Sew your own “faux leather” Leggings

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I wanted to kick off the New Year (Happy New Year all) with something futuristic and FUN for 2020. I’ve been eyeing the recent trend of faux leather leggings lately so I went ahead and bought some. After trying on a couple of brands I felt all of them were too restrictive and uncomfortable to actually wear. I assumed they must all be like this and they weren’t for me. Then I got this Metallic Foil material from Stylish Fabric that had the shiny appearance of a faux leather legging in all sorts of colors with 4-way stretch for movement. Once I got the material I knew it would work for these leggings with the weight and coverage of the fabric. I made a sample pair and ended up making another pair. I compiled this blog post to share the steps and tips to sew your own “faux leather leggings” you will actually want to wear. Using Coats & Clark Eloflex Stretchable Thread for the waistline and seams was essential to a comfortable yet fitted legging. I like that they work for casual to dressy, and even athletic wear. I made a gold and black pair for our family’s “Resolution Run” we do every New Year’s Day (photo below). Get the details below and sew your own.

Supplies:

Cutting Your Material:
Refer to this post on additional details on sewing with spandex/sportwear.

The best way to cut this material is with a rotary cutter, mat, and pattern weights. This will keep everything simple and precise.

Also, I sized down with this material. Because of the nature of the fabric you really want these tight. The fabric has enough stretch that it didn’t bother me to size down.

Sewing:
There are a couple of ways to do this. I used my sewing machine to sew the seams first with All-Purpose Thread and a 3.0 stitch length. I then tried on the pants and made adjustments if necessary. After adjustments were made I serged the seam allowance away.

If you don’t have a serger use Coat’s Eloflex Stretchable Thread for all the seams sewing with a standard straight stitch. Press seams flat. You can also use a zigzag stitch with the All-Purpose thread for the seams.

Stitch front and back pieces right sides together.

 

Place one pant leg inside the other right sides facing and line up center front seams. Stitch the center front and back seams together. Then serge away the seam allowance (or follow sewing steps above).

For the waistband:

  • Cut the waistband fabric out and also a strip of 2″ elastic to equal the measurement of your waist.
  • Sew the waistband and elastic right sides together.
  • Elastic should be sewn with a 1/2″ seam allowance. I like this tight so the waistband stays up and doesn’t sag.
  • Place the elastic in the waistband matching seam. The right side of the elastic should face the wrong side of the waistband.
  • Fold the elastic inside the waistband.
  • Pin or clip the waistband to the right side of the legging pants.
  • Sewing: For the waistband I used the Eloflex Thread around the waistband and serged just along the stitches to clean up the seam allowance. This gives you that extra stretch but keeps the leggings tight around the waist without popping when pulling them.

I really like how these turned out and I’ve been wearing them a lot. I didn’t intend to make these for athletic wear but actually they work well. I wore this gold and black pair to our annual “Resolution Run” we do every New Year’s Day. Then I threw on a fleece pullover after and we headed to brunch. I got a lot of questions as to wear I got my pants…I think they all thought I was joking when I said “I made them.”
I hope you give these a try! I also posted some extra details on my Instagram here
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Laura
Laura's creativity and eye for design is what sets Trash to Couture apart from any other. Laura started sewing and designing her own clothing as a young girl. She even made her Prom and High School Dance dresses. Her sewing teacher created a class for her senior year so she could continue her advanced sewing curriculum. She'd finish the class projects so quickly she had to start bringing clothing from home to use for fabric. After college Laura ran a successful handmade, sustainable clothing brand specializing in custom bridal designs. After having 2 babies back to back she decided to take a break from running the company solo and focus on raising her boys. Realizing sewing and designing were something she missed dearly, she decided to start Trash to Couture. Trash to Couture was created in 2010 to inspire a less wasteful approach to the mass-produced fashion mainstream through DIY tutorials and repurposed fashions. Laura not only is the seamstress, she specializes in designing original content with craft brands. She contributes and designs content for many top craft brands and publications: BERNINA, Altered Couture, Sulky, Fabric.com, Burda Style, to name a few.

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