My (almost) perfect DIY workout leggings

- Made by me, My makes, Sewing activewear

leggings-workout_002

So this is how my new DIY workout leggings turned out! I really tried to up my game with this pair, using a lot of different techniques and design details to make them look like I could have bought them in a store, but hopefully even better since I can assert the fit and add more practical details, like a lot of pockets.

 

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I did two kinds of side pockets. The one on the left side has a lid ment to cover the lower pocket, but I should have made the lid longer to fully close the pocket. But there is always a next time!

leggings-workout_001

I used two contrasting fabrics. Both are from Stoff & Stil’s sports collection. I especially like the abstract print fabric, it is really soft and transport moisture well. The black is bit less effective when it comes to wicking, but still good. As for the fit, I need to make them a bit tighter around the knees and ankles, but apart from that I’m very happy with the fit. They are snug, but not super tight, which is the fit I prefer.

 

Plus I managed to reduce the amount of fabric that hangs below my butt to a minimum – my biggest fit issue with trousers is that I always get so much fabric sagging below my butt, even on leggings! Through crotch adjustments I’ve managed to reduce it, but it is still an issue on trousers and I would love to get some suggestion on what causes it and what to do about it (I suspect it has do with how my butt is shaped)

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I also added a pocket in the waist band, mostly because I wanted to figure out the construction.

 

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The leggings have a wide waistband. because I prefer it that way. My tummy is somewhat wide compared to my natural waist and I’ve found that a wide waistband that sits below the belly button is the only solution that works on my body. I used narrow elastic in the upper seam allowance to stabilize the waist, but I should have made it a bit more snug. It’s hard getting the perfect size, especially since the size of my tummy really fluctuates due to my hormonal cycle.

 

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The sketch for the leggings. I had originally planned to also use some grey inserts, but when I had cut the pieces I realized that the grey didn’t blend in well with the other two fabrics.

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Jumping for joy in my new leggings!

 

Tutorials related to my leggings project

How to sew a triangle gusset in 3 easy steps

Using power mesh to make a body shaping waist band

The ultimate guide to coverstitching

If you want to see how all four garments turned out, you can check my sewing vlog about my workout wardrobe

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Corrie
    December 6, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    I love the pocket!

    • Reply
      Johanna
      December 7, 2016 at 8:45 am

      Thank you! They are so practical, I wish pocket designs like these were more readily available on RTW leggings too

  • Reply
    JenL
    December 7, 2016 at 2:16 am

    Hi Johanna, Your leggings look really good! I just wanted to mention the under-butt fabric issue, since that’s something I have to deal with too. The best explanation I have uncovered so far is that there is too much fabric in the upper inner thigh length. The fix for this is to take a small wedge out of the back leg’s inseam, just below the crotch. Then when sewing the legs together at the inseam, at the top part, just stretch the back leg slightly so that it matches the slightly longer front leg seam in that area. This is apparently a trouser technique and when I’ve tried it, it seems to work. If someone has needs a larger correction I think there’s a method for doing a fish-eye shaped pattern alteration at the back thigh, but I so far shortening the back inseam has worked well for me.

    • Reply
      Johanna
      December 7, 2016 at 8:49 am

      Jen, your suggestions are invaluable. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain. I have not tried the inseam method before, so that will be first on my list (I will embark on some trouser making next year). I did try the fish eye method years ago, and while it helped reduce fabric it also created some other issues instead! Around that point I just gave up sewing trousers for bit (I’ve only done jeans these last few years). But I feel ready to tackle them again now!

    • Reply
      PsychicSewerKathleen
      December 7, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      Thank you Jen! This was so helpful 🙂 I’ve copied, pasted and emailed this advice to myself.

  • Reply
    PsychicSewerKathleen
    December 7, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Love your leggings Johanna!! They ARE perfect. I just finished a pair of leggings I’m in love with (I mentioned those before) but I have the same problem – a flat bum 🙂 and I get pooling of fabric at the top of my legs just under my bum which I absolutely hate. There is adjustments you can make for that (look up fitting for flat bum 🙂 but there remains some fabrics I just can’t make pants with – ie rayons – even the best quality ponte rayon will end up bagging in a nasty way. I have only attempted woven pants once and the result was so terrible I gave up.

    • Reply
      Johanna
      December 8, 2016 at 8:16 am

      That is me in a nutshell! I’ve started to think that my body is not meant for regular trousers. I guess a flat butt doesn’t hold up the fabric, so that’s why it falls down instead? Some years ago I spent almost a month making muslins trying out different techniques, but could still not get rid of the issue completely. But I do want a pair of black dressy trousers, because I love that look so I’m gonna give it a go again but not with the illusion of being able to minimize the issue completely. But at least better than store bought trousers hopefully!

  • Reply
    Louise
    December 15, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Great looking leggings! I haven’t tried this technique for excess fabric under the bum (I have that problem, too), but read about a solution (in Threads magazine, I think) that I thought might be helpful for woven fabrics. Since the seam on the inside leg just under the crotch is cut on the bias, if you aggressively iron that section of the leg you can stretch the fabric out a bit. Then you put the pattern piece back on the fabric and recut that part of the seam. That is supposed to help get rid of that excess fabric. Hope this is helpful info.

    • Reply
      Johanna
      December 16, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      This sounds like an interesting idea and is in line with the previous comment about the length of the inseam being a cause of this issue. I will look into this suggestion, thank you!

  • Reply
    Amy
    January 4, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    What nice looking leggings! The two pockets are so fun and clever.

    • Reply
      Johanna
      January 5, 2017 at 9:06 am

      Thank you! And they were quite easy to make which is always a bonus!

  • Reply
    Anna
    March 31, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Nice leggins! What kind of pattern did you use?

  • Reply
    Sara
    May 25, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Skriver du inte dina inlägg på svenska också? Tycker det är så svårt att följa med exakt vad vissa ord betyder inom sömnad på engelska. 🙁

    • Reply
      Johanna
      May 25, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      Hej! Det skulle vara omöjligt att hinna tidsmässigt tyvärr, tillräckligt mycket jobb att göra tre blogginlägg på engelska varje vecka 🙂 Anledningen till jag skriver på engelska är att när jag började hänga på “sy-internet” fanns det nästan inga svenska sidor och bloggar, så det blev naturligt att skriva på engelska och där fanns också betydligt fler läsare. Och tyvärr är det ju inte så många svenskar som sybloggar längre, så där finns helt klart ett hål att fylla! Men det är tidskrävande jämfört med tex Instagram och Facebook, så förstår varför folk inte bloggar så mycket längre. Långt svar blev det, hoppas du hajar vad jag menar 🙂

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