Leggings: Easy To Sew For Any Shape or Size

Leggings: Easy To Sew For Any Shape or Size | Nancy's Notions | Nancy Zieman

Leggings: Easy To Sew For Any Shape or Size

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By Nancy’s Notions Guest Blogger: Roxanne Nickolie

“I could never pull that off.”
When it comes to fashion trends, nearly everyone is guilty of thinking it. You see a woman in stylish, unique clothes, and you say, “You look wonderful! I would never look good in that.” This, friends, is the language of defeatist thinking! Particularly with a trend like patterned leggings, which look great on any body type, the fear of trying something new is truly unwarranted.
So in an effort to expand a few horizons, we grabbed a bushel of knit fabrics, a few brave employees, and went to work sewing up our own patterned leggings.
Leggings: Easy To Sew For Any Shape or Size | Nancy's Notions | Nancy ZiemanBrightly colored leggings with graphic prints are perfect for any style, any age, and any figure. With simple patterns often times involving only one or two pieces per pair of leggings, the sewing process is super simple, too.
Our first model is Lynn, Store Manager. For you local gals, you may have spotted her bustling about Nancy’s Notions, arms usually brimming with fabric and notions, laughing with customers in her signature cheerful way. The warm, vibrant colors in her leggings really let her spirit shine. For a woman always on the move like Lynn, leggings are a perfect solution for comfortable, yet work-appropriate bottoms that let her bounce around the store uninhibited.
Leggings: Easy To Sew For Any Shape or Size | Nancy's Notions | Nancy ZiemanGraphic designer, Aileen, is known around the office as being a sweet, even-tempered kind of girl. Get her on the volleyball court, however, and you’ve got a whole different animal. In the gym, the quiet, creative designer transforms into Coach with a capital C. Competitive, passionate, and aggressive, she takes command of any court she crosses (take that, Pirates!). For sporty women like Aileen, patterned leggings are a way to pump up practices. Athletes need a lot of elasticity in their garments, and leggings are the perfect choice to bring personality to workout time.
Leggings: Easy To Sew For Any Shape or Size | Nancy's Notions | Nancy ZiemanUp next is Donna, Director of Creative Services. Confident, fierce, no-frills Donna takes command in the creative marketing department. Even for a professional powerhouse, wild patterned leggings are not out of the question. When paired with the right top and accessories, leggings can add a little rock-n-roll to the daily grind. The key to making leggings work in the workplace is to remember to cover up the caboose with a long tunic-style top or a comfy sweater, as Donna has done here.
Leggings: Easy To Sew For Any Shape or Size | Nancy's Notions | Nancy ZiemanModel # 4: Roxanne (that would be me). I’m the copywriter for Nancy’s Notions, a position that takes full advantage of my creative spark and quirky, offbeat personality. I try not to take anything too seriously, and I like my clothes to reflect that. When I wear patterned leggings to work or going out with friends, it lets people know they’re not dealing with a run-of-the-mill kind of girl. In order to avoid looking like a crazy cat lady, however, I always pair offbeat leggings with a neutral (usually black) top or dress.
Leggings: Easy To Sew For Any Shape or Size | Nancy's Notions | Nancy ZiemanOur final gorgeous model is Kathy, VP of Digital and Print Production. This year marks 30 years working at Nancy’s Notions for Kathy. She and Nancy are close friends, and she carries a distinguished air that intermingles with a cheeky sense of humor and killer sense of style. For Kathy, leopard print is an extension of her personality, calling to mind the clever, independent spirit of a jungle cat. She makes no apologies for accomplishing all that she has, and these sassy leggings are a testament to that.
Leggings: Easy To Sew For Any Shape or Size | Nancy's Notions | Nancy ZiemanWe hope our little employee fashion show has inspired you to create your own pair of ferocious patterned leggings. For a deluxe, silky feel you can use ITY knits like we did. If you prefer something that’s a bit easier to sew, cotton blends might be more up your alley.
Still wary of sewing with knits? Watch Sewing With Nancy’s: Sew Knits with Confidence Part One and Part Two online Or, reference her book, Sew Knits with Confidence to master this skill in no time. All that’s left is to pick your favorite legging pattern and don’t forget to customize it to your shape —that will prevent fabric gathers in unflattering places.
Good luck and best stitches!
-The Nancy’s Notions team
Leggings: Easy To Sew For Any Shape or Size | Nancy's Notions | Nancy Zieman
Bye for now,
Nancy Zieman The Blog

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  • Robbin Donahue
    March 31, 2015

    Cute, cute, cute! I love those sassy, lassie looks you just pulled off there!

  • Mary Jo Pigott Groom
    March 31, 2015

    They look terrific!

  • JoanMarie
    March 31, 2015

    I really like these. ‘Tis the season to wear lighter wieght, more comfy, pants. I used to wear jeans a lot but (since aging took over) I prefer the legging type. The fabric patterns look like fun. I have been intimidated to work with knit but will give it a try WITH YOUR HELP, OF COURSE. Thanks again for the motivation.

  • Sue Longhway
    March 31, 2015

    What a fun article, makes me want to be adventurous and try a pair. You ladies all look super cute in your leggings, love it! Did you all use the same pattern and if so can you share it, please? I like the look of them, but it is hard to tell on the picture of the various patterns what they will look like on a real body. Thanks for sharing your personalities with us.

  • Janice
    March 31, 2015

    How very brave these ladies are…and fun too. One day I may pluck up the courage to wear such bright colours. You look terrific!

  • Carol
    March 31, 2015

    I love this blog! Every person looks great! Thanks for sharing the many body types. It makes me want to give this a try.

  • Sue
    March 31, 2015

    The leggings look great. THanks for sharing

  • Connie
    March 31, 2015

    Why didn’t I see Nancy in leggings?

  • Penny
    March 31, 2015

    Super cute!!! Thank you for posting this blog. I know I am going to try making these, not only for my granddaughter, but, yikes – also try a pair for me!

  • Kathryn L. Friedel
    March 31, 2015

    Hey Nancy,
    Great Blog! Only one thing missing,……………Where are your Leggings 🙂

  • Diana G
    March 31, 2015

    Very cute ladies and you pull it off well !!
    This has encouraged me to make more leggins for my granddaughters ! Thanks !!

  • Ellen
    March 31, 2015

    Donna’s and Roanne’s looks are cute and fun but sorry ladies wearing leggings as pants is really a look few can pull off and I don’t think the other three are work appropriate or super flattering. If you wear leggings keep the “caboose” covered.

  • Marvel D.
    March 31, 2015

    Congratulations ladies. You all look great. I just recently ventured into the world of leggings. As suggested, I keep the caboose covered. They are great on the go bottoms AND allow weight fluctuations. To date, I’ve bought all my leggings but now I am motivated to try seeing some. But, Nancy, where are you in your leggings?

  • Barb Steinmetz
    March 31, 2015

    You all look great! Love the prints. I’ve only sewn a couple of leggings for my daughter when she was little and fit wasn’t to much of a issue. I’ll have to sew a pair for my 8 year old granddaughter she’d love a leopard print!

  • Nina
    March 31, 2015

    These all look great but prefer the tunic length look. What pattern was used? All of my girls would love these and might be great for their athletic endeavors.

  • LeAnne
    March 31, 2015

    They may be easy to make, but there is not a person, thin or fat, who looks good in them.

  • Connie W
    March 31, 2015

    Thanks for the encouragement and inspiration. It certainly sparks up a wardrobe and no excuse to say I don’t have anything to wear. They look great just to lounge around the hous in them.

  • Hi!
    Why is it I cannot watch videos on your site? The word forbidden pops up as an hhtp error. I have tried before with same results. I want so much to watch Nancy’s videos, I watched them on PBS, but now I see nothing. I bought her biography and loved it.
    Hope you can solve my problem. Btw, I live in Iceland.

  • Lynn
    March 31, 2015

    I was just thinking how it’s too bad some people are hooked on looking like their friends when the styles and/or fit are not flattering to them. I’m not a hater but somethings are not for everyone. Unfortunately, even a tunic top would cling to my caboose and emphasize the problem. 🙁

  • Linda
    March 31, 2015

    I’m 68. Yes 68 years old. Love leggings. Wear them all the time. I wear cute tunic tops. Ah yes and boots in the winter. sandals or really cute walking shoes in the warmer months. Live life dressed the way You Want. Thanks Nancy for teaching us all so so much.

  • Alicia Key
    March 31, 2015

    hmmm…I do have some leftover knit in the studio….. Excellent writing, Roxanne! Enjoyed it!

  • Rebecca Palecki
    March 31, 2015

    For those that wouldn’t make legings, you might rethink it. I really would love to wear legings with a cute tunic, but having large thighs and thin lower legs this look doesn’t flatter me. Think chicken legs. lol However, in the early 90’s I went to a pants making demontration by Lenore, she used leggings in place of lining some of her pants. Reason was simple. Pants don’t get dirty just wearing them around the office, only that which is nearest your body does. Saves on dry cleaning too. So now my pants can have some pretty wild patterned leggings underneath. Leggings also make comfy nightwear bottoms as they don’t twist up like pj’s do. Happy sewing.

  • ZB WonderWoman
    March 31, 2015

    Y’awl look fabulous–Leggings Rock!

  • Anita
    April 1, 2015

    Can these be made on a regular machine that has a stretch stitch, or do you need to have a serger? Thanks!

    • Linda G.
      April 13, 2015

      Leggings are so easy and quick to make and are a great substitute for tights in the colder months when made with smooth knits. I’ve made them using an old, zig-zag sewing machine. I use built-in, stretch stitches wherever extra-strength stretch is needed (like the center crotch seam) and medium-to-wide zig-zag stitches for elastics and hems. They are very figure forgiving when sized correctly with the right amount of ease.

  • Lorij
    April 1, 2015

    I love leggings. I’m 62 and I wear them. And, they look great. I like a longer top with mine because that looks better. They are very comfortable.
    Where’s Nancy in her leggings?
    Great presentation and story.

  • Robin
    April 1, 2015

    Love these and I’m going to make myself some.

  • Kristin Crocker
    April 1, 2015

    I agree…where’s Nancy in the leggings? We all would love to see her model some. Has she got a good up to date legging pattern on her website?

  • Joan
    April 7, 2015

    More power to you all for braving these colorful leggings. However, in my workplace these would never be acceptable. I have worn all neutral black leggings with a long sweater work, but can’t imagine anyone wearing any of these. Great for running outside though!

  • Carmen D'Amico
    July 29, 2015

    Didn’t read a comment with my problem. Fat Knees! I usually wear straight cut pants. Is there a straight cut legging? LOL

  • Gilbert
    August 10, 2016

    Useful info. Fortunate me I found your website accidentally, and I am
    surprised why this coincidence didn’t came about in advance!
    I bookmarked it.

  • Samanta Kovensky
    November 18, 2018

    Greetings! What a nice job you have done! The thing is that I’ve got two left hands whole my life 🙂 I tried to make my own leggings but it was a complete disaster! Maybe it’s because I haven’t ordered your fabric? So far, I gave up and just purchased three new pairs online. They have similar colorful prints as yours and I don’t need to bother anymore. Life seems easier now. Recently my son asked me to make him a costume for school perfomance. How do you think maybe I should start attending sewing classes? Just order something online and tell him that it’s done by me? Or maybe my friends can teach me? Maybe my two ‘left hands’ are not so bad as it seems? Anyway thanks for your cool blog. Keep it up!

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