Manila Leggings by Sarah Kate

My search for the perfect leggings pattern for a lady with a large booty continues with the Manila leggings by Colette’s Seamwork Magazine (I highly recommend if you somehow have missed it). This pattern turned out better than my previous attempts, but I am still on the journey to the perfect pair that allows me to move freely and look classy.

I didn’t do a muslin, something I often do with a knit seeing how the combination of the pattern and the fabric really create the outfit. So unless I have a very similar fabric I don’t always see the point. This was one of those times. So I went straight into cutting my Galaxy Fabric that I bought from Spandex World while I was on vacation in NYC.


I cut a straight size large and immediately lengthened the pattern so that I could remove the petal hem finish that comes with the pattern. I decided that because I was on the smaller size of the measurement in the hip that I may not need to give a full booty adjustment. I was right and wrong, they fit and are comfortable, but are not much nicer than a pair I would buy at Target. There was a dip at the waistband at the center back which means the leggings still needed more space for the booty. There was too little fabric to make it all the way up and around, aw, poor fabric. And poor me.

I still love these leggings, but they were definitely a wearable muslin. Not only did I need to add more space for the junk in the trunk, but the galaxy leggings are also a little tight in the calves. When leggings are tight in the lower leg it makes them feel as if they are constantly being pulled down. Definitely something that I needed to fix.

Galaxy Leggings SquatI also used my serger to make this pair. I don’t know if it was my cheap thread, a too tight pattern, or my machine’s tension, but the seams on this pair began to pop immediately. So I reinforced them using my regular machine. In the future I want to invest in better thread because the tension looked fine to me. My machine might also need cleaning. Anybody know of anyone who cleans Janome overlockers in the Bay Area?

The Peacock feather legging material is identical to the galaxy leggings with a different print. So, I could take what I learned from my first pair of leggings and apply it to my second. I widened the lower leg by 1/4 inch on either side. I gave the leggings a bottom adjustment using this tutorial form the Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Files. I am not sure if this was the right way to do it for a 4-way knit, but I do know it didn’t turn out quite how I wanted. I ended up with a bit of a saggy bottom. I think that I may have just over done the adjustment and next time I will just take out a smaller wedge.

Peacock-Manila-Leggings-#1Besides the big bottom in this pair, I somehow sewed the waistband much looser then the galaxy pair. The lower leg is also still a little too tight, this means that this pair actually fits worse and pulls down more than the unaltered pair. Oh, how come I can’t just have a magical fitting wand.

To learn more about my leggings adventure and hear about what patterns I have used in the past head over to my blog, Sarah Kate Creations.

8 thoughts on “Manila Leggings by Sarah Kate

  1. Leggins look good Sarah Kate. Re popping seams with serging – unlikely to be due to cheap or weak thread. Regrettably us big booty gals do put a LOT OF STRESS on the inside leg and crotch area just with normal movement. Even if you used unbreakable thread for serging the fabric would shred and pull away. The reality is you’ll always have to reinforce the inside leg seam with a stretch stitch appropriate to the knit fabric PLUS serging…


  2. Love those prints!!! Oh, making leggings is hard, though. I have several pairs of not-quite-right leggings I’ve made, tried different patterns and fabrics. Just keep experimenting!


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