Well, these leggings turned out even better than I had hoped! I’ve been wanting to make faux leather leggings ever since I started planning the Lisette B6295 yoga leggings. But truthfully I was a bit worried that they either wouldn’t sew very well or they wouldn’t look good on me. I have very muscular, athletic legs, and sometimes styles that emphasize legs just don’t look that good on me. But I’m still really pleased with how these look and feel.
Name: Liesl Gibson
Pattern: Lisette B6295
Fabric: Black stretch faux leather (it seems to be in all the fabric stores right now!) and black nylon spandex 4-way stretch knit
Did the fabric work well? Yes, so well! I’m still a bit surprised, actually, since the stretch leather only stretches across, not up and down the way you would want it to work for leggings and yoga pants, especially. I used the faux leather for the front and side panel and the spandex for the back panel and waistband. I left the leggings a bit long so that when I bend my knees they don’t ride up and look too short. And they’re shockingly comfortable. I have enough left-over fabric to make a pair of customized Playtime Leggings for S, too!
How did the sewing go? So fun and fast. I wanted clean seams instead of the faux-coverstitch seams the way we wrote the pattern, so I simply serged each seam with right sides together, which is about the fastest type of sewing you can do. The serged seams are strong, too. But the best part was that I topstitched the faux leather side front seam on each leg, and this holds the seam allowances down while also giving the seam a really professional, quality appearance. I used my walking foot so there wouldn’t be any drag while I topstitched, and it couldn’t have been easier. Since the faux leather doesn’t stretch, I didn’t even worry about using a stretch stitch. But if you do this yourself and want the seam to stretch, you can always topstitch while stretching the fabric, too.
I eliminated the side pocket and the pocket seam in the side panel to keep the leggings looking as sleek and streamlined as possible. I also decided to change the waistband a bit, just because this isn’t really an athletic legging, so I wanted a really easy one-piece waistband. After contemplating it a bit, I decided to use the same waistband technique we used for the Oliver + S Nature Walk Pants, and it’s so comfortable and simple.
And, to make this style even simpler, I didn’t bother with a hem. I simply trimmed the fabric to the right length, and I think they look all the better for it. After all, a lot of leather isn’t hemmed, and the spandex doesn’t ravel, so it’s perfect. All in all, I think these took me maybe two hours to sew. They were really fast.
What was the best part? Wearing them! I think that the contrast between the matte and shiny fabrics really works well, and the seams visually slim and flatter my legs. I feel good wearing them, and I’m having fun pairing them with different tops. (I wore my quilted Bento Tee sweatshirt for these photos, and I also wear them with my Gallery Tunics and Dresses.)
Anything else? On a styling note, leather leggings generally look best when they’re worn with a top that reaches your crotch level and covers your behind. (It’s that “leggings aren’t pants” idea; it’s best if your butt doesn’t show.) I’ve found that I can get a longer silhouette if I pair the long shirt or blouse with a shorter layer on top of it. It’s a little trick that I use to visually break my silhouette higher than just the long top, so it gives the illusion of longer legs. Shoes with a bit of a heel help, too.
Here the back view so you can see the two fabric textures better.
Fun, right? If you sew this style yourself, I hope you’ll post a photo of your leggings to the SewLisette Flickr group. Or tag it on Instagram: #sewlisette or #B6295. You can find the pattern right here.
If you are looking for more style and fabric inspiration for the Lisette yoga leggings, you don’t have to go too far. Take a look at Liesl’s introductory post for the pattern here.