We are jumping for joy over our newest stretchy fabric, Sport Lycra®! It’s a bottom-weight fabric engineered to provide great recovery, fit and performance. This might just be our most active fabric yet!
Sport Lycra is 88% polyester and 12% Lycra® and features the durability and quality you need to make activewear that stands up to many workouts and washings. This fabric offers exceptionally vibrant color, is breathable and quick drying with a great stretch and beautiful sheen.
Sport Lycra has a 56″ wide printable area and is great for creating your own athletic and leisure apparel, yoga pants, leotards, dance costumes, and more! Learn more about Sport Lycra and order your free swatch today!
We used Sport Lycra to sew up a handful of leggings using an affordable digital PDF sewing pattern. Continue reading for a full how-to and tips and tricks for working with Sport Lycra!
Step 1: Download and print your pattern.
To get started, you need to download or purchase your leggings pattern. We recommend the Sloan leggings by Hey June Handmade, just $10.00 to download and also available on Sprout. Once you’ve opened the pattern and printed a copy, you’ll need to lay out the pieces, tape together and cut out your size. We found that the pattern fit a little snug so going up one size may be best depending on your fit preference.
Step 2: Choose your orientation and pattern layout.
Once your pattern is assembled and cut out, it’s time to cut out your fabric pieces. Sport Lycra has a four-way stretch making it possible to cut with the grain or cross grain, but the fabric stretches much more across the grain than along the grain line.
If you want the greatest amount of stretch to go around your body, cut your pattern with the side seams running along the selvedge.
If you want to get one pair of leggings out of a yard of fabric and cut down on grin, cut your pattern on the crossgrain.
If you plan to cut your leggings on the crossgrain, you’ll want to choose a non-directional pattern. If the design you plan to use is directional and runs the length of the fabric, you’ll end up cutting your pattern pieces with your design sideways.
Also, keep in mind that if you cut a knit garment on the crossgrain (with the greatest stretch running up & down the body), the garment could end up too tight and will stretch in length as it is worn. Cutting on the crossgrain will also place more stress on the seams and could cause them to pop. That could be a serious UH-OH! with leggings.
**If you need help understanding the anatomy of a yard of Spoonflower fabric, check out this helpful article!
Once you’ve decided which way you’d like to lay your fabric, fold the fabric in half, lay out your pattern pieces, and cut your fabric pieces.
Step 3: Sew up your leggings!
First, you’ll stitch up the inseam of your pants. So that the fabric will stretch and give, either use a serger or a zig-zag stitch on your standard sewing machine. A universal or ballpoint needle works best with this fabric.
If you’re using a serger, the serger blade does need to be sharp. The differential feed on the serger might need to be lowered slightly and make sure the stitch length isn’t too long. Test samples are helpful.
For a standard sewing machine, a 3 step zig zag will be more secure than a standard zig zag. Increase the stitch length to 3.5 – 4. For smooth topstitching, increase the stitch length to 4 – 4.5 and decrease the pressure foot pressure to allow the fabric to move more smoothly over the feed dogs––a walking foot is quite helpful.
Once your machine is all set up, place right sides together, then line up and pin your inseams for both legs of your leggings. Once pinned, sew your seam.
Once you have sewn both inseams and have two pant legs, you’ll then sew those together. Turn your pant legs right side out and with right sides together, line up the inseam first and pin the rest of your crotch seam. Once pinned, sew the crotch seam. Now you have pants! They just need a waistband.
Take the large rectangle waistband pattern piece and fold it in half and sew the two shorter sides together.
Turn the sewn circle right side out and fold in half with raw edges aligned so you have a more narrow circle.
Slip the waistband over your leggings (all raw edges should again be aligned) and pin the two unfinished sides to the top of your pants with right sides together.
Sew together, flip the waistband up and you’re ready to slip on your sweet new leggings!
We hope you’re as excited as we are to sew with Sport Lycra! Please tell us what you plan to make in the comments below or share with us using #Spoonflower on your favorite social media platform!