If you’ve been suspecting that you can make leggings that are just as good as the ones you can buy in stores, then you are RIGHT! Leggings are super easy to sew, very forgiving for the beginner, and best yet, when you’re in charge of making them, you get to choose your favorite prints and patterns, and you get to make sure that the fit and length are exactly what you want.
For instance, those mermaid leggings in that photo above? I sewed them in exactly the holographic blue mermaid scale print that my mermaid-obsessed kid has been dreaming of, and I went up a full size in the length, so that unlike every other pair of leggings that I’ve ever tried to buy her in a store, they actually fit both her waist AND her legs–yay!
And of COURSE, I sewed her American Girl doll a matching pair of mermaid leggings from the scrap fabric.
Making a kid’s dream come true isn’t a bad way to spend an afternoon.
Interested in making some dreams of your own come true, or maybe you just want another pair of comfy pants? No problem! Check out my list of FREE leggings patterns and tutorials below, and soon you and your ball-point sewing needle will be cranking out some new favorites.
1. Peg Legs by Patterns for Pirates. I seriously cannot believe that this pattern is free. It is the BEST leggings pattern, and you can also get free add-ons to it to make it even fancier. It also comes in a huge variety of sizes–my 12-year-old is just barely too small for the smallest size, but my 14-year-old (near the bottom of the sizes) and I (near the top) both love the leggings that I made from this pattern.
2. Easy 18-inch doll leggings. This is THEE pattern that I use to make American Girl doll leggings. Every time I sew a pair of leggings, I use the scraps to sew a pair for my kid’s dolls. She loves them, and *I* love using up every last bit of fabric!
3. Adult sweater to child leggings. These kid leggings aren’t stretchy, but they are SO warm and toasty, and the wilder the sweater, the more the kid will love them.
4. Draft your own leggings pattern. If you want a real, made-from-scratch DIY experience, why not draft your own pattern? Leggings are so forgiving that this is a great beginner’s project.
5. No-sew braided leggings. You do have to start with a complete pair of leggings for this project, but it would be a great way to jazz up a boring pair of leggings rather than buying a brand-new pair.
6. Free children’s leggings pattern. So many tutorials tell you to make leggings by tracing a pair of leggings that you already own, and honestly, I’m pretty over that. That’s a fine novice trick, but after a while, you really just want a well-drafted pattern with a decent range of sizes. So hallelujah, here’s just that!
7. Knit shirt to child leggings. Honestly, if I had another kid, all I’d do is upcycle old adult shirts into clothes for that kid. Any comfy long-sleeved shirt made of T-shirt fabric can be used to make a comfy pair of leggings for a kid.
8. No-hem bow cuff for leggings. Use this cute finishing technique with any leggings pattern.
9. Skirt + leggings. This pattern is a great idea for kids who want to wear a pair of leggings under their skirt, anyway. Hint: it makes the monkey bars so much easier!
10. Knee patches for leggings. You can save yourself a lot of trouble by simply putting knee patches on your kids’ leggings as you sew them.
11. Another free leggings pattern. And here’s another free adult leggings pattern! It’s an embarrassment of riches!
12. Another free kids’ leggings pattern. I really like the flounced capri option with these leggings.
13. Leggings to shorts. Refashioning holey leggings into shorts is super easy, and you always need another pair of shorts!
14. Add ruffles to leggings. These ruffles would be super cute attached to capri leggings.
15. Size medium leggings pattern. Free patterns for adult leggings are hard to come by. If you’re a size medium, then you’re in luck!
16. Painted patterns on leggings. Here’s another fun way to embellish a boring pair of leggings.
17. Baby leggings pattern. If anyone deserves to be comfy, it’s a BABY!
18. Stretch lace leggings. Use any of the listed leggings patterns with stretch lace, and make yourself a super cute base layer.
19. Anything But Basic leggings pattern. Here’s another free pattern for adults, and it comes in a range of sizes, too. Yay!
20. Yoga pants to leggings. If you’ve got yoga pants but you’d rather have leggings, here’s how to make the change.
21. Leggings with ruffled flowers. When you sew your own leggings, it’s simple to add high-fashion embellishments–like these ruffled flowers!
Do YOU have a favorite way to sew or embellish leggings? Share them with me in the comments below!