How to Make Childrens’ Leggings Without Needing A Pattern

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My little one is growing fast. And the only problem with that is that she now needs some new clothes. Clearing out her wardrobe last week I made the startling discovery that she doesn’t have enough leggings. I’ve a massive stash of jersey just waiting to be used. So here is how to make childrens’ leggings without needing a pattern.

How To Make Childrens’ Leggings Without Needing A Pattern

How To Make Childrens' Leggings Without Needing A Pattern

The brilliant thing about these leggings is that you can make them quickly and in lots of different colours and patterns. My little one loves “Trolls” right now. I bought some Trolls jersey material a while back, so decided to make her a pair using this fabric.

All you need is

  • A pair of current leggings that fit well
  • Some jersey material and matching thread. I prefer cotton elastane jersey, but whatever suits your budget.
  • Some plain paper, stuck together to draw onto
  • A sewing machine
  • A serger/overlocker (optional)
  • Some 3/4 inch elastic – I like the non folding type

How to Make the Leggings

Make a pattern

How To Make Childrens' Leggings Without Needing A Pattern - Start

Take the leggings that fit well, fold them lengthwise with one leg on top of the other as shown, and place them on a piece of paper.


How To Make Childrens' Leggings Without Needing A Pattern - drawing around old leggings

Draw around the leggings, with no allowance at the straight edge, adding 1cm along the opposite side, adding 2cm at the bottom of the leg and 3 cm at the top. This is your sewing allowance.

How To Make Childrens' Leggings Without Needing A Pattern - pattern piece

Cut out the shape created and this is now your pattern.

Cut Out Your Fabric

How To Make Childrens' Leggings Without Needing A Pattern - cutting out

Place the straight edge of the template onto the fabric, making sure you have the template the right way up if you have a directional pattern on the fabric. Cut around the template. Then repeat so that you have two identical pieces.

How To Make Childrens' Leggings Without Needing A Pattern

Hemming the bottom of the legs

Pin up the bottom edge of each legging piece by folding over 1cm, then double folding. Using a sewing machine, use a stretch stitch or zig zag stitch to sew the hem into place.

How To Make Childrens' Leggings Without Needing A Pattern - bottom hem

Constructing the leggings

Place the two pieces right sides together and sew together the top part of the curved edge with a zig-zag or stretch stitch. I also reinforced this seam by overlocking, but you can just trim your seams afterwards.

How To Make Childrens' Leggings Without Needing A Pattern - constructing 1

Then, fold the two pieces so that these new seams lay on top of each other, and sew all the way from the base of one leg, up through the crotch to the base of the other leg. Again, I overlocked this hem to make it stronger, but you could always sew the seam again to add strength.

How To Make Childrens' Leggings Without Needing A Pattern - constructing 2

Making a waistband

Measure your child’s waist (or use this chart as a rough guide), and cut some 3/4 elastic to that length.

Fold over the top of the leggings by 1cm, then fold over again by 2cm to create a casing. Pin and sew with a zig zag stitch, but leave a 3cm gap.

How To Make Childrens' Leggings Without Needing A Pattern - waistband 1

Into the 3cm gap, thread the 3/4 inch elastic, ensuring it doesn’t twist during threading. (I mention here how I ensure this)

How To Make Childrens' Leggings Without Needing A Pattern - waistband

Once threaded, overlap the ends of the elastic and sew it together.

How To Make Childrens' Leggings Without Needing A Pattern - elastic

This should mean that the leggings are tight enough without being too tight. Once you are happy that they are not too tight or slack, sew up the 3cm gap, turn the leggings the right way round…

How To Make Childrens' Leggings Without Needing A Pattern - finished leggings

And you have a finished pair of leggings!

I like to batch cut when doing this kind of project. This pair for the blog took me about half an hour to make. But whilst cutting these out I also cut 3 more pairs out all in a similar navy background colour, so I will make them all at the same time. It’s definitely one of my top tips for speeding up your sewing!

So there you go. Now you too know how to make childrens’ leggings without needing a pattern. Hope you have enjoyed this. I would love to see your makes. Do follow and show me on social media, or comment below.

Enjoyed this? Why not read how to use up all the resulting scraps of fabric (nothing goes to waste) by Making a Rag Rug?

Or – find out why Making a Toile is an important part of dressmaking.

Linking up with ThePinJunkie .com

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26 Replies to “How to Make Childrens’ Leggings Without Needing A Pattern”

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you. It is just really nice to be able to see my makes in action on my LO. And these really are so easy!

      Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I love repurposing clothes too, and this is a perfect project for that. I got two pairs for E out of some of her Dad’s leggings that had shrunk in the wash! Thank you for reading.

      Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you. Do message me if these are any issues! Thank you for reading.

      Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Totally agree. They are also the things that she seems to grow out of the most. So these will be a welcome addition. Thank you for reading.

      Reply
  1. Julie says:

    That’s so clever, you make it sounds SO easy too.
    I love your clear photos and instructions.

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you so much! It really is quite easy to do. Thank you for reading and for your kind words!

      Reply
  2. Bethanie Wardell says:

    What a fantastic idea! I wish I were this creative with clothes etc. You have explained the process really clearly as well. Thank you for sharing x #DreamTeam

    Reply
  3. Annette, 3 Little Buttons says:

    I so want to learn how to do this! It’s a brilliant idea, especially if you can’t quite find the colour or design your little one wants for their leggings – but you can buy the material. You are so clever! Thanks for joining us for the #dreamteam and wishing you a very Happy New Year xx
    Annette, 3 Little Buttons recently posted…6 most annoying things about parcel deliveriesMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      This is how I started. Looking for patterns of E’s favourite shows. You can get some amazing fabrics. These honestly are so easy Annette!

      Reply
  4. Kirsty says:

    Love it! I need to do this as I spend a small fortune on leggings for my girls. They live in them. Thanks for being with us on the #DreamTeam

    Reply
  5. Maria says:

    These leggings look great – well done. I would love to learn how to use a sewing machine properly – one day! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      It is such an easy skill I promise! Thank you for your kind words and for reading.

      Reply
  6. Crummy Mummy says:

    This is very clever although waaay beyond my capabilities with a needle & thread! I can just about manage Brownie badges! #KCACOLS

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you. I think that I have just been trained well.

      Reply

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