DIY: 30 minute leggings


These leggings are so easy, they literally take all of 30 minutes to complete.  And the best part is that you don’t have to be some talented seamstress to do it (I mean, obviously…I made them!).


Before we begin, let me add a disclaimer.  These leggings aren’t perfect.  If they were, they’d take longer than 30 minutes.  And I wouldn’t be showing you how to do them because I’d be making bank off of them on a website probably called “”.  But I’m not and they aren’t, so just remember that.

Step 1: Find a pair of leggings that fit your baby (or toddler, or kid) really well.  They’re the right length and fit well around.  leggings-9

Step 2:  choose fabric that has stretch to it.  The fabric I used is a jersey knit that stretches both ways…both up and down and across.  There’s probably a real-life seamstress term for this but I don’t know what that is.  You could also use an old shirt I suppose.  Or a new one.  I mean, whatever you want.  Make sure it is washed and dried and ironed.


Step 3:  Fold it in 1/2, making sure the pattern is going the direction you want it to go.  Fold the leggings in 1/2, too.


Step 4: Place the fold of the leggings against the fold of the fabric.  It won’t line up perfectly, but don’t worry about that too much.  Make sure it’s all straight and neat and lined up as well as you can.

leggings-12 leggings-13

[see, it doesn’t create a perfect line.  but line it up like I did and it’ll be just fine]

Step 5: Cut around the leggings, giving yourself about an inch seam allowance.  This is totally overkill, but I wanted the leggings to be a bit roomier than these.  Of course, leave the fold.


Do this twice so that you have 2 separate pieces.

Step 6: Lay your fabric out so that the ‘wrong’ side is up and facing you.  Fold up the bottom of the legs 1/2” – 1″.

leggings-18 leggings-19

Step 7: Stitch (with your machine) straight across.  I sew double seams on my leggings just for extra sturdiness.  I suggest you do the same.  When you’re done, you will have sewn 8 lines (2 on each pant cuff).  Does that make sense?


Step 8.  Grab both pieces of fabric.  Put them together with the “right” sides facing one another.  Line them up starting at the bottom seams you just finished.  Sew a double seam all the way up.  I promise that when you get to the top they won’t match up.  Totally okay.



Do the same on both sides of the pants.  They’re starting to really take shape, eh?  (I’m Canadian right now).

Step 9: On the inside of the legs, start from the bottom seam and sew up and around until you get to the other bottom seam on the other leg.  BUT — might I suggest you eyeball the middle?  Curve it around instead of leaving it so straight and pointy looking.  That doesn’t look very comfortable.


Step 10:  Cut away the excess fabric.  Remember the seam allowance?  That’s what we’re cutting away here.


Step 11: Turn them right side out.  *sigh* don’t they totally look profesh?  I always am so happy at this step.

Step 12: Figure out how thick you want the waistband to be.  This will kind of depend on the elastic you use (only because I think it looks silly and it drives me nuts when the elastic is so much thinner than the waistband).  Fold it down all the way around.  The fabric won’t be even!  If it makes you feel a lot better to pin it at this step so you are sure everything is the right length, be my guest.  But I’m lazy.  I don’t do that.  And I am pretty good at eyeballing this kind of thing.

Sew all the way around until you are about an inch or so from your starting point. Stop here.



{that’s way smaller than 1″….}

Step 13.  Take your elastic and measure your baby’s waist.  Cut the elastic.  Secure a safety pin to the end and thread it through that 1″ opening you left in the waistband.


Step 14: Once you’ve threaded it all the way through, grab both ends and overlap them (make sure they aren’t twisted inside that waistband) about an 1″ or so.  Depending on how tight you want them of course.  Sew them together.


Step 15: Sew closed that 1″ opening.  Go back around and give that sucker another seam.  Because I like doubles.

Step 16:  Look at ’em.leggingsbabe-5

Step 17:  Seriously, look at what you just made in 1/2 hour.


Nope, they aren’t perfect.  But you can make them perfect if you want to.  They aren’t “technically” done right and I’m sure there is a much more professional way to do them — but they totally work.  And they’re totally cute.


And maybe my next DIY will be a guest post on how to make matching headbands to go with your leggings.  My friend Tara makes a mean headband….



6 thoughts on “DIY: 30 minute leggings

  1. Pingback: Rock the Shoot, Part IV: Styling Baby Boy | Life Styled by Elle

  2. Jenie Webb

    Thanks for posting this tutorial Ruthie. I can’t wait to make a pair of adorable leggings for my little Rebel. 🙂

  3. Stephanie Brannan

    Ruthie, you are absolutely thee most awesome person I know…and these leggings…adorable! I’m on my way to make a pair right now. Thanks for the post.


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