Active Wear, Front Page, Indie Pattern, Loungewear, Pants
Comments 58

Do Not Adjust Your Screen – Espresso Leggings

They really are that bright!!


This colourful fabric, an ITY knit, has been illuminating my stash for over a year.   As my gym joining experience has continued and not just been a flash in the pan I thought it was about time I added to my ‘gym wardrobe’ which is over 5 years old, with the exception of the VNA top I made last year.

I’ve made leggings before, but not ones that needed to withstand 6 minutes of squats in a Les Mills Body Pump class.  But for starters, and for a speedy make I dug out my TNT Sewing Cake custom made Espresso leggings pattern.   I’ve made loads of these, about 7 pairs I think, but not for a couple of years.

In legs than an hour i had them cut out and sewn up except for the waist band:



And then I had a busy couple of days and put them aside.  I googled making active wear leggings as the basic elasticated waist wasn’t gonna cut it for these pants.  I didn’t want to be hoiking (Yorkshire slang for ‘pulling up with vigour’) them up after each lunge.

I decided they needed a wide band but didn’t think this ITY knit would have enough substance to hold them up.

In my stash I have quite a few solid pieces of lycra, thicker with fab recovery.  I cut a rectangle and sewed the short ends together.  Pulled it on over my hips and waist.  It was tight, but not tight enough, so sewed another row of stitching loosing a good couple of inches.

Another try on, and all was good.

I then pulled on the leggings to see where the band needed to be sewn.


The whole of this only took about 10 minutes and it was done all on my overlocker.


After wearing them at Body Vive and a Box 45 class they’ve stood up really well.  My only niggle is the crotch seam – it’s ok but i’m worried it might pop under the strain of all the squats and am going to save this pair just for zumba.


I need to find a pattern with a gusset in the crotch, and I think the pattern with the Seamwork magazine has one.

For now I’ve left them unhemmed as I’m not sure if I want them full length or 3/4, the jury is still out.


Here’s a fun shot whilst we were waiting for our class to commence, there were only 2 other ladies who had arrived, but I think they thought we were crackers!


And if you’re still undecided if you need a pair of lycra leggings in your life, you don’t have to by a crazy gym bunny to wear them.

You can also wear them around the house in high heals and it’ll make doing the housework much more fun and painless!  The hubby might even join in too!


Linking in with Sew It Chic, at Gray All Day


    • Thanks! I just looked up them as I’ve not heard of them. They look great with colour blocked detail. We’re gonna look a right pair of Bobby dazzlers! Maybe we should have a loud legs contest! πŸ˜‚

  1. You’re looking very athletic Ali, all those classes must be doing some good and those leggings are fab. Great idea for the waistband too.My workmates seem to like the Insanity classes round here. I think the clue is in the title!

    • Thanks Karen! There’s some insanity classes on the timetable but they’re at 8am on a weekend, which in it’s self is insane! It’s on our to-try list tho. It really helps that I go with my friend as it’s much more fun, and we even dragged H along on Saturday too!

  2. LOLS – that photo at the gym! And also, heels in the last shot??!! If so, work it!! I am a big fan of leggings around the house. As for the gym, I do not know this “gym” of which you speak!

    • Glad I gave you some laughs!! We were cracking up taking the photos! I’ve never worn leggings and heels but I’m off to an 80’s party next month, so maybe I could rock that look, especially if i have some leg warmers too! πŸ™‚

  3. I really miss having a girl friend to gym with. Much more fun and fun leggings too. I made some earlier this year using a butterick pattern but I don’t like the feel of the fabric. As soon as I made them I found some in Asda forΒ£6!! Made from proper performance fabric which I much prefer. I bought some performance fabric from NYC to make tops with: still on the list!

    • I used to go with my mum a few years ago but we spent more time in the cafe and jacuzzi than working out! I’ve only known Sue less than a year, I met her through golf, but we’re totally on the same wave length, i.e. a little bit nuts, and I feel like i’ve known her for years. I know what you mean about buying proper ones, I think I’ll be making more tops than bottoms. I’m definitely a bit wary of putting too much strain on a homemade crotch seam!! :-0

  4. That fabric is so much fun! Almost makes me want to join you at the gym. But, I really want to make another pair of these leggings. I have made two pair so far. Love them!!! I love your hack too!

    • Did you use the sewing cake pattern too? It’s so easy to do – I made a couple of pairs for cyber mum too, she’s only 5’1″ so struggles with buying them. It’s like magic how they fit! I think I’m going to use my pattern as a sort of ‘block’ when trying other leggings patterns to get the crotch etc right. πŸ™‚

    • Haha! Me neither! I’m trying to muster some enthusiasm do some but I’ll probably end up tracing my new pattern instead. πŸ˜ƒ

    • They certainly go, i just need to find a pattern with a stronger gusset as it’s under a lot of strain in some of the classes! πŸ˜€

  5. Fiona M says

    Lovely! I am a recent convert to jazzy leggin’s – I found they are perfect for puppy walking, because they wash and dry in a jiffy and, being close fitting, he can’t manage to get hold of them to rip holes in them 😏

  6. Great picture, and great leggings too. You know you really do have to check out Funkifabrics don’t you?
    Enjoy your exercise πŸ˜ƒ

    • Thanks Kim, I’ve been taking the print off of funki Fabrics website this week, but I just can’t bring myself to pay their prices, not yet anyway. I noticed there’s opening times on the website so am going to ring and see if there’s a shop. It’s less than an hour away so will have a ride over if there is. There may be bargains to be had!! πŸ˜€

  7. Anything that promises to make housework fun is alright by me – except the high heels, although hubby would like that (on me, not him!). Those leggings are bonkers and no doubt all your gym buddies are envious that you have something so unique. Gym wear is so expensive considering how little fabric goes into them. Did these work out cheaper than buying?

    • Cyber mom is wanting a pair with the left over fabric to wear around the house. They work out cheaper if you get get bargain fabric – this was about Β£8 for 2m from Lucky Fashions in Dewsbury and I’ve used the pattern so many times I can’t count the cost of that. I’ve seen some wacky fabric on Funki Fabrics, it’s over Β£20 a metre tho’ and at the minute I can’t bring myself to pay that. πŸƒβ€β™€οΈ

  8. Such a fun print, really like the waistband, I wouldn’t have thought about what happens to leggings with exercise, would have done a normal waist and then we would have had erm accidents at the gym πŸ˜‚ leggings and high heels always remind me of Peggy Bundy, hehe! Enjoy the gym!!

    • Haha…I’m her!! Just need a big hair wig! We’re off to an 80s fancy dress party in November so I might just get them heals out and make some leopard print leggings and find a wig!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  9. These are fab! I love bright gym gear – it makes everything so much fun, even squats. (And the Sewaholic Pacific leggings pattern has a gusset if you’re still hunting.)

    • I remember that pattern now you come to mention it. I never bothered looking at that when it came out as I wasn’t into going to the gym them. Will nip over and check it out, I have birthday money to spend! πŸ˜€

      • I’d like to try it too – probably in the New Year though – so if you do make it and blog about it, I’ll have a good nosy!

  10. I need to make a pair of leggings, cycling short length. I have some stretchy fabric but am not sure of the best type to use. Any advice? I don’t have the Espresso pattern but will have a look-around. I think I do have an old Kwik Sew pattern. TIA

    • Hi Anne
      Any 4 way stretch should work, the stretchier the better. In the past I’ve just used cotton with Lycra as general leggings sort of wear. When you cut your pattern out I’d add a good few inches extras at the top, I find the don’t fall down as easy!!
      See how you get on with your pattern, if it doesn’t work out let me know and I’ll see if I can make you one with my espresso pattern and I’ll post it to you. I can do this anyway if you want?? xx

      • Thanks, Ali. I’ll have a go with what I have. Lovely offer – I’ll wait to see how I get on. I have some 4 way stretch but worried it might be too thin. xx

  11. Pingback: #memademay17 – Halfway there | T H I M B E R L I N A

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