fabric for leggings

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I have to make leggings for my toddlers. I picked up this pattern.

It calls for a "two way stretch knit" fabric. How do I look for this
fabric in the store? Does it have a non-technical/generic name? I'll
be shopping at Joann's and the sales people were not very friendly
when I shopped there the last time. I thought I'd ask here first. This
is my first time working with a knit fabric. I have to sew about 10 of
these. I'll try one and see how it comes out.


Re: fabric for leggings
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
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It's been a while since I sewed stretchy knits, but the
patterns used to have a gauge at the top or side with a
something like: "the fabric much stretch form *here* to
*there*, usually something on the order of  6" stretching to
7" or 8".  Does your pattern have that?  If so, ask TSWLTH
clerks where the "knits" are and test the fabrics against
the gauge.  In your case, it probably will have to have some
spandex content, so that it stretches both widthwise and

Do you have a serger?  That would be really nice (necessary
IMHO) in order to create fine, sturdy, *stretchable* seams
in leggings.


Re: fabric for leggings
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Yes, it does. It says 4 inch of fabric should stretch to 5.5 inches.

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I don't have a serger. I however have a lot of time to spend on this
project :)
Is there anything I need to watch for since I only have a sewing
machine? Thanks for your advice. I appreciate any tips. As I said,
this is my first knit project.

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Re: fabric for leggings
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
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For knits with Lycra/Spandex, use a STRETCH needle rather than merely a
knit or jersey needle, though those will do in a pinch...

Sew with a small narrow zigzag stitch, and keep the fabric under some
tension as you sew.  That is, stretch the fabric a bit both in front and
behind the needle, using both hands, but DO NOT pull the fabric through
the machine: let the feed dog teeth do that bit!  Then trim down top a
1/4" seam allowance and zz the seam allowances together with a bigger zz.

Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: fabric for leggings
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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Two-way stretch knit is a basic knit fabric (think t-shirt and
sweatshirt knits). That's really about as generic as it gets.

2 way stretch means that it stretches horizontally across the knit
stitches, and then relaxes to the original measurement (more or less).
4-way stretch knits stretch horizontally and vertically (workout
clothes, swimwear, etc).   (Yes, there are non-stretch knits.  Double
knits stretch very little, if at all.  Ponte knits stretch more than
double knits, but probably not enough for toddler leggings.)

For toddler leggings you'll probably want more cotton than poly in the
knit.  You probably won't need a knit with spandex.

The best way to find the fabric you want is to look for a sign saying
"knits". Take the pattern with you, and check the stretchiness of the
fabric against the stretch gauge on the pattern envelope. I'd probably
stay away from the "fashion knits", as they seem to be lightweight
polyester this season.  

Jenn Ridley : snipped-for-privacy@chartermi.net

Re: fabric for leggings
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
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The best leggings I made my DGD were of a fine cotton rib knit that
incorporated a small amount of lycra.  The fabric had plenty of stretch
both ways and the lycra helped it 'bounce back'.  At the time, we were
fortunate to have outlet stores in our area that sold bolt ends from
local tee shirt manufacturers, and I found the rib knit in several
colors.  Alas, tee shirt production went overseas and the outlet stores
are no more.  But if you happen to find any of this knit, I suggest you
snap it up.

Doreen in Alabama

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