What do you sew to keep warm when it’s 10 degrees outside and the snow is drifting up in the backyard in Seussian proportions? Might I suggest fleece leggings? Sure, it’s easy enough to pick up a pair of fleece lined leggings, but they come in a limited number of colors and almost no patterns. Ah, but the average fabric store these days does indeed have a tremendous amount of fleece in about as many patterns and colors you can imagine.
If you make up your leggings in fleece from a typical leggings pattern, you’ll probably have to make a couple of changes:
Alter your leggings pattern for fleece leggings:
Account for the stretch: Leggings patterns are designed for a lot of spandex. Fleece is pretty stable with very little stretch. To make it into leggings, you’ll need more of it than an ITY or dancewear spandex.
- Wrap the fleece around the top of where you’d like the leggings to sit so that it’s fitted but not stretched out. Pinch the fleece and measure the distance between your fingers. Note how many inches you need for a comfortable fit in this part of your body. Repeat for the widest part of your thigh and calf too.
- Check your fleece measurements against the same area on your leggings pattern. Make your seam allowances wider to give you the extra fabric you need. For me, I cut my leggings out with 1″ seam allowances instead of my usual 1/4″. Baste your seams before you sew them. You may not need all of that extra wide seam allowance that you added, so baste your seam first
Baste your seams: You might not need all of that extra wide seam allowance you added. Baste your seams to check for fit before you sew them.
That’s it! Sew up the leggings as usual and enjoy the cozy warmth.
I’d be embarrassed to admit how much I’ve been wearing these since I made them earlier this week. I’m loving them under this dress.
They do an excellent job of blocking out the cold, and the polka dots are a little more interesting than plain fleece lined tights.
I had enough extra fabric to make up a quick beret from Indygo Junction’s Magic Pattern Book too. It’s a little too bulky in fleece, but I wanted to try out the pattern anyhow for when I find a nice bit of wool.