Hi friends! I made my first pair of leggings! It wasn’t too long ago that I was pretty sure I wouldn’t ever need to make leggings. I really only wear them for working out or under the occasional dress. My workout leggings are from Old Navy. They fit pretty well and mostly stand up to my workouts with the occasional tug up if they start to slip when I’m doing something horrible like burpees.
I have only one pair of non-workout leggings, which are also from Old Navy. They are basic black cotton/spandex jersey and they fit pretty badly, but are fine for wearing under dresses. I think I’ve never been much of a leggings person because of how badly that pair fits (and also because my lower body isn’t my favorite and I am definitely not a leggings-as-pants person.)
But I had some active wear fabric hanging around in my stash and I knew eventually I wanted to try to replace those badly fitting black leggings with some that I could pull all the way up to my waist. I have the Ooh La Leggings pattern from Papercut Patterns and I was planning to try those, but I keep wondering if all of those seams will bother my legs on something so fitted.
When Helen from Helen’s Closet released the Avery Leggings I ordered that pattern so fast! The thing that most drew me to it was the crotch gusset. I knew if I was going to make leggings for working out that I wanted the gusset for maximum range of motion. I also liked that this pattern has minimal seams (no outer leg seam) and two options for the height of the waistband and leg length. PLUS, I loved seeing the leggings on models whose lower bodies look similar to mine! Hooray!
The problem with the leggings having no outer leg seam was that I got really confused about how to grade out at the hips since my waist fits in the size L and my hips measure in the XL. I ended up e-mailing Helen and she quickly got back to me with the recommendation that I grade the waistband from L at the top to XL at the bottom, cut the upper part of the leg piece at XL and then taper back to an L from the upper thigh area down to the hem. She said the pattern is made to be quite fitted so I would probably be OK cutting a straight size XL through the waist and using the elastic waistband to tighten it more, but I decided to try grading the waistband on this first pair.
I had a really hard time deciding which waistband height to use so I went crazy and cut right between the two for a mid-rise option. My leggings hit me right at my belly button and they are perfect! I love that there is a hidden elastic band in these leggings. I’ve worked out in these a bunch of times and I haven’t ever had to pull them up. Woo! The gusset allows for maximum movement and is actually pretty fun to sew, too.
There are two lengths included in the pattern and I cut the shorter length. They were still pretty long on me so I cut off 3″ and hemmed them at this ankle length. I made the super awesome discovery that if I cut them at the shorter length with my mid-rise waistband that I can fit them onto 1 yard of 58-60″ wide fabric. I love that these are a quick project that takes very little fabric! I pretty much wasn’t buying leggings before but I certainly won’t buy them again.
Oh, one little problem I had with this pattern is that the markings that differentiate the front and back waistband pieces are on the bottom of the waistband. That is helpful for when you attach the waistband to the legs but before you sew that seam the waistband and waistband facings are sewn together at the top and the hidden elastic is enclosed. The notches on the tops of the front and back waistbands are the same. On this pair (and the next pair I made! Duh!) I managed to the get the waistband facing flipped around so I have a front waistband matched up to a back waistband facing and vice versa.
By my third pair I got smart and made a double notch on the top of the back waistband and waistband facing so it was more obvious to me which was the front and which was the back. The fit on these is fine with the mixed up waistband pieces but I’m glad that my third and fourth pairs of Avery leggings have the pieces all in the right places. (Yes, I’ve made 4 pairs now and I’m about to cut my 5th today. I’ve got to get photos soon since I’ve had fun experimenting with various activewear fabrics on each pair.)
When I made these Avery leggings I wanted a longer sweatshirt to be able to pair with them. I had never made the Halifax Hoodie before and I’d been wanting to make it for so long. If you search the Halifax Hoodie hashtag on Instagram there is just a ton of great inspiration. I had a few ideas for hacks but in the end just went with straight View D. I used to have a sweatshirt from Gap that I loved so much and this view was the closest to that old favorite.
I have mentioned this a few times recently, but I have been on a big Hey June Patterns kick so far this year. I love Adrianna’s patterns so much– they fit really well, the instructions are super thorough, and they are garments that work perfectly for my everyday life.
I tried out the french terry from Raspberry Creek Fabrics for the first time and I love it! It’s a light weight, stretch knit. I love having some spandex in french terry to keep it from bagging out with wear. This oatmeal color is a great neutral. I want to get some of the heather grey to make one of the other Halifax views.
This is the ultimate cozy sweatshirt and I’ve worn it on repeat since I made it. I love that the cowl neck elevates it a to the level of fancy sweatshirt. I sort of want to add a kangaroo pocket to all my knit tops now. If I had more suitable fabric in my stash I am pretty sure I would have made 4 of these by now, but since I’m (sort of, but mostly failing lately) trying to sew through my stash I’ve held off on buying more sweatshirty fabric. I might not be able to resist for much longer, though…
This is my perfect outfit for days when I want to be super comfortable for cleaning the house or maybe those rare times of just lounging around. Have you made either of these patterns before?