Reviewing jeggings fabric from L’Oiseau, and some tips on sewing leggings!

Since I decided to sew and wear more tunics this fall, I need some truly opaque leggings. I don’t know why this is such a hard thing to find in RTW or fabric stores!

Tessuti Ilsa and Jeggings

Currently, my only pair of public-worthy leggings-as-pants are some jeggings I made with fabric I found locally. (It was $5/m, so I bought 5m!) That fabric is thick cotton and lycra jersey, but something about the two-tone effect camouflages more than just a solid fabric.

I’ve been on the hunt for similar black fabric for over a year, so when Canadian store L’Oiseau Fabrics posted 8ish colours of jegging, I snapped it up! I’ve ordered from them before (remember the peacock tee and cactus tee that I sewed during my #2hourchallenge?) and they seem to have really excellent quality fabric, especially if you like European knits and cotton/lycra blends.

Tessuti Ilsa and Jeggings

So? Enough beating around the bush – the fabric is great! It sold out in most colours almost immediately, but when they get it back, I’m buying more for sure. I’m not going to wear these as pants, but I like knowing that if anything does get seen, it’s all decent. (Please, please let this post not get me lots of creeps!)

Tessuti Ilsa and Jeggings

Leggings are something I wear at least three or four times a week (as shorts under dresses, as pyjamas, or as tights in winter). I realise that I’ve had my TNT legging pattern for so long that it’s been years since I properly posted about it… so let me fix that with some Leggings 101 Top Tips!

  1. Find the right pattern for you. There are now LOTS of leggings out there, but how to find the perfect pattern? For me, I’m a die-hard fan of the Cake Espresso leggings. I was a pattern tester back in 2013, and I still wear that pair – and the 20-30 other pairs I’ve made since! (Yikes, probably more, including what I sew for other people!) Here’s why Espressos are great: you take some simple measurements, like waist, thigh, knee and ankle circumference, and some height measurements like rise and inseam. Then you plot those numbers out on the dot-to-dot pattern, and voila – custom drafted leggings! It took my less than 15min the first time, and now I’ve got the perfect pattern for a short curvy lady. I highly recommend the pattern! The Dreamstress did a great post about Espressos that lets you have a peek at the “drafting” process.
  2. Size up. If your fabric is thin and slightly sheer like a rayon knit, or stable like this jegging fabric or a scuba, give yourself a bit of extra horizontal and vertical room. I just freehand some extra ease as I cut out the fabric!
  3. Perfect your waistband elastic. Once you find an elastic type and measurement that works for you, make sure you write it down! I use elastic like this because it has the right amount of stretch and resilience, and keeps things comfortably in place all day!
  4. Get creative with cutting! Because I’m short, I can fit a pair of leggings from 1m of fabric. However, if your thigh circumference is much bigger than mine, you may find your pattern pieces don’t fit side-by-side on 60″ knits, and you think you need twice as much yardage. Never fear though – you can piece a scrap of knit to the wide of your yardage, and cut with your crotch curve poking into that section. The seam will be hidden where no one will see it! Likewise, if you need a smidge more height than your yardage allows, you could piece a “yoke” effect to add height to the back rise.

See? I told you I love leggings!

Tessuti Ilsa and Jeggings

This post is not sponsored in any way – I bought this fabric with  my own money. 

I’d love to know what fabrics or patterns you like for leggings – I’m always looking for MOAR leggings in my life!


17 thoughts on “Reviewing jeggings fabric from L’Oiseau, and some tips on sewing leggings!

  1. Thank you for that mention of L’Oiseau – I’ve ordered fabric from her many times and have always been really happy with the quality! I didn’t know however that she carried jeggings fabric! I emailed her to ask her to let me know when she gets in more stock. I wear leggings all the time but I’d love to have some jeggings as well. Love yours! I would probably wear them to rags 🙂 I use a pattern I was given at a workshop that fits really well (I have no idea whose pattern it is!) and I’ve used Papercuts too which I love because there are so many opportunities to get the fit right and they’re so interesting and fun to sew 🙂 https://papercutpatterns.com/products/ooh-la-leggings

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    1. Sometimes I wish Canada has a really big online fabric store with a ton of choice, but I feel like we are lucky to have some really fabulous small indie stores! L’Oiseau definitely falls into that category – I’m tempted to go look through their store right now, in fact! 😉

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  2. What fantastic fabric!! Finding sufficient opaque knits is just so hard. I haven’t made a pair of leggings yet because of it! I mostly just wear leggings on dog walks, but am starting a new job in a more casual environment, and am thinking leggings and long tops might just be sooo comfy for hours in front of a computer!

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    1. Leggings are amazing, and so easy to sew! I wear a LOT of mini-dress and legging combos in winter, and if you don’t need your but perfectly covered, then bamboo or cotton lycra works really well. For perfectly opaue leggings, the hunt for fabric is definitely harder!

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  3. I like the Espresso too– my normal size even fit when I was pregnant, without any adjustment! The only other ones I’ve tried were the Manila ones from Seamwork. I like the hem detail, but either I printed it wrong or didn’t notice the length, because they turned out so short on me! (Like capri length.)

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  4. Your leggings are fab. They fit so well and look super comfy. I wear leggings all the time but as I have a bit of a Mum-Tum I have to buy bigger ones than I need for my legs so they don’t fit as I would like. I did buy the Burda pdf pattern and made some for Sprogzilla but it was such a pain printing and taping that I can be bothered using it again. The fit was quite good though. I will definitely investigate the Espresso. Custom fit sounds like a great idea. Xx

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    1. I’ve definitely got a tum too, and I love that these have the right circumference and rise to go right over it! I tend to wear my leggings really high so that they don’t cut in and give me lumps!

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  5. They look really good in this special fabric. I eye this pattern for a long time already, and I wish someone would tell me if the “drafting” takes into account the amount of stretch of the chosen fabric… or is it to be freestyled ? 😉

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    1. Hmmm… I think every pattern is drafted for a certain amount of stretch, and if you go outside that range, you need to adapt. For example, my espressos fit best with a fabric with 30-50% stretch in all four directions. If I make them in a less stretchy fabric like this jegging, then I add width. If I make them in a 2 way stretch like scuba, I add width and length. I never retrace the pattern, I just freehand the changes as I cut them out of the fabric! Does that help?

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      1. That super helps!! Only leggings I ever attempted were made out of super stretchy supplex, and I based them on a set of instructions to draft them myself (quite like these, I suppose). But I couldn’t determine stretch percentage (because I didn’t know how) and had to take seams in 3 times. They were for carnival,so ok they were far from great, but they left me insecure for trying again. Silly me, will do soon. Thanks for your tips and time ! 💐

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    1. Ti’s definitely the season for leggings! I just bought some rayon french terry to make a cosy pair… hope you find some good fabric!

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  6. Great leggings and such a timely post as leggings are on my fall to do list. That fabric is perfect, and thanks for the construction tips.

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  7. Great post! I second all of your tips. My TNT leggings pattern is Kwik Sew 3636. I can’t count how many times I’ve made them and in so many different types of knits. It is a single pattern piece and comes in two different “fits”. I think they are called close fitting and extra close fitting and I assume this is to allow for amount of stretch or maybe if you want your leggings a bit tighter.

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  8. Great fabric! I have a small hoard of good jegging fabric. 😂

    I use both the Espresso and the Jalie leggings patterns—I find my version of the Espresso is good for lower-stretch fabrics while the Jalie is best for high-stretch ones! I should experiment more with some high-waisted styles, though.

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