Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tutorial: How to draw a leggin pattern based on an existing legging

A legging is such a simple piece and it looks like it should be piece of cake to find a good pattern, right? Well, it's not. Like all simple things, it seems to be quite difficult. But if you have already a well fitting legging you can easily make it have some babies. This is how:

First of all, you need:
-A well fitting legging. The width is important, the lenght and the height are easy to adjust. 
-Pattern paper (I actually use polyethylene)
-Paper scissors AND fabric scissors (never use your fabric scissors to cut paper)
- A lineal or whatever long straight thing you can use to draw a straight line about the desired lenght of the legging. If you don't have one, you can obtain the same effect by folding the paper in two.
-Jersey, pins, thread, elastic and of course a sewing machine for the legging itself.

First of all, you have to draw a vertical line on the paper, like this:

Easy, isn't it?

Now you fold de legging on half, back side out, and you put it with the outer side line exactly on the line from the paper. It will bend a bit close to the elastic, don't bother about it:

You will notice that the front part and the back part of the legging are slightly different. The back is a bit bigger and taller. 
You have to mark on the middle line where the crossing point between the legs is.
Also, the front of the elastic is lower than the back of the elastic. Mark where the front of the elastic intersects the middle line.
You can see these two markings on the drawing, at the tips of the arrows:

Mark where the legging's pipes end:

Carefully, draw a line just on the contour of the legging.
When you get at the intersection between the side line and the side of the elastic, Don't follow the curve formed by the elastic, just let the side line straight. The side line has to be straight all the way:

Unite the point where the elastic intersects the side line with the point where the front elastic intersects the middle line, with a very slightely rounded line. if the difference of height between front and back is very small, this line can be just straight, but the leggings i used in the example have a very big difference and If I would use a straight line, I would have a weird V-shaped elastic line at the front.

From the inside corner between the legs, draw a tiny horizontal line as long as the distance from the corner to the crossing point marking. The line has to continue the curve.

From the marking of the crossing between the legs (at the right of the inner leg line you have now on paper) draw a line down to the knee and let it slowly approach the inside seam of the leg until it becomes one with it.
From the end of the tiny line which continues the curve draw a line down to the knee just as you did with the previous line and let it also smoothly merge with the inner line:

You have now 3 lines converging into one. The outer one at the left is the contour of the back of the pipe. the one in the middle you don't need anymore. The inner one at the right is the contour of the front pipe of your legging.

Fold the pattern on the vertical line and draw only the lines of the front part of the legging, meaning the lowest line of the elastic and the most inner line of the pipe. when you unfold the paper, you should have this:

Draw seam allowances around your pattern as follows:
-for the elastic, add the width of the elastic + 2mm+ the seam allowance is most confortable for you to stitch on
-for the bottom of the pipes add about 2 cm
-around the middle seam and the inner seams of the pipes, add add the seam allowance you are the most confortable with (it depends if you use a sewing machine or a serger and also on personal preferences)
Take a generous seam allowance for the elastic and the bottom of the pipes, the surplus is very easy to remove but if you cut it too short you will need some creativity to fix it.

Cut the pattern out:

Now it is ready to use. 
In a next post I will show you how to sew it together.
See ya!

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