However I do love the look of a winter dress with leggings and boots and I would love to be able to wear something like that so I started thinking about why I don't like my leggings. Is it just that the ones I have don't fit me properly? I only have store bought leggings most of which seem to be too small for me - even the 3XL pair I bought last time seem too small. So maybe its time I drafted a pair of leggings that would fit my body!
To begin to process I grabbed a number of plastic bags and a roll of duct tape. I then covered my body from my waist all the way down one leg in plastic and started wrapping the duct tape around and around. Since I only had limited duct tape I figured I only needed to do one leg - I'm generally pretty symmetrical - at least for these purposes. I just tried to make sure that I had good coverage around the crotch area so I could get that fitting properly.
Once I was all wrapped up I attempted to draw straight lines down the outside and inside of my leg as well as the back and front of the leg, and horizontal lines around my calf, knee, thigh, crotch and waist. This was not easy by myself but I think I managed pretty well (It might have been easier if I could find a pen that would write nicely on the duct tape).
To get my duct tape double off I ran a pair of scissors down the outside of my leg (as I knew I wanted my leggings to be seamed down the outside of the leg rather than the inside).
With my duct tape now free of my body it was time to try and make a pattern out of it.
As I played about with different seam placements I ended up cutting the pattern down each of the vertical lines which I'm a bit sad that I did now as in the end I decided to go for just the outside seam and I think my pattern would have been a bit more accurate if I hadn't had to patch it back together.
The pattern certainly looks weird!
Once I had a pattern it was time to try it out. I used a piece of burgundy lycra material with minimal stretch so I started with the pattern pieces as is - I didn't add any seam allowance just had the material taken out in the seam as negative ease. Unfortunately the piece of fabric wasn't wide enough to fit my entire pattern on so I ended up cutting the pattern diagonally from crotch to the outside of the knee on the front of the pattern (the red line in the picture below). I tried to add in a gusset too but that failed miserably.
I sewed up the resulting fabric pieces and found out it was still a bit too big so I had to go back and take out about 1" off both side seams.
So how does it fit - it seems to be pretty good, maybe a smidge tight around the calf, good around the thighs, but it does still have terrible wrinkles around the bum - I was really hoping to avoid them with this pattern but it looks like no.
I added a bit of width to the calf and due to the seam now being at the back through the problem area those wrinkles diminished a bit - I think one more teak on that area and we should be all good.
Having said that no one is ever (apart from these photos) going to see the bum of these leggings - they will always have some form of dress/skirt over them so I may just call it as it is.