?

    the rest fits beautifully, but the front rise is def off….

    will have to draft it all again…because it really was a very quick sew!
    thanks…would love any advice

    • Maggie
      Posted April 20, 2014 at 12:40 am | Permalink

      geeze, my leggings suffer from some serious baggy crotch. It was even kinda baggy in the bum. I made the pattern as shorts, so I tried to hitch them up and dispose of the spare fabric in the waistband, but that really didn’t work as well as I’d like. I’m wondering if, as a full size woman (size 20 pants with all the expected curves that come along with that size) I should try to tackle leggings in 4 pieces instead of 2? I hypothesize that outside seams may allow more accommodation for hips? ….I’m not exactly sure how I’d go about that, but I might make an attempt. …and thanks to these instructions I have an idea of where to start!

      • Miranda
        Posted October 17, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        Rather than measuring the thigh at the widest part of your leg, try measuring right at where your legs meet (crotch area). That will bring up the inseam and with enough stretch in the fabric, the leggings will still accommodate the widest part of the thigh. Alternatively, just ADD the thigh circumference-at-the-crotch measurement, which will make the pattern a bit more curvy, but personalized to your body:)

  16. Posted October 29, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    First off I want to say how excited I was to make these leggings from scratch. I tried making 2 pairs last year from store bought patterns and neither fit correctly. Also, I have been sewing for over 40 years so I am not new to sewing.

    As far as drafting the pattern it went well until I had to do the waist. IF you are long waisted then on the first step in drafting your pattern you will need to come down more than 2” BEFORE marking your Waist to Ankle measurement. I suggest leaving 6” just to be sure you have enough! I had to add more butcher paper 2 TIMES to the top waist portion of my pattern.

    I used a jersey knit with 25% stretch so that should be good for leggings right?

    I hemmed my leggings first! Duh, who wants to do this after they are assembled? I used a stretch double needle (the twin/double needle goes on the right side). They look great so far.

    Now it is time to sew these custom leggings together. So what seam allowance am I supposed to use? I couldn’t find this information anywhere so I used a 1/2” seam allowance. I don’t have a serger so I used the stretch stitch with a single stretch needle in my machine and trimmed the excess.

    Next I sewed the inseams and then tried them on to see how they were going to fit. This is where disaster occurred! My ankles are a slender 7.75” in circumference. Once these leggings were sewn I could hardly get them on. I could hear some of the stitches popping as I forced them on. They were so tight all over I couldn’t get them on comfortably. (I am slender and leggings tend to be baggy in the legs but not these.)

    The instructions say, “We won’t add any seam allowance, because we expect the fabric will stretch.” My warning is if you are going to make these be sure to use a stretch fabric with 50% stretch or add in seam allowances. This is my 3rd attempt to make leggings and I am totally frustrated and disappointed. Also, you might want to try making a practice pair out of “clearance” knit. That way you can see if they are going to fit before spending money on nice fabric.

    Has anyone else made these and did they come out for you OK? What fabric did you use and did you include a seam allowance?

    • Miranda
      Posted October 30, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Hi there, thanks for your feedback!

      I use a serger when making these, so I don’t have the same issue with the ankles–though I know a couple folks with especially skinny ankles have mentioned they have to keep the ankle wider to fit their feet. Pattern drafting is so individual, this tutorial is meant as a great starting off point to experiment with what works for your own body shape. I always recommend making a muslin when trying out new patterns. After a couple of iterations you’ll get it just right and not be able to stop making them:)

      I recently taught this class live at Sewing Summit in SLC, and had 30 women complete perfectly fitting leggings, so I know it works! It can take some time to get it all right, though, as with most things.

      For seam allowance, I recommend -1/4″ for 75-100% stretch, none for 50-75% stretch, and 1/4″ for 0-25% stretch.

      Hope you have some luck in the future!

      xo Miranda

      • Posted October 30, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        Hi Miranda,

        Thank you for your reply. Gosh, I would love for you to come to ABQ and teach a class on making these leggings.

        My feet aren’t very big a 7N so that isn’t a real problem but the small ankles and lack of enough stretch is where I think these failed me. Plus, the fact that they were way too tight all over because I didn’t allow for seam allowances.

        The seam allowance that I used of 1/2″ wasn’t a good thing either, but the instructions didn’t indicate what to use? However, I am a little confused by your reply; “For seam allowance, I recommend -1/4″ for 75-100% stretch, none for 50-75% stretch, and 1/4″ for 0-25% stretch.” Okay, this doesn’t make any sense to me? You mean I should use a 1/4″ seam allowance for 75-100% stretch and for 25% stretch? It seems like you would use a larger seam allowance for the 75-100%. Gosh I must be an idiot I don’t understand….

        I have a real hard time seeing how a pattern in muslin would work for a stretch garment? I would think you would have to make a test pattern out of stretch fabric? How can you try on a muslin pattern that doesn’t have any stretch to see if they are going to fit. Again, I must be stupid and totally missing something.

        After attempting to make 3 pairs without success, I am more than a little hesitant to try again. I live in leggings and tunics in the winter. I would love to have a pattern that fits me but I think I might need a one-on-one lesson. Obviously, I am doing something terribly wrong or I am just not bright enough to understand how to make them.

        How many others on here have made these? I would really like to know what worked and what didn’t work for you?

        FYI, over 30 years ago I worked for Stretch N Sew. I do understand knits but NOT how to make patterns.

        Thanks for your insight and help it is greatly appreciated.

        • Miranda
          Posted October 30, 2013 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

          So, for the -1/4″ seam allowance I’m talking about using NEGATIVE seam allowance because the fabric stretches so much that even at body measurements it wont be as tight as leggings ought to be. Of course fit is personal, too, so maybe folks like them looser–but I aim for tight yet comfy when making mine.

          When I talk about a “muslin” I’m referring to just what you said about making an trial of cheap fabric before sewing with more expensive stuff. Of course using cotton muslin wouldn’t create anywhere near an accurate pattern for leggings meant for knits–just as a cotton muslin shouldn’t be used when working with a lightweight silk or something with drape. I use the term “muslin” generically:)

          I think you might have more luck starting with a little stretchier fabric–like a lighter weight 4-way-stretch cotton/spandex blend. It may be a little more forgiving as you learn to make your own pattern than a less stretchy knit. I really prefer 4-way-stretch when it comes to leggings especially, because we need the vertical stretch to avoid baggy knees, and the horizontal stretch for the curvy leg/bum/hip shapes:)

          Good luck!


  17. Ana
    Posted November 1, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Please can do the marks centimeters?

    • Miranda
      Posted November 4, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      To change into centimeters, simply divide each number by 2.54. Thanks!

  18. Lorie
    Posted November 10, 2013 at 2:13 am | Permalink

    This was so helpful! After a couple attempts, I am now wearing a pair of leggings custom fitted to me instead of me fitting into RTW leggings. My first homemade pair of pants for myself ever. I made one change worth mentioning because I either misunderstood the instructions or there is a problem for some of us. My widest thigh measurement isn’t quite as high as my crotch. So drawing the line in step 6 at the thigh measuring point instead of the crotch didn’t allow a long enough thigh section for me. (And there is nothing worse than having the crotch of your pants not quite get there.) On my 2nd draft, I drew the line at my true crotch, but used the circumference of my thigh for the length of the line. fwiw.

    I am so happy to have found this post.

  19. jeanneth hernandez
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    exelente gracias.

  20. Posted November 21, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Ok, you know what? I made these! I really did – pattern and all! and it took me about 2.5 hours. Here’s why that’s so amazing, I haven’t sewed anything in about 35 years – since I was in 7th grade. I made these for my 7 year old, but I made them loose almost straight legged, with a yoga band at the top. I didn’t know what I was doing and I was having a ball! Your instructions are SO clear and good (you should be a technical writer!) How can I thank you? You’ve woken the creative giant inside of me and I am so proud and happy! Can’t wait to make a pair of leggings for ME next! You have a lifelong fan and follower in me.
    Thanks! Enjoy your day!

  21. Charly
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    I made these for an upcoming cosplay (not much of a leggings girl myself) and I loved how thorough the directions were. It’s shockingly hard to find good instructions to custom draft patterns. As for people getting bulkyness in the croch, make sure you cut one on the right side and one on the wrong side, you know for left and right. I had to cut out a second leg because I failed to realize that until it came to assembling them and the front and back didn’t match. It should do that normally if you fold it and cut two at he same time, but if your fabric isn’t long enough to get the grain right and you cut them separately, you will run into trouble if you aren’t careful. They are awesome though and I am wearing them now (so maybe I am a leggings girl after all)!

  22. Ge
    Posted January 18, 2014 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Really clear instructions! A little error in the drawing, two numbers confused, but nothing really!

    I made the leggings and it worked! I just had to adjust the thigh and waist. Thanks for the instructions, it worked well. You make a difference. :)

    Merci beaucoup! C’est génial et ça fonctionne bien!

  23. Gail
    Posted January 20, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    In the middle of making my first pair for my daughter (age 23) — ran into the same issue as some other (ankle too tight). I misread your directions: “For a minimally stretchy fabric (10-25%) I’d suggest subtracting 1/2″. For a very stretchy fabric (25-50%) I’d suggest subtracting 1″. I used minimally stretch fabric, and I used 1/2″ seams — I should have used 1/4″ seams to achieve the -1/2″ you suggest. Otherwise, everything went great, and I’m looking forward to making the next pair for me! Thank you :)

  24. iquo
    Posted February 24, 2014 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Where I have problem is the calculation of the rise. I don’t understand what .33. and .66. Is it constant? How did u get them? Thanks, I really enjoy your tutorial

    • Miranda
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Basically, the 1/3 (.33) and 2.3 (.66) is a standard rule for rise depth. It assumes that the from the front of you to the center (between the legs) is only 1/3 of that total distance, because your bum increases the distance from the back of you to your center to 2/3 the total distance. Does that make more sense to you? If not, just believe me and stick to the calculations as written, in which case the leggings will turn out smashingly:)

  25. iquo
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I love it! Its understood. Thanks. Looking foward to seeing more. I will post what I have done.

  26. sindhu
    Posted March 1, 2014 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Thank u …. The post is very useful ….

  27. Beverly Smith
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    This is priceless! Thank you for sharing. I am going to use the information you provided. I am a little busy right now but hopefully I get a sample done.

  28. Liz
    Posted March 8, 2014 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Just made a pair and they are awesome! I love drawing my own patterns and this was so detailed it was just right for a beginner like me. Thank you!

  29. Posted March 15, 2014 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    This blog is so great and helpful! Thanks for your sharing!

  30. chyna
    Posted March 23, 2014 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Awesome job. How many yards of fabric did you use?

    • Miranda
      Posted April 4, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      just over one yard, of 60″ wide” four way stretch:)

  31. Liron
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    This is wonderful!

    I wanted to ask if you used waist measurement anywhere. I think I don’t see it being used.
    Just wondering :)

  32. Miriam
    Posted March 27, 2014 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    I made my first ones today using these instructions! They fit better than any others I have! I’m 6 foot, so I can NEVER find leggings that are long enough for me and the crotch often sits low whilst trying to make the legs fit haha. My new tights are greats! :) The rise ended up being a bit short so I bought matching elastic to sew on top to add some length, now it looks like a belt.
    Very happy. Already on the hunt for some more quirky fabrics now :)

    Thank you!

  33. ibty
    Posted June 28, 2014 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Front and back rise calculation you rouded up?

  34. Posted July 14, 2014 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Je ne pensais pas que l’on pourrait réaliser des leggings fait-maison, même si cela semble un peu compliqué je vais tâcher de suivre à la lettre les instructions pour en reproduire un moi-même.

  35. Singh
    Posted August 21, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    For bulk production for leggings,how many yards will we need for making leggings(just say 2 dozen or more).


  36. Tracy
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    What stitch do you use when serving the seams? Thanks!

    • Miranda
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      I use a zig zag stitch on my sewing machine, or I use my serger:)

  37. Tracy
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, I meant to say serving the seams!

  38. cheryl
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for sharing this, you’re an angel.

    I have a question though, I want to make casual straight legged trews out of corduroy. Would I be able to use your calculations for the leggings, but just add on a bit to width of the legs or something? Hope you understand what I mean. Obviously the corduroy isn’t as stretchy as legging material. thanks.

    • Miranda
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      If you’re using a woven material with zero stretch, you’ll definitely want to add ease and seam allowance. Usually about an inch of ease will do, then whatever seam allowance you choose. Also, take into account that the waist will need to be wide enough for the pants to be pulled up over the hips, so use your widest hip measurement for the waist, then add elastic to cinch it back. For width on the legs, yes, you can just add inches to each side–rather than tapering to the ankle measurement, you could maintain the knee measurement all the way. Or for wider legs, even the thigh.


      • cheryl
        Posted October 17, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        Thank you so much. I didn’t dream you’d reply so quickly (if at all!). That’s very helpful indeed :)

  39. judgepax
    Posted October 28, 2014 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    FYI: For your measurement diagram at the very beginning, numbers 6 and 8 are mixed up:

    6. Waist to Ankle should be labeled 6. Knee to Thigh, and

    8. Knee to Thigh should be labeled 8. Waist to Ankle.

    Still thank you for the post as I slowly make my way through this.

  40. Posted December 9, 2014 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    This is fantastic. Such a clever way to create a fitting pattern and so well explained. Thank you!! :)

  41. Alyssa
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Love this pattern! Gave me ideas for how to make riding breeches (I am not paying $100+ for something I can make for $15-$20 depending on if I add knee patches!) the step by step instructions helped so much! Thanks for putting so much effort into this post, it most definitely helped a beginner like me!!!

  42. Amy
    Posted February 24, 2015 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Wonderful! Very helpful and easy to follow! I made a pair for me and used the same process to make for my baby too! pics here: http://journal.turnaround-designs.com/leggings-for-mama-and-baby/

    A tip for measuring rise for yourself: sit on a hard surface (chair or floor). For front, measure from where you want leggings waist to be to surface of chair. For back, measure at side seam from natural waist to surface.

    Also, I used a 95/5 cotton/spandex blend–very stretchy, but the cotton tends to bag at the knees after wearing for a while. Next time I will choose a higher spandex blend or maybe something with more polyester, less cotton.

    Thanks for great instructions!

  43. Noëlle Adam
    Posted March 18, 2015 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    I fail to see where the waist size and the hip size are used.
    The drawing has gone smoothly so far, despite the numbers not matching the list of mesurement.
    But the pattern looks really too narrow on the top, I dont see where my bottom can go in there.

  44. Posted March 26, 2015 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    What a fantastic explanation – thank you so much you have given me the confidence to give this a try!!! I love the photos.

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