Monday, 3 September 2012

Refashion baggy yoga pants into svelte leggings tutorial

My sister recently gave me these yoga pants. She'd had them for a while but not really worn them as they were just never quite right. "I thought maybe you could do something with these" were her words as she tossed them my way. I was only too happy to have them as they were Metalicus so the fabric was gorgeous. I pondered what to do with them until it suddenly came to me while lying in bed having been woken up too early (again) by JJ.

Leggings! Leggings with cuffs!!

These would be great for women or girls. Want to make some? I'll show you how!

On a large surface, lie one leg of your yoga pants out flat. Get a leggings pattern (I made my own), or just an existing pair of leggings, and lie these on top aligning the outside legs and matching the crotch as much as possible. Don't worry if it's slightly off as mine is below. Also don't worry if the top of your pattern extends over the waistline, as long as the yoga pants fitted around your hips and tummy, the leggings will too.

Cut the inside leg of the yoga pants from the hem to the crotch. Don't forget to add a seam allowance if you are using existing leggings as your pattern! Hold on to your cut pieces as they will become the cuffs on the leggings.

Repeat for the other leg. I left a little bit of the original seam right at the crotch to maintain the original fit. You could make the crotch higher towards the waistband if you want hipster leggings.

Sew the entire inside leg seam, sewing over the original seam if you have left it at the crotch as I did. Use a serger or stretch stitch, such as zig-zag.

My yoga pants had a rolled, lettuce hem, so it was necessary to place the two legs together and cut this off to neaten the lower edges.

OK, so now you have the leggings basically done, it's time to add the cuffs. Take your two offcuts from the inner legs. Choose the widest part of the offcuts and trim the edges straight if necessary.

Fold them (top to bottom) along the original seam and measure against the bottom of your new leggings. Then fold over again (left to right) so you have four layers of fabric. You want to cut them at the same width, or just less than, the lower edge of your leggings. Repeat for the other cuff.

 This is what you will end up with. The cuff on the left is opened out. The one on the right is folded (left to right) ready for sewing.

Sew a stretch stitch along the raw edges (below left). Then fold in half, wrong sides together, to end up with your cuff (below right).

Turn your leggings right side out and put one cuff over the end of one leg, matching raw edges (see below). Match the cuff side seam with the inside leg seam on the leggings.

Sew along the raw edge, making sure you catch all three layers. Repeat for the other leg, fold down the cuffs and you're done!

My yoga pants had this fold down piece of fabric attached to the waistband. I just cut it off to reduce bulk in that area and left the edge raw as it will always be covered by a long top :)

These turned out really, really well. In fact, I was so pleased with them, I (reluctantly) gave them back to my sister as part of her birthday present! She was thrilled with the refashion and wore them straight away. These photos are of her lovely, long legs!


fabric epiphanies said...

What a great refashion. I always feel good when I can turn trash into treasure.

Megan O said...

@fabric epiphanies Thank you! For some reason I get ridiculously excited about a successful refashion :p

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much she would charge to do convert yoga pants into leggings for me

Megan O said...

Hi, I could do this for you for $20.

Anonymous said...

can this be sewn by hand. I dont have a sewing machine

Megan O said...

Hi, I think this would be difficult to sew by hand as the stretch in the fabric might cause the stitches to break if they are pulled during wear. If you are a good hand sewist and can do a stretch stitch you could give it a go. I think it might be time to beg, borrow or steal a sewing machine :)

Anonymous said...

in the beginning it doesnt say anything about turning the leggings inside out!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to thank you for these instructions, because it saved me a lot of shouting from my drama costumes director. Apparently, when she says long black leggings, she means to the ankle, not just to mid calf.

Megan O said...

LOL! Those costume directors can be pretty strict!

Unknown said...

Amazing blog post


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