Learn to draft & sew your own custom fit leggings

Let’s draft some custom fit leggings!  If you’ve ever struggled to find the perfect pair, stick around because today, we’re drafting and sewing our own.

Draft & Sew Custom fit Leggings Sew Pomona

My husband and I do yoga together every morning plus some nice long walks together so I’m slowly building up a fully handmade activewear wardrobe. So new leggings and tanks were on my sewing project list this month. I designed this tutorial a few years back and wanted to refine my pattern block and guide to share here on the blog and on YT.

Perfect timing- I’m releasing this tutorial on the International Day of Yoga!

ASG Plantation Group

I’m teaching this class on Saturday June 22nd (1pm if you’re in the area) to my ASG Ft. Lauderdale chapter so creating this tutorial was great practice!

June 22: Draft your own legging pattern

  • Meets the 4th Saturday of every month at 1 PM
  • St. Benedict’s Church 7801 NW 5th St., Plantation, FL

Let’s go over all the supplies you’ll need:

  • Ruler
  • Pencils 
  • Pins or clips 
  • Drafting or Pattern Paper 
  • Fabric (Approx. 2 yards) 
  • Waistband Elastic (¾”-1”)
  • Scissors or a rotary cutter 
  • Tape measurer 
  • Hip curve (optional)
  • Pattern weights 
  • Tracing wheel (optional)

Download my FREE PDF guide for today’s tutorial

We’ll start off by taking a few simple measurements using the diagrams provided as a guide. I show exactly how to do these measurements in my video if you get stuck.

Start by placing a piece of elastic around your natural waistline and take the following measurements: 

Drafting the Block

Using the measurements we’ll create our legging block. Download the guide or watch the full tutorial on YouTube.

LENGTH – waist to floor – 4″ =
HIP – (Hip ÷ 4) – ¾” =
KNEE- (Knee ÷ 2) – ½” =
ANKLE- (Ankle ÷ 2) – ½” =

After teaching the class I noticed a small omission (where to mark F) so I’ve updated the PDF. 6/23/24

Start by drawing a line (drawn out about 2” from the right side of your paper that measures at least your waist to floor measurement).

Draft Your Own Leggings-3-Leggings Block

Mark A near the top of your paper (about 6 “across from the top edge) and square your line across.

A to C, waist to floor – 4″ (square across) =
A to B- this is the rise (square across) =
D, Half of B to C (square across) =
B to E, (Hip ÷ 4) – ¾” =
From E square your line up to A- mark F
F to G, mark over (to the right) 3/8”
E to H, ¼ of E to F (option to fold paper in half and then in half again to mark) =
I, 1/6th of B to E =
Now join G to H with a straight line or a slight curve (using hip curve)
Connect H to I using a french curve (or eyeball it)
Now we’ll mark our ankle and knee measurements:
C to J (Ankle ÷ 2) – ½” =
D to K (Knee ÷ 2) – ½” =
Now connect J to K to I with straight lines, you can curve K to I slightly.

Now we’ll make the back legging using the front draft as our guide.

F to L move in 1 ½” and square line up
L to M, mark up 1 ¼”
Join M to A with a straight line
N is 1/3rd E to F =
I to O is 1/5th of B to E =
K to Q, mark out ½”
J to P, mark out ½”
Join M to N and curve N to O
Connect O to Q to P with straight lines, you can also curve O to Q slightly.

Your legging block is complete!

Next, trace off your base pattern onto two separate pieces of paper for your front and back pattern. You can also combine the two together at the side seam for a seamless design.
Keep in mind different stretch percentages will affect the fit. I prefer working with fabrics with a minimum of 5% spandex. 12-18″ is ideal. 4 way stretch is preferred but you can lengthen your pattern if your fabric is 2 way. Just keep the greater stretch direction going around the body.
I suggest cutting out the front draft first to true up the back pattern and make sure everything is lining up correctly. You can add additional seam allowance to your pattern for the first tester. I often add an extra ½” for my tester pair and baste them together at the seams to check fit before making this up in a nicer knit fabric. Try on your first set and adjust the fit as needed and then transfer those measurements to your pattern. I often need to adjust the waist and length of my tester. I also like to mark on my pattern lengths I prefer, i.e. capri, shorts, etc.
For my next version in my fashion knit fabric I use ¼” SA if I’m sewing on the serger and ½” – 5/8” if sewn on a machine with a zig zag stitch or stretch stitch. I also add about an inch to the top waist to add ¾” elastic to my leggings. (You can also adjust the pattern to make a separate waistband.) I also add ½” SA for my hems at the ankle. You will want to adjust the seam allowance based on your fabrics stretch. Very stretchy 4 way- you’ll want to have more negative ease so no allowance except for at the waist. Less stretchy- add more.

Now it’s time to sew up our leggings. You can sew these with a zig zag stitch (I use 3.6W by 1.5 L), with a stretch stitch, or entirely on the serger. I like to finish with a coverstitch, but you can always use a twin needle or simple zig zag stitch.
Cut out two fronts and two backs. My preferred method is to sew the center front seams and then the center back seams together. Then I line up the front and back sections and pin them in place to sew the inseams together. Next, I will line up the side seams and sew those together but use whatever method you prefer.
Using your waist measurement cut your elastic to size, overlap your elastic for the waist by about ½”- ¾” and zig zag stitch the elastic. Quarter your elastic and mark and then line up to wait edge of your leggings and sew to the exterior side with a zig zag, stretch stitch or on the serger. Flip to the inside and topstitch in place. Turn under hems ½” and topstitch and trim.

Enjoy your custom fit leggings!

2 thoughts on “Learn to draft & sew your own custom fit leggings”

  1. Hi Rebecca. Thank you so much for posting these instructions. I have tried to download the pdf several times but it flashes open and then closes and I get an error. Can you please repost it?

    1. Hi! I just tried downloading online using all the links and had no issues. Maybe try clearing your browser/cache? I did re-upload the PDF earlier this morning. I noticed a small error while teaching the class yesterday that is now corrected- so maybe it was refreshing the document. Let me know if your still having issues. Thanks!

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