Do the stanky leg, or, a not-so-basic basic


I made leggings! And I found a plain wall to photograph them against!

I’d been staring at this fabric at my local fabric store for several months, thinking they’d be perfect for leggings. Seeing Sophie’s amazing creations inspired me to make the purchase, and I bought the fabric at the same time as the blue cotton/linen denim I used to make my skirt. (This is a good reminder to me not to stockpile fabric – I’m always most excited to use fabric when I buy it for a specific project.)

Instead of leaving fit up to chance by using a pattern, I cut apart a pair of trashed RTW leggings I bought a few years ago and made my own pattern. Since I wanted to use the horizontal orientation of the print, and the stretch was only 2-way, I added 2″ (including seam allowance) to each leg.


The elastic is encased in a separate piece that I sewed onto the leggings with two rows of zig-zag stitches and finished with an overlock stich.


I left the legs unhemmed because I didn’t want to lose the print.

I felt a little impulsive buying this fabric, but miraculously, these leggings pass one of my tests for basics: they go well with a lot of my wardrobe, which (as you know) consists of a lot of neons and neutrals. In fact, more than half of my self-made color palette can be found in these lil’ leggings.

And speaking of my wardrobe, I’ve added a new tab named “Sewing projects” to keep track of what I’ve made over the years. I’m working backwards from this year and will have 2011 up next. It’s interesting to see your projects in chronological order. With the exception of my silver dress, my focus in 2013 has really been on good fit, appropriate fabric choices and better construction and making versatile, wearable pieces that I want to put on at least once a week. Don’t get me wrong – this is a huge milestone for me and fits a lot of the reasons I started sewing. That said, I’d love to tackle a couple of more imaginative projects this year. One of the most unique sewing blogs I read is Rolling in Cloth. Claudine made a resolution this year to “dial back the crazy” in her sewing projects, which are really art. I’d personally like to dial UP the crazy a little bit!

Maybe I need sewing resolution? Dear readers, any suggestions for a fun experimental project or two?


39 thoughts on “Do the stanky leg, or, a not-so-basic basic

  1. Such great photos to show off these super cool leggings They look so great and really suit your style. I agree with your comment about being most excited by projects at the time of buying fabric. The longer it’s in the stash the less enthusiastic I am about my own projects. Love to hear how you are going to dial up the fun! These pants are a great start.

    1. Thanks, Kirsty! Yah, I’m trying to keep that in mind so I don’t hoard! And I’ll definitely share my more experimental projects as I figure them out 🙂

  2. Your post title made me laugh, and I love these leggings! I wish I had something in my stash that was suitable for some crazy printed leggings. I am not much help in the experimental department, I try to make really wearable stuff too. I am excited to see what you come up with though!

  3. Love the colours in these leggings and the pattern! That first photo is great – it looks like it belongs in a James Bond film!

  4. I love leggings! But I’ve been chicken to make some crazy printed pair. I love your make. And It must be awesome that you can wear it with much of your wardrobe.

    1. I think you should go for the crazy print! Especially if you’ve got some plainer basic tunics and dresses, crazy leggings provide a nice and unexpected contrast.

  5. These are superb! I didn’t recognize you in these photos…not sure if it is the glasses, the hair or the leggings, but it is a great look you have pulled together.

  6. Awesome leggings and these photos are so fun! I love how you paired the leggings with tat sleek dress/tunic and fab nude shoes!

    1. Thanks, Sanae! I think I’ve mentioned this before on the blog when these shoes have made an appearance, but they were actually my wedding shoes!

  7. these leggings are awesome! i totally want some printed leggings, but i have so few tops long enough to be legging appropriate it’s gonna have to wait. guess i need to make more tops!

    1. It’s funny, my interest in leggings definitely grew out of my tunic obsession. Maybe you’re the opposite, leggings first and then tunic-length tops!

  8. Love it! you’ve got the most cheerfully dressed knees in the blogosphere! Are you going to make some more pairs?

    1. Haha! My knees have been feeling pretty sassy lately. I think I’m good with this pair for now but it might be nice to have a few for winter for both regular wear and working out!

  9. That first photo is awesome! I’ve no bright ideas for amping up the crazy I’m afraid but these leggings certainly ain’t dull 😉
    Ooh unless u give the mcqueen kimono jacket a go? Its a free download with no instructions and lots of pieces, looks very cool… (on phone but can come back with linkage from a computer if interested!)

  10. Fabulous leggings. How cool is it that something so lairy gets to be a basic and goes with so many things you already own. Love them!

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