Sewing Bee Leggings- First Attempt

Mum bought me ‘The Great British Sewing Bee: Sew Your Own Wardrobe’ a while back, when that show was the hot new thing.  I’ve only just got around to looking it over properly.  To be honest most of the garments weren’t my style but I wanted to give a couple a go.  It’s supposed to be accessible if you’re a beginner, and the leggings were marked as ‘easiest’ difficulty, so how could I go wrong?

A few things make this book harder for beginners.  The pattern has to be traced out before it can be cut out, it isn’t made super clear on the pattern that seam allowance is included, and the leggings were sized XS, S, M, L with no indication of what those sizes equated to.  It did say to use a fabric with 50% stretch, and I don’t think my fabric had enough stretch in it.  But I am a UK size 10/12 and the medium was too small for me to put on!  I got them to my knees with some struggling.  In the ‘recipe’ it tells you to cut a piece of elastic to fit around your waist plus 1cm, which I did and this fit the waist of my leggings perfectly.  Trouble is the elastic and waist band need to stretch to pull over your hips or widest point not just your waist.

It is a fairly simple construction.  There’s one pattern piece and you cut it twice.  Each piece is one leg, so you start by joining the legs at the crotch, and then sew up the legs.  My big problem was the waist band.  I could not understand how to get from step 5 to step 6 following the instructions in the book.  So I winged it. I thought my fabric was too thin and see-through so I did two layers of the fabric, which made them even tighter!  But I used this to make the waistband by putting the elastic between the two layers.

Like I said earlier, the leggings were far too tight, and I couldn’t get them on.  I’m a bit unsure as to what to do now.  I want to try again with stretchier fabric but I might need to go up to size large.  But It does seem ridiculous that I should be a large, does this book not cater for people above size 12?