Inspiration strikes me in many ways before I start a project. Sometimes, it’s the pattern that sparks my imagination and all I can think about are the million different ways to bring it to life. Or it could be an event I’m going to that gets my wheels turning about what I want to look like when I attend it. But in this case, I had 2 metres of stretch faux leather lying around, wondering what in the world I was going to do with it. And this is what came about…!
Knowing that I wanted to make leggings and had never worked with faux leather (vinyl) before, I went on the search for the perfect pattern and quickly found 11/2016 #127 from Burda Style. This pattern has just 4 pieces, making it quick to assemble and cut.
I would say the only difficulty I had was figuring out how much seam allowance to add because of the stretch in the material, which took up most of my time with this project. I didn’t think I needed to add any, but did anyways, just in case. In the end though, I ended up trimming the added seam allowances off.
Construction & Tips:
Other than leaving out the ankle zippers, simply because it wasn’t necessary (…and I just didn’t have any zippers lying around to use!), I didn’t make any major modifications to the pattern, but here are some tricks I did along the way:
- I used a single needle and a straight stitch for all seams going lengthwise. Anything on the width/stretch (ankles, waist), I used a twin needle with a longer stitch.
- I fitted the legs of the pant before attaching the waistband, inserting the zipper and finishing the ankle hem. Because the material has stretch to it, it’s easy to pull it over the hips without breaking any threads.
- I reinforced the crotch with a topstitch to prevent any rips (real talk, I suggest everyone do this!! Better to be safe than sorry!!) and to flatten the seam on the inside, otherwise the seam sits straight up into your lady parts – this allowed the leggings to feel more comfortable. Fitting the legs definitely took quite a bit of time because I really had to gauge how fitted I wanted them to be versus how comfortable the pants would be to sit down in!!
- I found the crotch area to be a little bulky – you can even see it in the pattern photo online. In order to get it smooth and flush, I kept taking in the sides little by little until it was snug and fitted as possible.
This is a stretch faux leather (vinyl) from King Textiles, costing $19/m. It was my first time using it and much more difficult to work with than I thought it would be. I had every intension of serging the seams, but nope! Not possible! Turns out, the vinyl side sticks and can’t pass through the machine. So it’s just neatly trimmed on the inside.
To hem the ankles and topstitch the waistband, I ran waxed paper underneath it to help it move through my sewing machine. Unfortunately, I had to re-do this a few times because when removing the paper, I would break my threads! Tip: Use tissue paper instead OR really take your time removing the paper.
I’m really into these pants! They look cute and professionally made. There was a lot of trial, error and learning during the making of this project, but I’m happy I got through it and have a ton more sewing knowledge moving forward. My only recommendation would be to try this out on a cheaper material before moving on to the faux leather!
Photos: Justin Vanliesout