The Fear of Leggings: Pattern Review of McCalls 7261

There are many aspects of my life where I find myself being brave and then I have moments of complete fear. I usually ignore the problem until I can muster up the courage to tackle it, but sometimes that can take weeks such is the case with making a pair of leggings.

The last time I made fitted pants they almost ripped on the runway and I have allowed that fear to cripple my creativity when it comes to sewing pants. Last year I only made one pair of pants and I made them so wide that I wouldn’t have to worry about my curves.

Now my goal last year was to make more shirts and get better at that which I have, but now I’m ready to concur my fear and make some pants.

If you have been following me on Instagram you may have noticed the neon shirt that I made in February of 2018.

I never did a formal review on it (bad Ashley), but I wanted to show the completed look of one pattern. That is my goal this year. If a sewing pattern comes with a top and a bottom and I have already made the top then I am working on the bottom this year.

I kept telling everyone that I would make the pattern, but would chicken out. This time I decided if I give myself a deadline I will stick with it. And I did!

I had no clue how to make the leggings to my measurements, so I went into Mimi G’s Sew it Academy and followed along with her videos on how to take my measurements and draft a pair of leggings.

Keep reading below to see how I took that draft and combined it with the commercial pattern.

Here’s my review of the pattern and what I used:

Pattern Description: Misses’ Top and Leggings

(Click here to find McCalls 7261)

Pattern Sizing: I cut out size 14

View: D

Fabric Choice: Mesh knit from Sass Fabric off of Indian School and 16th street in Phoenix. The graffiti print is from Joann Fabrics. I’m not sure if they still carry it, but it’s worth a look.

Other choices for fabric include Two Way Stretch Knits, Performance Knits or Cotton Blend Knits.

Color: Royal blue and printed

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? Yes, I surprised myself with how I managed to get it right, lol.

Are the instructions easy to follow? Definitely! I still followed McCall’s instructions after I drafted the pattern.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I loved everything about this pattern. The leggings are still on trend and the directions were easy to follow.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Hang with me guys. This is a long one.

  1. I drafted a pair of leggings from Mimi G’s Sew It Academy. Sorry, I can’t give away her secrets, you should just join if you haven’t already. It’s worth it. Trust me.
  2. Once I created my pattern based on my measurements I traced and copied size 14 of the McCall’s pattern. Ididn’t feel the need to buy a larger size pattern size because I’ve already lost two dress sizes in the last 4 months.
  3. Next, I measured how high on the thigh the middle sections were and then placed that on my pattern.
  4. I had to shorten the McCall pattern because it was too long for me. I’m only 5’2″.
  5. Afterward, I widen the patterns to match half the width of my thigh, knee, and calf.
  6. Next, I measured the sides of the leggings and added 5/8 inches for a seam allowance. I wanted to make sure that the leggings made a carrot at the seams.
  7. Then, I cut everything out.

I may try to do a video tutorial once I make another pair.

Would you sew it again? Yes! I plan to keep working at it to adjust the front depth as my belly keeps disappearing on me. (Take that pre-diabetes diagnosis)

How long did it take? About 2 hours to measure, and figure out how to combine the drafted pattern and the commercial pattern as well as to cut out all the pieces. And another 3 hours to make the pants.

Tips to avoid it taking as long: Baste the areas where you have to match the side to get the carrot/pivot. Trust me it will save you from seam ripping an entire side. I would also baste the middle section to the top and bottom pieces. It can get tricky at the corners.

I hope this inspired you to conquer your fears and stop dreading something you’ve never tried because it could turn out to be great!

Until next time…

Ashley E signature with xoxo at the end

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