I have been wanting to make leggings for a while now, but a lot of people in the sewing community seem pretty skeptical about leggings patterns. There are a few that people have told me patterns that they love, but an almost equal amount of people who have decided to stick to buying RTW leggings. I wanted to try making a pair first before giving up on legging patterns. I was so excited to make the Avery leggings by Helen’s Closet because I wanted to start running again, but hadn’t quite found the motivation or anyone to hold me accountable when I hit the snooze button in the mornings. Since moving to Santa Barbara, I found both!
I have a couple of friends to run with on Mondays and Wednesdays down on a path by the beach. A week ago, after finishing all three pairs, I was testing out my favorite pair of Avery Leggings, but after only about a mile I tripped on the running path. I hit my knees, hands, and mouth when I landed, and it definitely hurt. So my friends walked me back to my car, and I drove home. I felt pretty dumb for tripping and hitting my face, but I was pretty impressed to see that my leggings hadn’t ripped even when my knees had really taken a beating.
When I fell, I was mostly just concerned about my mouth and not so much about my leggings, but I was amazed to not find a single hole in them! This indestructible fabric is Pine Crest Fabrics’ Olympus fabric. The prints I chose aren’t available at retail prices or amounts, but they have a really good selection on fabric.com, and a few that are really similar to the prints I chose. I really love my colorful and geometric print leggings, so this print is a perfect combination of the two. I also like this print because I love anything that reminds me of the beach, and this dark floral print is really cute!
1st pair // large with size large elastic
The Olympus fabric was super easy to cut out and sew together. It’s a really good weight and the colors are so vibrant. It has 70-80%, 4-way stretch (I checked), so it’s perfect for the Avery Leggings! Olympus is a digital printed fabric, so the wrong side of the fabric is white. If you are team ‘prints’ then you should be use to the white showing a little bit through where the seams get pulled. I really want to try Pine Crest Fabrics’ solid colored supplex fabric because it is supposed to be good for active wear as well, and the color is on both sides, so you avoid other colors showing through the seams.
The Avery Leggings pattern is a great pattern, and by the third pair I could sew them together in under 2 hours. The pattern instructions are easy to understand and illustrations were designed very well. The waistband instructions can be a little bit tricky, but they are clever and I definitely did it correctly on my second and third pairs. I was a little uncertain on my first pair, but they still turned out great!
2nd pair // Xlarge with size Xlarge elastic
ADJUSTMENTS/FINDING THE PERFECT FIT: All three of these are the high-rise. I didn’t think I would wear the mid-rise as much since I wanted these for running. There are two views for the length. On my first pair, I cut the shorter view, and on my second and third, I just cut the extra long length since it added an extra 3″ without me manually cutting and lengthening anything. If I wanted the scrunched look at the bottom I would have to add about 2″.
I am at the high end of the size large measurements with my waist at 32″ and my hips at 42″, so that is the size I made first. I made the elastic in the waistband as big as I could without it being bigger than the waistband. They fit VERY well, but a little bit too tight for my preference.
For my second pair, I decided I would size up to the Xlarge and add an inch to the hip lengthen/shorten line since my first pair was sitting a bit low in the back. I also made the elastic as big as I could without making it bigger than the waistband, like I did for the first, but the elastic ended up being a little bit too loose.
For my third, I made the Xlarge again, but made the elastic the same size as the size large waistband. That way it was tight enough around my waist, but the rest wasn’t hugging my so tightly that I was uncomfortable. This pair is definitely my favorite and is the perfect fit for me comfort wise.
3rd pair // Xlarge with size large elastic
TEST “RUNS”: I know a few of you have problems with leggings staying up, so I can assure you that these ones will stay up really well while you’re running as long as the fit is right. My third pair did really well on my run before I fell. I think they may have settle about an inch or less than where they were when I started, but they did stay pretty well.
My second pair, the waistband was too loose and they slipped down about 2 inches, but not enough to drive me crazy. Towards the end of my run when I was walking the last mile back to my car, they stayed up just fine.
My first pair were the most snug and tighter than I’m comfortable with, but I know some of you like those tight leggings that are like a ‘second skin’, so I still wanted to run in them to test out how much they would slip, if any at all. YOU GUYS. They didn’t budge at all the whole time, and I didn’t adjust them at all even when I got back to my car after running/walking in them for 3 miles. (Surprised?? So was I!) They also weren’t uncomfortable to run in, they were actually really nice. That being said, they aren’t very comfortable to sit in for a long period of time.
THE VERDICT: In the future when I make more Avery Leggings to run in, I’ll make my size (large) on the size chart and make sure the top of the waistband hits at the top of my hip bone/waist. The key to getting them to stay up is to make sure that your elastic is loose enough that it’s not uncomfortable while you’re standing, but tight enough so that it won’t slide over your hips while you’re running.
When I make more Averys to lounge in, I’m definitely going to size up to an Xlarge. I will make sure the elastic is still tight enough that they won’t slide down all day, but I really don’t think that will be a problem with these leggings. I prefer the high rise for running, but I really want to make some neutral colored leggings for lounging and try out the mid-rise.
Overall, I really like the Avery Leggings pattern and the different fits that I have depending on what I want to wear them for. I also happy to say that I don’t plan on buying RTW leggings anytime soon because this pattern worked great! I am usually more of a neutrals and basics kind of girl, but the fabric I used for these really brightens my morning when I’m a little less than thrilled to be waking up so early to run. And if you happen to accidentally trip over the sidewalk, they won’t even rip! 😉
If you’ve made the Avery Leggings, have you made the mid-rise, and what do you think? Are you team ‘prints’ or ‘solids’ when it comes to leggings?
I was given the Avery Leggings pattern in collaboration with Helen’s Closet. I was also given all three printed fabrics in collaboration with Pine Crest Fabrics. All thoughts and opinions are my own.