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Free Series- Leggings Review Round 1

As promised, I'll be starting a super fun series here on the blog. I'm calling it my Free Series. All patterns reviewed will be avai...

As promised, I'll be starting a super fun series here on the blog. I'm calling it my Free Series. All patterns reviewed will be available to you, completely free. Absolutely no strings attached. All opinions of course remain my own.

My Free Series came about as I was laying in my bed Black Friday morning thinking about what I was going to buy this year. Many of you had already seen my "Black Friday" pattern review. That was exhausting. But awesome and helped keep me on track for my purchases this year. And then I realized that really, after Black Friday, I would have ZERO money available for new patterns or fabric or really anything. And some days, the only thing that can make life better is a new pattern. What's a girl to do?

As I was browsing my favorite designers pages one last time I realized, there's free content out there. And some of it is just as good quality as the paid stuff. The problem is, how do you know what is good free and what is problematic free? Then you have to consider there are some designs that many designers give away for free. How do you choose? What if you love all the designers that have free leggings and now you have to choose but you're overwhelmed?

Well fret no more. Starting with Leggings reviews, I'm going to do all the leg work (get it, leg work, LOL!) here for you on the blog. All leggings are sewn up using my girl who loves all things leggings. Measurements are: 22" waist, 23" hip. She has a 15" inseam, but she prefers longer fitting leggings to cover her ankles, so I'll be sewing up 17" inseam leggings as close as they fit to measurements. All designs are sewn width wise EXACTLY according to the pattern measurement chart.

Let me add that I sewed these up in NO PARTICULAR ORDER. There is no preference being payed to any one designer and you should honestly get a good look at the design and decide which fit will work best for you.

#1 Sew Can She Girls Leggings. You won't see any pictures of the Sew Can She Leggings on my blog. I wanted to give these an honest try, BUT, I just couldn't. You see the pattern doesn't include any margin lines. The instructions say to cut off just under 1/2" from the top and right sides. My printer never pulls straight. I count on margin lines to help me make things line up. It wouldn't be fair for me to sew these up and to complain about the pages not matching up when I know for 100% certain, my pages won't line up.

Secondly, there is no size chart! We don't have any store bought leggings, but even if we did, store bought leggings come in such a variety of sizes that I couldn't begin to choose a size based on RTW. Frustrating.

Now before people get all upset that I'm saying no to a designer, I LOVE Sew Can She. I think there are great tutorials on the page and they provide awesome free content. But with so many other free leggings patterns out there, there's no need to fight through a pattern and try to guess sizes.

#2 Love Notions The free Love Notions Leggin's Pattern (be sure you remember it is called "leggin's" if you're looking for it on your computer) comes in sizes 2T-14 and include an option for EITHER an elastic waist band or yoga waistband. They use a 3/8" seam allowance and in this designer, I sewed up the size 5 with ZERO modifications. It includes no trim pages (actually more problematic for me because my printer doesn't pull straight), layers and a page printing chart. Fabric requirements are 30% or more 4 way stretch. The one thing i like on these is they have a 1" hem allowance. I feel like a longer hem allowance makes the hem sit nicer.

I was lucky enough to get 2 pairs of leggings from my Cotton Lycra from Mabel Madison. To try to keep the 2 leggings images separate I used a different shirt in each. This pair is being worn with the Hailey Bug's Closet Perfect Perfect Puzzle Set Shirt.

This pair has some wrinkling at the knees, but not bagging. This appears to be a slim fitting legging and my daughter loves the wrinkles at the ankle. I could get rid of those if I sewed to her actual inseam rather than the length she wants.

#3 Made For Mermaids Bonny Leggings. Now when you go to the Bonny Leggings Pattern Page you will see that it says $7. Yup, it isn't free. And your'e going to say, "But you said all these patterns are free!" They are free. You need to join the Made for Mermaids Pattern Group and then search "leggings free" to find the discount code. No, I can't just share it with you.

Ok, now that that is out of the way, the Bonny Leggings come in size 1/2-14 and include a sewn on OR yoga waist band and the added bonus of a circle skirt! Now that circle skirt is a super awesome add on feature and can take you from simple fast leggings to super awesome twirliness (probably not a word) in only a few more steps. The Bonnys also have no trim pages and layers. All seam allowances are 1/2" and fabric should have 50% or more horizontal stretch. I sewed the size 4 with a size 6 length. I did NOT sew the circle skirt even though I wanted to. I want to be sure we're comparing apples to apples here. This pattern uses a 1/2" hem allowance. I prefer a longer hem allowance so that it doesn't try to curl back. But that is a super simple adjustment that can be made when I cut the pattern next time.

As you can see, the leggings have a pretty good fit through the thigh and leg, but the knees are a little baggy. This is NOT due to my fabric, since I used a Mabel Madison Cotton/Lycra with excellent stretch. Now I know that for me, I have thin knees (especially compared to my calves and quads). Perhaps she has inherited my thin knees? Hard to say. BUT, if we end up with baggy knees in every pattern, we can be pretty sure that the knee problem is a her problem, not a pattern problem. That said, each pattern is drafted for an average based on the designer's preference. Some designers may actually draft for a kid with thin knees. We wouldn't know that unless we looked at their pattern blocks and sizing charts and really, that information would be painfully hard to read through. BUT, I can keep this in mind if I ever make these again, that she will need a "thin knee" adjustment. OR NOT. Because probably by the time I sew these again, she'll likely be in another size and that would require fitting the pattern, again.

Shirt is the FREE Brindille and Twig Raglan Hoodie Pattern. Get your own free copy in sizes newborn through 5/6. And yes, I'll be blogging about this one later. :)

So for round 1, the 2 sewn leggings are both a pretty good fit. They are slim fitting leggings. If you like a yoga waist band, then go with the Love Notions Pair. If you want the circle skirt, go with the Made For Mermaids pair. But I've got 3 more pairs to come, so don't pick your favorite just yet. :)

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  1. Great work here, Tibeca. All ready to read your next set of comparisons.

    1. Thanks Abigail! Thankfully, they're leggings, so they sew fast. I should have the next ready next week.

  2. I gather your daughter is a fan of cupcakes... (us too!)


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