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Super Simple Leggings: {only 2 fabric pieces}

Chilly weather keeps creeping in.  And what does that mean for my girl’s wardrobe?

Leggings.  Lots of them.

Leggings are such a simple way to keep those little leggies warm.  So why not make like 10 pairs?

And even better………is that I’ll show you how to make them with just 2 cut out fabric pieces.  Not 4, like most pairs of pants.

Quick, easy, and super cute for girls and boys.

But if you don’t like tighter looking leggings for your baby/toddler boy, cut the leg a bit wider……but the rest is the same.

**Update:  If you want to add ruffles or a skirt to some leggings, check out the post here.**

 Super Simple Leggings: {only 2 fabric pieces}

(And I know, those pink stripes aren’t matching up along the center seam.  I realized that after I cut it out.  Ack!  But then didn’t have enough fabric to re-cut.  So ignore it.  I’ll hide it under dresses or tunics. Ha.)

Leggings aren’t super pricey at the store.

But when you think about how simple the seams are, how little fabric they use………why not make your own?

And keep it cheap by using old Tshirts (make sure they’re stretchy), old stretchy pants of your own, skirts, dresses, etc.

As long as it’s a stretchy knit, you can make a great pair of leggings (or 2 or 3) out of it.

And come on…….how can you resist those snuggy little leggings on chubby baby legs?

And let me remind you about that double needle (used on a regular sewing machine).

It will make your leggings look nice and neat……and will allow for a good stretch. It’s easy and you’ll love it.  Promise.

I already know we’re going to need about 6 more pairs for my Baby Girl.  (Okay, and her big sister too.)  The chilly weather lasts a while here in Colorado.

Would you like to make a simple pair of leggings?  Or 6?

Remember…..this a good technique for boy leggings/pants too. 

And can easily be altered to make a wider leg if you want.

I made my first pair and it took me about 30 minutes.  And then I made 3 more pairs, and it took like an hour.  So if you’re going to make some, make a bunch.  It goes quickly when you throw a few more into the assembly line.  You’ll love them.

. . .

First of all…….the double needle made this project worth my time.  Seriously, don’t skip out on this needle.  It helps things look nice but it also allows for a really great stretch while working with knits……because the back looks like a zig-zag.  But then the front looks so nice and clean.  As long as your machine can do a zig-zag, a double needle should fit on your machine.  And for only a couple of dollars, you will fall in love.  Read more about double needles here.

Okay…….the knits I used:

The pink and green are Michael Miller Interlock Knits (Designer: Patty Young)

The yellow is from an old Tshirt (make sure if you’re using old clothing, that the fabric has spandex or lycra in them to give it some stretch.  Mine was 95% cotton and 5% spandex.  Check the tag.)

The black polka dot was from Hancock back in Georgia, back on the clearance racks.  It’s a good stretchy knit…..more stretchy than the other 3 but all worked great!

Once you have your fabric picked out, you need to draw out a pattern piece.  You only need one pattern piece.  The front and back crotch allowance will be the same.  Since these pants are stretchy, having the front the same as the back will work just fine.  The stretch gives the extra room needed in the bum.  And besides, only having one pattern piece makes things so much simpler.  Hooray.

Grab a pair of leggings (or boy knit pants) that fit.

Then fold them in half and trace around them.  As you’re tracing, add an extra 1 1/4 inch along the top (for the elastic casing), and extra 1/4 inch along the one side, and 3/4 of an inch for the bottom.  You won’t need any extra on the other side……because this edge will be placed on the fold of the fabric.  No outer side seams on the legs.  (And if you’re wanting a wider leg for your girl or boy, just keep it wide.)

Cut out your pattern piece (mark the pattern where the top is so that you don’t confuse it later on) and place the straight edge on the fold of the fabric.

Then, cut it out…….making sure to not cut along the one long edge where the fold is.

Cut another one the same way.   Then open them up and they should both look like this.  Since these are leggings and the leg part is nice and snug, the top section will look wider than the bottom.  This will help you to distinguish between the top and bottom too.

Now, turn one of the pieces over and fold the bottom edge up 3/4 of an inch (or however much extra you cut for your pattern piece).  Pin it in place.

(If you look closely, you will see that I serged the bottom edge before folding it up.  Turns out, it wasn’t worth my time.  It does make it look a little nicer but since knit doesn’t fray it just wasn’t worth it to me.  But if you want to finish your bottom edge, do so before folding up the bottom edge.)

Then insert your double needle.   (More about double needles here.  I’m not kidding…..get one!!)

Sew right along the bottom edge, matching up the right edge with your 1/2 inch marker.  Then you’ll be sure to catch the 3/4 inch that was folded underneath.

**If sewing is stretching your knit fabric too much (common problem with sewing on knit fabric, no worries)…….increase your stitch length so that it jumps over the fabric with bigger stitches.  This should help.  Practice on some scrap fabric if needed.

See how neat and tidy that is?

And the back?  A great little zig-zag-ish seam that will still allow your knit to stretch.  Perfect.

Hem the other leg the same way.

Then place the two pieces together, with right sides together.  Then sew along the two upper side slopes (1/4 inch seam allowance), still using your double needle.

See that double needle stitch?  I also really like that there are 2 seams which means it’s reinforced a but more.  Trim off any excess if desired.

Now fold in half the other way, matching up the legs.  Sew all the way along the inner legs, while still using the double needle.  Trim off excess.

Then fold upper edge down 1 1/4 inches.  Pin in place.

I’m sorry I didn’t photograph the next step but turn the pants right side out so that the double stitch is on the right side of the fabric and then sew all the way around the top edge of the pants, matching up the top edge of the pants with the 1 inch mark on your sewing machine as you’re sewing. (If you don’t have a 1 inch mark, put a piece of tape there.)  But be sure to leave a 2 inch opening along the back edge of the pants.

Then thread some 3/4 inch elastic (I use the non-roll type) through the casing you just created.  Make sure that you cut about an inch extra of the elastic.

Then overlap the elastic 1 inch, then sew into place.

Maneuver the elastic into the casing and sew the opening closed, sewing from the right side of the fabric again.

And that’s it.  Done and completely satisfying, right?

Now make more!

. . . . . . . . . . .
This post is sponsored by:

Since we’re on the subject of keeping those kiddos’ legs warm and snug, you might also love checking out these other legging DIYs:

Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
Super simple leggings: {only 2 fabric pieces}
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Comments

  1. maris says:

    where can I find the link to download de legging :D

  2. Sophia says:

    Hi Ashley,
    I made a few of these for my toddler but find that the back is too small for her bum. How do I adjust these so that the back is bigger/longer than the front, like adult leggings? Thanks.

  3. Pingback: DIY Greek Mythology Costume: SATYR | Make It and Love It
  4. Rachel says:

    Hi! I am attempting to sew these adorable leggings with some very stretchy knit. I had some trouble on the first leg of sewing the two together. Fabric was eaten at one point and the thread snapped out of needles another time. I figured this was a tension issue and reduced to 2 then 1.5, still had trouble so I lengthened the width to 6 from 5 and the length from 3 to 4. Got through that and now trying to sew the legs across but when I got to the middle it got hung up and I looked back at the stitching and it was loose and messy. I was still on 6 and 4 for width and length, respectively. I’m very new to sewing so I am not sure what I am doing wrong. Any advice? I have a Kenmore machine and the double stretch needles. Thank you!

  5. La Manu says:

    I love this tutorial!!!! Thank you a lot!!!

  6. Lindsay N. says:

    Oh these are so cute! I’m slowly trying to teach myself to sew, and I have an eight-month-old who certainly needs more adorable pants. I’m going to try my hand at these.

  7. myfrizzle says:

    Whoa, i just really LOVE this tutorial!!!!!

  8. Alice says:

    TY so much for this tutorial! Worked out great the first time once I got past the first rule o sewing, (right sides together!) Can’t believe I forgot that! Oh well, it was great. Made a cute little tie hat too!

  9. Cyntia says:

    I was looking for some shorts like hotpants for my girl for use with tutu or some short skirt. And I did a short version of your leggings, thanks a lot. And your are right, I made and I loved it! Regards from Chile

  10. raquel says:

    How much fabric do you need to make 1 pair of leggings size 9 month ??

    thank you for such an amazing tutorial by the way.

    1. Alice says:

      Maybe a half a yard, probably not even that much, but its a safe bet. Get the pair you want to trace and lay them out and measure them. One yard equals 36″ and is generally 36 or wider as well.

  11. Natalie says:

    I want to be you when I grow up. ;-)

  12. Lindsey says:

    I love this! But have a question. Do you think i could add an inner layer? Like fleece or minky. We are also in cooler weather (Utah) Follow the same pattern for the inner layer, sew it to the piece then sew the pieces together? Let me know what you think. Thanks again.

  13. sharon says:

    I love this tutorial! I made these for my son but tweaked the pattern a bit so that they would fit over his cloth diapers. We get tons of compliments. Thank you for sharing this!!!

    1. Alix says:

      Hi Sharon,
      Can you tell me how you tweaked the pattern for a cloth diaper fit? I want to do the same thing.

  14. Jessica Golling says:

    LOVE THE IT !!!! RIGHT NOW ITS SUMMER AND VERY HOT SO I MADE BIKER SHORTS FOR MY LITTLE GIRL ITS HARD TO FIND THEM AND SHE WOULD LIVE IN THEM IF I LET HER LOL NOT ONLY THAT BUT I TOKE ALL HER LEGGINGS AND MADE THEM IN TO BIKER SHORTS AND USED THE DUBBLE NEDDLE STICH TO FINISH OFF THE LEG PART TO MAKE THEM LOOK CLEAN THANKS AGAIN FOR AN AMAZING TUTORIAL!!!

  15. Liisa says:

    Where did you get the “M” tag? I love it and want some for my granddaughter.

  16. Janneke says:

    Thank you for the great tutorial. Your tips are really usefull! I am now the proud owner of a double needle; i made three leggings in a row! And… thanx for the heads up about the stripes, i have now a very neat pair of striped ones, i am sure they wouldn’t have come out so nice without your help ;-) Keep up the good work!

  17. Joslyn says:

    The leggings are great! I’m also wondering about the top that the sweet girl has on in the pictures… Did you make that? I’d love to find the pattern if so! Thank you.

  18. Judi says:

    Thanks so much. I just whipped up a pair and they are adorable. My grand-daughter is so skinny that all bought tights fall off her little butt. I can make these fit perfectly. Thanks for a well done and easy to follow tutorial. I will be making more of these.

  19. kath says:

    Great tutorial followed your instructions and made a pair of leggings for my grandaughter in less than an hour

    Will be doing a few more pairs in the future
    Thanks

    Kath

  20. Margot says:

    Thanks soooo much for this wonderful tutorial. It was my first sewing project and it looks perfectly! Cant wait to buy some beautiful fabrics and some more – long,short,with ruffles or without ;-)
    I would never expect, that I’m able to manage it this way for first time, so it kicked me forward to try another projects :-) Thanks so much for that! :-)

  21. Kiley says:

    So I really like your tutorial on how to make these leggings, super simple and super easy. In fact this is how I make all my leggings now, so thanks for sharing. I have a few problems with parts of the stitching coming undone though on the hem of my leggings and sometimes on the waist too. What can i do to correct this, pretty sure the tension is good I have it at a 3 and my machine is new and doesn’t need to be serviced. Any thoughts? I’m selling these leggings online and have run into one issue so far with a customer and just want to remedy it before it happens again.
    Thank you
    Kiley

  22. L.D... says:

    Thank you sooo much…As a beginner sew-er and first time NaNa, This was great!!!! Tried it out and was sew easy. First one was wrong. Didn’t turn the material the right way so didn’t give for possible pudgie-ness. Hope there is a skinny kid out there that can use them. Second pair GREAT!! Only took about 30 min. since I put some ruffle on the back side.

  23. TINA says:

    I’m fairly new to the blogging world still learning my way around, although I’m still not sure how to have people see my stuff which I still have yet to load up….but anyways…just wanted to say THANKS 4 this super easy tutorial of making leggings. I have 5 girls and I’ve made a few of them and I gotta say it’s way easier than I thought. I taught my older 3 girls how to make their own pattern for their leggings and how easy it is to sew them and soon they’ll be making their own pairs of leggings. I got to take them to the fabric store first and let them choose their own knit fabric after their own taste. Can’t wait to see how it’ll turn out. Thanks again!

  24. Andrea Z. says:

    These look so cute and easy that I picked up 6 clearance tanks from Old Navy for just 1.97 each to use as fabric to make my 8 month old daughter some leggings for this fall. I’m so excited!!! Thanks for sharing this great tutorial!

  25. Julie says:

    Hi~ I just stumbled upon this while looking at something else, and I’m so happy I did! I’d forgotten about making leggings (as I did for my own girls years ago) but now I’m a grandma, with the seasons about to change and my oldest ready to start kindergarden! Just an idea…one thing a friend of mine taught me about getting them to fit really nicely and comfortably is to, if possible, cut the leggings on the fabric bias. (On the diagonal) It just gives them a little more “give” and they fit really nicely that way. Going digging through my knits now…..

  26. Jonnie says:

    Okay my twins are 6 and tall. I outlined a pair and mine are not in a straight line at the bum…..??? Help. Ive already cut my pattern when I looked back. I guess that leaves me with 4 pieces of fabric? Or should I make that line straight and from what point the furtherest out?

  27. Arike says:

    Thnx a lot! Great idea and tutorial, I’m making them right now :) (a bit shorter, like a tennis short, perfect for unther a little girls dress) thnx for sharing.
    Grtz Arike

  28. roxanne says:

    honestly your website is a godsend, i am trying to make a romper for my nieces first birthday outfit and between juggling a new baby and my own blog i couldn’t seem to get through my purchased patterns from the store, your snapless one is PERFECT! I am waiting for my fabric to arrive to make it, do you have a tip for making it as shorts vs long? Shall I just make the length shorter?

  29. Danya Banya says:

    Just made my first pair. Because I was using an old T-Shirt, I could use the existing hem for the hem at the bottom of the legs, thus skipping a step. Super easy! Thanks for the tut. It’s the first time I’ve had success with the double needle – yay! BTW – love your site, have been reading for a while. Will hopefully blog (and link back) about the leggings when I get a chance soon. xx Danya

  30. jane says:

    I have been searching to just find out how much fabric you need to make children’s leggings. NO ONE tells you, all of the blogs and tutorials say to grab a piece of fabric. You don’t need a lot , just get a pair and line it against the pattern. This is all useless if you are standing in a store and you want to know if the remnant you are holding will work. PLEASE put how much fabric each project will take even if it is just the maximum amount. Say, a size 12 will take 1.5 yrds or 1 yard for an 8 yr old. I still don’t know how much fabric I need.

    1. Elizabeth says:

      Try measuring the length of the leggings/pants you’re going to base off of, you’ll know you need a fabric piece a least that long. For example, if your leggings will be 20 inches long, you’ll want to get about 3/4 yard (24 in) or so (allowing a few inches extra for hems, etc). It’s hard for her to give estimates since the range in sizes and what people want to make are so much.

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  32. Regina DeMatteo says:

    Thanks so much for this tute. I have a 2 1/2 year old great-granddaughter who refuses to wear anything but leggings. You have saved my granddaughters life and I made a pair in half an hour. I’m going now to empty the t-shirt drawer. You are the bomb and I love your blog!

  33. Natalie says:

    Do you have a pdf pattern for these? I want to make them as a gift for someone, but I don’t have baby leggings to make a pattern from!

    1. Ashley says:

      They turned out PERFECTLY!! Good work! :)

      Ashley

  34. ejpoeta says:

    I just made a pair of pants for my 3 year old. they are not perfect. white thread with maroon fabric. and I haven’t sewed anything in quite some time. I have been afraid to use my new sewing machine I got for christmas. but I just wanted to see if I could do it. And I did not use the double needle as I don’t have one. But now that I see I can do it, I think I am going to go get a double needle. and maybe thread that doesn’t stand out so much. Thank you so much. I would have never thought to even try to do it for some reason. It’s amazing the things that you don’t even consider you could do yourself.

  35. InvaderSin says:

    I used this tutorial as a basis for making my daughters tight (she’s 5/size 6), so far so good :)
    Definitely made putting letters down the legs a lot easier with no seams.

    Thanks heaps =D

  36. Derrick James says:

    Hello, I was wondering do you make leggings for clients or just tuts on how to make them. I’m actually looking for someone and/or company to make a wide variety of leggings. I have been searching high and low to find someone but have come up unsuccessful. If you know anyone that could help and maybe point me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it! If not, no worries just figured I would ask. Thank you for your time!

  37. adnicate says:

    Great tutorial, thank you so much for posting this, saves me a lot of time and money, hunting down the shops for the right colour of leggings ! thank you sooooo much !

  38. Kelly says:

    This tutorial is great! One question if you don’t mind…I am using the double needle for the first time and seem to be doing it right, however, my stitches don’t seem stretchy enough. They are stretchy, but I feel like if I pull too hard they might snap. In fact, they did while I was tugging on them. I’m afraid when I try to put them on my daughter the stitches might break. Any suggestions? Would changing stitch lenth help with this? Thanks so much!!

  39. Brigid says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I made some for my little last night and now I am pumped to make more!

  40. Glenda says:

    I love this tutorial !!! Awesome tips on using the twin needle! I think this will be perfect to teach the GA’s at church! Thank you so much

  41. Bonnie says:

    Quick question: I have a few old sweaters (very stretchy), and I’m thinking I may try to make some great leggings out of these. They are a bit thick. Has anyone done this, or think it is doable?

    1. Ashley says:

      Yes, check out this post here, that’s exactly what I did: https://makeit-loveit.com/2012/10/old-sweater-into-cozy-leggings.html

      Good luck!
      -Ashley

  42. Makaila says:

    Hello, I was wondering where you got the labels for your clothing and if you had to get a license to get your “brand”.

  43. Stacy says:

    Love your tutorial first off! I was just wondering on the step where you hem them bottom. Did you have a regular stitch on one side and zig zag on the other? Is that a setting on your sewing machine?

    1. Ana says:

      Stacy – That is the what the double needle stitch look like: 2 rows of straight stitch on one side and a funny-looking zig-zag stitch on the other side (bobbin thread).

    2. Anonymous says:

      I cannot get the double needle to work. You say to treat the two threads as one while getting it ready to thread the needles than separate to thread each needle right? My tension is on 4.

  44. Virág Réti says:

    Thanks for the tutorial, i’ve made it in adult size right now, almost ready:) Finally i have a pair of leggings which is as slim as my legs and long enough:) THanks again!!
    Virág

  45. Isetta says:

    I just used this tutorial to make pajama pants for my husband and son out of a (U of M) Snuggie that my husband got a couple years ago. The snugie has been just sitting in his closet for quite some time and I decided it was time to do something about it. I was going to use an already made pattern for the pants but didn’t have enough fabric for it. I remembered this tutorial so I looked it up and read through the steps and it works amazing for Pajama pants. Thanks!

  46. Maria says:

    I love you for this! We have such a hard time finding leggings for my 7 year old. She loves wearing skirts all year, and this is wonderful – they whipped up so quick and easy I don’t think I’ll buy anymore! Thank you :)

  47. Anonymous says:

    this was such a great and easy tutorial. thank you. really

  48. Ellie says:

    I found this tute through Pinterest and made two pairs this evening in about 30 mins! My double needle snapped right away (whoops) so I used a single needle and they turned out great! Made them a bit wider as suggested for my little boy. Thanks for the great tute!

  49. Anna says:

    This might be a silly newbie question but if I am using a large tshirt, how would I fold for each side? Do I need to open the tshirt up? I would like to use the already finished hems as well. Thank you!

  50. Rush says:

    Thank you so much for the tutorial. Very nice step by step instructions. I made my first pants for my 6 mo old!

    Just one suggestion, please put a transition picture from where you sew the feet part to the next stage for others…I did a mistake there…then corrected

  51. Jo Rich says:

    Thank you SO much for this tutorial! I would never have thought it would be so simple to make a pair of leggings. My poor daughter will now be inundated with upcycled leggings! Thankfully she really loves wearing leggings…
    Brilliant! Thanks.

  52. Jo Rich says:

    Oh my goodness, these are AMAZING!
    I would never have believed I could make a pair of leggings, but even without the double needle (need to find one of those pronto!), they were SO simple.
    The wearer isn’t home at the moment but I can’t wait for her to try them on. Thank you!

  53. Britney L. says:

    First off, thanks for your posts. They always get me giggling and smiling. Second, what are your favorite places to get fabric. I’m always amazed at how cute your fabric always is. (I know that this post used old sweaters, but in general when I look through your blog or click through the links, I’m amazed… you’ve got good taste when it comes to fabric.)

  54. Emmy Ziegler says:

    Thanks so much for your clear tutorial. I will modify this idea to make leggings for the American Girl doll. I have a pair of store bought leggings for the doll, so I will use that to make the pattern. I hate to pay money for such an easy item!

  55. Gia says:

    I made 4 pair of these yesterday for my 4 & 6 year-old girls. It was SOOO easy, and they are adorable! Awesome tutorial.

  56. Adriana says:

    Just finish 6 leggings for my two year old girl, she looks so cute and they are very comfortable. Thank you so much for sharing :)

  57. Jean says:

    I kinda want to make some…. for me. : )

  58. Natalie says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial. I conquered my fear of knits with this project and learned a few things along the way. I made 2 pairs of stretch denim leggings for my almost 5 year old. I stitched the waistband in rather than using a casing, just a personal preference, but everything else was wonderful.

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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