Who doesn’t love a good pair of leggings? They’re the perfect garment for layering, relaxing and getting active—and a project that comes together in 30 minutes! We all have a favorite pair that fits better than all the rest. Emma Jeffery, creative sewist + maker behind Gather & Grand, visits the blog to share how she replicated her daughter’s favorite pair of leggings using a funky design printed on Sport Lycra®!

Sport Lycra Leggings

Leggings are a wardrobe staple for my daughter—pulling on and off with no buttons, zippers or other annoying closures. They are every girls’ must-have and with Spoonflower’s new Sport Lycra fabric, I can sew up some extra fun pairs for her dance/play/sports activities. These leggings will take about 30 minutes to make and you don’t need a pattern. All you need is a pair of existing leggings that you like the fit of, and you can make these using the same method, for adults and children alike.

Sport Lycra Leggings

Leggings supplies

I used a ball-point needle and a zig-zag stitch to sew up these leggings. I finished the seams with a serger but the fabric won’t fray if you don’t have a serger. You’ll also need some elastic for the waistband. For children’s clothes, I prefer 3/4″ (1.91 cm) wide elastic. I ordered a yard of Teal Watercolor Triangles by ivieclothco on Sport Lycra for this pair. Depending on the size of your child, you may need to order more than one yard.


  • A pair of old leggings to use as a pattern
  • A large piece of paper (to trace the shape of the leggings on, for use as a pattern piece)
  • 1-2+ yards of Sport Lycra depending on size of leggings you’re making (Need help estimating fabric? Check out this link.)
  • Sewing machine
  • All-purpose sewing thread
  • 3/4″ (1.91 cm) wide elastic for waistband (you’ll need an elastic length that’s 2″ (5.08 cm) smaller than the waist measurement)
  • Pen
  • Ruler

Tracing pattern pieces

1. Trace your old leggings.

Start by laying your leggings out flat on a large piece of paper (tape two or more pieces together if necessary) and align the side of the leggings with the edge of the paper, but about 1/2″ (1.27 cm) away from the edge itself. You’ll be tracing around the leggings but adding an extra 1/2″ (1.27 cm) all the way around to account for a seam allowance. If you have a curved ruler, this will help you trace around the shape of the legs, but you can also freehand it. Start tracing around the bottom of the leg opening and up the inseam, stopping at the crotch. Don’t forget to add a 1/2″ (1.27 cm) as you trace.

Creating legging pattern

As you reach the crotch, fold over the other leg of the leggings to reveal the front/back crotch seam, and continue to trace.

Cutting pattern pieces

2. Cut out your pattern piece and place your folded Sport Lycra on top.

The straight edge of the pattern piece needs to be placed along the folded edge of the fabric. Spoonflower has a lot of information in this post about orientating your pattern on the grain or across the grain of the fabric. Cut out your pattern piece.

DIY Leggings

Step 3. Flip the paper pattern over again.

Then align the straight edge along the folded edge of the fabric. Cut your second leg from the folded fabric.

Sport Lycra Leggings

Step 4. Fold and pin each leg.

Fold each leg in half with the right sides facing. Pin from the crotch and down the entire leg (do not pin the curve of the crotch seam) and sew.

Custom Leggings

Sport Lycra Leggings

Step 5. Finish the bottom of the legs.

There are two ways to finish the bottoms of the legs. To make cuffs, trim 3” (7.62 cm) away from the bottom edge of the legs. Fold the rings of fabric in half with wrong sides together, pin to around the perimeter of the right sides of each leg and sew. Alternatively, you could just turn up the hem 1/2″ (1.27 cm) to the wrong side and sew, without a cuff.

Sport Lycra Leggings

Step 6. Sew the two sides together.

Now turn one leg inside out and one leg right sides out. Insert the right side out leg into the inside out leg and match the seams at the crotch. The right side of both leg pieces should be facing each other. Pin the entire front and back crotch seam and sew. Pull the legs to the right side and you’ll have an almost-complete pair of leggings.

Pinning waist band

Step 7. Finish the waistband.

To finish the waistband of your leggings, turn the waistband 1/2″ (1.27 cm) to the wrong side. Turn a further (generous) 3/4″ (1.91 cm) and pin. Sew the waistband leaving a 2” (5.1 cm) hole unsewn so that you can insert the elastic into the casing.

Finished waist band

Step 8. Thread the elastic through the waistband.

Use a bodkin or extra large needle to thread the 3/4″(1.905 cm) wide elastic through the waistband. Have the child try on the leggings and adjust the elastic length to fit comfortably. Sew the two ends of the elastic together and sew the hole in the waistband seam closed.

Sport Lycra Tunic

 This tunic dress was made using Navy Aztec Stripe by ivieclothco with Sport Lycra and the Ice Cream Dress pattern by Oliver + S. Because Sport Lycra has a four way stretch, it’s a great fabric to show off different cut orientations on directional prints.

Sport Lycra Leggings