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Topic: The I-almost-lost-my-finger-for-these Mermaid Leggings. EDIT: Tutorial added!  (Read 52183 times)
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« on: June 13, 2008 06:38:53 PM »

(Tutorial posted under the pictures)

Okay, that was an exaggeration. But basically during the process of making these a few nights ago I wasn't paying attention and had the needle on my machine go all the way through my finger. Through the nail to the complete other side of my finger. I've been sewing for years and have never been that careless, so needless to say I was a bit shocked. I'm alright, I just have a hole in my fingernail and it hurts pretty badly.

Anyway, I have always wanted these leggings from American Apparel. You know, the sparkly $40-something dollar ones. The ones that most people find tacky but I absolutely adore. Then the other day after I was sitting online wishing how I had some, I decided I could just make some. So I made these out of some green knit dancewear fabric from Joanns that reminds me of the Little Mermaid. It was super easy and I will probably make a whole bunch of leggings.

The leggings from all sorts of weird angles due to my having to take the pictures myself:

(I told you, weird angles. But I felt I needed to show the waistband for whatever reason.)

Fabric close-up.

Now the inspiration:

And the injury:


Bleh, it still has blood on it. And look how bent it is! I was totally going to keep using it after cleaning it off, but no, it had to bend.


Okay, so I promised this a while ago and just got around to it today. I couldn't find any fabric I wanted at first and I've been busy getting ready to head off to college next month. I've never written a tutorial for anyone before, so please ask me questions if I've worded something oddly or something doesn't make sense.

1 yard (possibly more depending on your size) stretchy knit fabric (I like the kinds in the dancewear section.)

Matching thread

A pair of leggings or skinny jeans that fit you

Tutorial Notes:

Because we are using a stretchy fabric, I am using a stretch stitch on my machine. A serger would also work. I also sewed over each seam twice because they will be stretched so much and I wanted to add strength. If you aren't very experienced with sewing this kind of fabric, then please practice on some of your extra scraps left over from the pattern to get your settings right on your machine before risking ruining your leggings.

The process:

Lay out your fabric. Fold your leggings/jeans in half and lay out as seen in picture (except neater, I kind of just threw it down for the picture). Trace along the top, down the curvy side (the side with the crotch) and across the bottom, remembering to figure in seam allowances. Note: You may want to add more length to the bottom and/or top, just depending on what you're using to trace.

Now, flip your pants (still folded) over so that they are a reflection of what you've already traced. Trace the top, curvy side, and bottom again, so that you end up with the shape pictured above. Cut out. Make a second one just like it.

Now, pin each leg right sides together and sew down from the bottom of the crotch to the bottom of the leggings on each leg.

I forgot to take a picture of this step, but you pin the curved edges of each leg right sides together. When you sew this, you should be sewing from the front of the leggings down to the crotch and up the back all in one U-shaped seam.

Measure the circumference of your leggings and subtract an inch. Cut a rectangle with a length of the measurement you just figured out and a width double the length you would like your waistband to be (You may want to go ahead and try on your leggings to figure out how long you think it will need to be).  For mine I cut a rectangle with a width of 9 inches including seam allowance, so after it's sewn on I will have a waistband of about 4 inches.

Sew your rectangle closed with the two shorter ends right sides together so that you now have a circle.

Fold your waistband in half widthwise wrong sides together. Take your leggings so that they are right sides out and pin the waistband evenly around the top. You will have to stretch the waistband a bit to get it around all of the way. Sew the waistband on, keeping the waistband material gently pulled flat while sewing.

Try on your leggings to make sure everything fits right. Depending on what you traced to get your initial shape, you may have to take the legs in a bit to make them tight, but once you get this pair made right you can use them as a guide for future pairs.

Hem the bottom.

Try them on again for the fun of it.


« Last Edit: February 21, 2018 12:48:17 PM by kittykill » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2008 06:46:52 PM »

1. I sympathize with your love of all things tacky.

« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2008 06:47:29 PM »

They look just like the AA ones! I love AA's clothes, but they're just too expensive! Good thing their designs are simple enough to recreate at home  Smiley Good job.
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2008 06:48:17 PM »

Wow those look great!  so sorry about the injury!

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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2008 06:51:54 PM »

This entire post is totally B.A!
I want those leggings, too, though!

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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2008 06:52:19 PM »

oh my god i love these!! i made leggings out of the same fabric only in the red! did you use a pattern, i really like the waste band!!

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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2008 06:52:39 PM »

looove the leggings. i am obsessed with all the shiny things they have. that green color is beautiful.
that finger thing reminds me of 7th grade home ec when my teacher told us horror stories and to watch as we sewed. welcome to being another one of those horror stories.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008 06:53:49 PM by melyssa_marie » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2008 06:58:23 PM »

Thanks to everyone! I'm not going to a doctor because I'm pretty sure it's alright now. It's a funny story to tell. And no I didn't use a pattern. I just modeled the leg shape after some skinny jeans I have.

looove the leggings. i am obsessed with all the shiny things they have. that green color is beautiful.
that finger thing reminds me of 7th grade home ec when my teacher told us horror stories and to watch as we sewed. welcome to being another one of those horror stories.

In 7th grade a boy did the same thing in my home ec class and I laughed at him for his stupidity. And now 5 years later I did the same thing ... oh well.

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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2008 07:02:39 PM »

haha yay! so bright and green!

you shouldn't buy stuff from american apparel anyway... it's overpriced and very cheaply made. i've seen better quality at kmart, to be honest. Roll Eyes

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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2008 07:13:48 PM »

They look just like the AA ones! I love AA's clothes, but they're just too expensive! Good thing their designs are simple enough to recreate at home  Smiley Good job.

story of my lifeeeeeeee!!!

love the leggings.

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