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Horse Riding Proof Leggings!

Today I’m sharing with you the leggings that I’ve made. Although they may look and function as normal athleisure leggings, I specially adapted these to be horse riding proof! For that I moved the inseam a few centimetres forward to prevent the leggings from rubbing the legs where they lay onto the saddle. And that worked! I’ll show you what I did.

For this project I used Simplicity Pattern 8561, which I picked out of countless leggings patterns mainly because of the curved seam at the seat. When taking a look at RTW horse riding bottoms, you see this shape a lot. What more got my eye were the deep pockets in the side panels. I don’t know who invented these, but that person deserves an award. Horse people all know the struggle of bringing your cell phone while riding. In most pants that’s nearly impossible because the pockets are too small and positioned right at the hip where you bend. But not with these leggings! No fear the phone will bother you or fall out while riding (or doing any other exercise!), that’s a win! The only thing I needed to alter on this pattern was the placement of the inseam. In the picture where the old and new pattern pieces lay on top of each other you see how I moved the seam 5cm forward at the knee, 3cm forward at the ankle, and graded in between.

I made view D of the pattern in size M. I measured in between size M and L, but decided to pick the smaller size because the fabric stretched a little more than required. The waistband I cut a little wider, cause my stomach commonly needs a little more space than a pattern accounts for. To finalize the perfect fit, while constructing I first pinned the inseam to measure before sewing it. That way I knew I had to let the seams out a little on the thighs and take them in on the calves, and the fit was right straight away!

My leggings are mainly made out of Ponte Roma Fabric in navy blue. This is quite thick jersey with 4 way stretch and nice recovery. That is exactly what you need when making leggings, cause you’ll want to be able to move without hindrance.

On the side panels and waistband I used Scuba Fabric with a floral print in black and teal. I love cheerful fabrics and especially flower prints! Those are not available on RTW horse riding bottoms, so now I was making my own I took my chance to incorporate that. The scuba has a little less stretch than the Ponte Roma, but still enough for the pattern. Typical for scuba is to show the (white) subsurface of the fabric while stretching on the width of the fabric. To prevent that, I cut this scuba on the cross grainline where it still stretches sufficiently.

In the waistband I used special Non Roll Peterstretch Waistband Elastic. If you are familiar with elastics rolling around this is a good option to try! I had never used it before but really like how firm it is and how it stays in place.

For the real athletic look I decided to sew the leggings with flat felled seams. I always thought that this was only possible using a coverstitch machine, but you just need a serger! It wasn’t even hard to do, and gives a really professional finish. I decided to this way add some extra pop of colour. The teal stitching matches the scuba and really combines the navy and black fabrics to a whole. Another advantage of flat felled seams is that there are no seam allowances rubbing on the inside of the garment.

There’s a post on my own blog where I tell you all about making flat felled seams. 

Although this all started as an experiment, it turned out as a huge win! The leggings feel really nice to wear. I thoroughly tested them during a two hour trail ride and there was no trace of discomfort. I’m really curious how long they will last, because the fabric seems to be a little thinner than the fabrics used in RTW riding pants. All in all, I’m really pleased with the result. The pockets just make me very happy, just like the flower print and colourful flat felled seams!


Sewingridd –

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