sew and tell: liesl’s faux leather lisette B6295 leggings

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.

 

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Name: Liesl Gibson
Project Details
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

 

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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.

 

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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.

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15 Comments

  1. Jill J

    These turned out great! Inspired to try some myself after the Christmas rush. Your patterns have pushed me to trim down my wardrobe and make/buy only quality items. It’s a work in progress, especially finding the time, but when I do I have quite a collection of patterns and ideas at the ready. Thanks for the great patterns and inspirations always!

    1. Jill, I hope you make them! And I’m so glad the patterns and ideas are working for you. Thanks for your kind comment!

  2. Jess

    Liesl, you look positively fierce! And your legs are fantastic. I’ve never been a fan of leather leggings, but if my legs looked as awesome as yours, I would rock them with pride.

    1. Jess, you’re too kind! I wasn’t sure they were for me either, but I really love them.

  3. You are rocking those leggings. Thanks for the bum coverage tip. I will totally experiment with faux leather for leggings for Dia (dd) first. Seriously in love with your boots. Care to share details?

    1. Aw, thanks Deepika! I’m going to use my extra fabric to make a pair for S, so maybe our girls will match!

  4. I love these and you look fantastic. I’m a big fan of (faux) leather leggings and this is no exception! Think I need to get my hands on this pattern – the fit looks perfect…

    1. Thanks, Trine! I hope you’ll show me if you make them!

  5. They look TERRIFIC! And I agree with Jill J above, even though I don’t actually sew much for myself just yet, it’s become difficult for me to buy clothes, knowing I’m going to spend all that money and wind up with either less nice fabrics than I could buy for myself, or only a very approximate fit. “Work in progress” is just the right phrase.

    1. I know what you mean, Sarvi. Even (especially) when clothes are really inexpensive, I find myself really unhappy with the fabrics. I just can’t bring myself to buy the cheap stuff anymore–sewing gives you the ability to buy nicer fabrics and make things that fit and feel great! xo

  6. I think we may differ on what counts as big strong legs! 🙂 Think Jan Ullrich in the off season for me. (minus the power output!)
    You look fantastic in these and the matte/shiny contrast balances perfectly!

    1. Thanks, Lightning. But you were also a professional biker, so that says something about how powerful your legs are, and with good reason. You’re amazing!

      1. Oh no, I was a complete amateur. Never did it as a job. Got lucky with bicycle sponsorship, but was no better than any weekend warrior you see around town. I just have big legs anyway!

  7. Jenny G.

    I miss you!!

  8. I have seen them in person and I can definitely confirm they look great, very professional, and suit you so well. i am already cutting tne kid´s version!

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