Completed: Ooh La Leather Leggings

26 Jan

Ok, so, the title of this post is a tiny bit misleading – these aren’t leather leggings so much as they just have a panel of faux stretch pleather. BUT, it sounded catchy (as long as I ignore all the weird Google search terms that will likely lead people straight to this post, aiee), so it stays.

Leggings & Ensis Tee

Anyway, like, ~Ooh La La Leather~ or some shit, amirite?

Leggings & Ensis Tee

In all seriousness, I’ve mentioned before that this is my favorite leggings pattern. I have a couple more patterns in my stash that I haven’t even bothered to try because I JUST CANNOT QUIT me some Ooh La Leggings. I love the way they fit and I love the seaming detail. Made up in a thicker ponte, they almost pass for actual pants. Made up in a thinner material, they are great for lounging and sleepwear. Made up in some crazy lycra, they make amazing workout/yoga pants. Basically, they are my dream leggings and you will have to pry this pattern out of my cold, dead hands.

Because I love this pattern so so much, it goes without saying that I’ve made a metric Shit Ton of these leggings over the past two years. Obviously most of them haven’t made it to the blog – after sharing a couple pairs, they kind of get redundant. And y’all know how much I hate redundancy, at least when it comes to my own blog. So while you might occasionally see a pair pop up in a post (without needing to be the center of attention), they spend much more time in the real world than they do the blog world. And I do wear the shit out of all my pairs, so there’s that.

Leggings & Ensis Tee

With that being said, I think it’s ok/non-redundant to post about this pattern if I’ve done something ~unique with it. Which is exactly what I did. Check out my (faux)(p)leather (paneled) leggings, y’all!

Leggings & Ensis Tee

I found this stretch pleather on Goldhawk Rd while fabric shopping in London. It was one of the very few things I had on my list to buy, as I knew I’d need to be able to actually touch the fabric to make sure it stretched enough and wasn’t toooo shiny. Not that I’m against shiny pleather pants – I had a pair when I was in high school, back when I worked at Hot Topic and thought I was sOoOoOo punk rock (and no, I have no idea why my mom didn’t veto those things! HAHA! I must have looked like such a little baby hooker!) – but, being nearly 30 now, I’m an adult and I have to tone things down just the tiniest bit, at least when it comes to my pants. ANYWAY, this pleather is pretty good, I think – as far as pleather goes. It’s very stretchy, it’s not too shiny, and the wrong side has a nice fabric backing so it’s actually quite comfortable against the skin. Or, rather, as comfortable as pleather leggings can get.

Leggings & Ensis Tee

Since my pattern was nice enough to already have all the piecing done for me, I just cut the side panels in the stretch pleather, and the remaining pieces (front and back legs, as well as the yokes) in this black polyester Ponte de Roma. The Ponte de Roma was pretty shiny on one side – like, way more shiny than I was expecting – so I sewed it with the wrong side facing out, which looks a bit more polished. I sewed everything on my serger, as I do, and omitted the topstitching as I was afraid that piercing the pleather would cause it to wear holes that would eventually tear.

As far as actually sewing the pleather, that part was surprisingly easy! Keep in mind that stretch pleather (as well as non-stretch, as well as leather, etc) does show pin holes, so you need to be reeeeeally mindful of your pin usage (aka, don’t use ’em if you can’t pin inside the seam allowance!). I traced my side panel piece with a Chaco liner before cutting on a single layer. I did not pin my pieces together, except for one part at the hem just to hold it in place while I topstitched (I usually don’t pin my hems for knits, just press them – but you can’t press pleather! One little pin hole at the hem is ok with me, anyway). The sewing part did not require any special forethought or tools – due to the fabric backing of this material, it went through my machine just fine without the need for a Teflon foot. I used a regular stretch needle. Et voila!

Leggings & Ensis Tee

While I’ve got your attention, I guess I’ll also talk about my shirt – because y’all know I made that shit too!

Leggings & Ensis Tee

The pattern is the Ensis Tee, also from Papercut Patterns (ooh, I just heart me some Papercut!). I’ve made this before, albeit in a thicker/less drapey knit, so I think this version deserves a little bit of spotlight 🙂 It’s amazing how different it looks with a drapier fabric, yeah? Honestly, I like this version a lot better – I think it’s a lot more flattering (plus, it’s wool, so it’s pretty snuggly!). The top yoke is a piece of wool knit I bought in Paris, and the bottom is this cool steel grey sweater knit. I bought that knit on a whim, and it’s pretty cool – it has a lot of dimension to the color, and you can really see the knit stitches due to the somewhat loose gauge. It’s also wide and VERY stretchy in both directions – I might use the rest to make a pair of tights. Also, I need some kind of grey knit intervention. I keep buying pieces and this shit is getting out of handddd. Like, I really want that pewter grey but I’m gonna resist. I must resist.

Leggings & Ensis Tee

This is basically the same picture as above, just without my head.

Leggings & Ensis Tee

This tee whipped up fast! I had it cut and sewn within a couple of hours – and honestly, it took that long because of all the topstitching I added. I topstitched the colorblocking at the yokes and sleeves, as well as the neckline, using my stretch twin need and wooly nylon in the bobbin. I think it adds a little extra to an otherwise plain tshirt. Oh, and that yellow tab at the neckline is my laundry reminder not to wash this in the machine – because it’s wool 🙂

Leggings & Ensis Tee

I kept the curved hem, left off the hem band, but added cuffs to the sleeves. Happy sweater-hybrid-tshirt-thing!

Leggings & Ensis Tee

And here are my leggings again, because I know you’re just dying to see them one more time. As a side note – I used a different method to attach the elastic waistband (rather than feed it through a hole like the pattern instructs). I took some pictures while I was doing this, which I’m hoping to make into a tutorial at some point later this week.

Leggings & Ensis Tee

Anyway, that’s mah new threads! Basics with a lil’ twist! What do you think? Am I going to burn someone’s eyes out with my leather leggings? Should my mom have not let me leave the house in those pleather pants? Man, I wish I had pictures of that ensemble. Sooo glad the only social media platform we had back then was HAHAHA.

As a side note – if you think my hair looks green, it’s because it is! It was due for a redye, and I decided to go green 🙂 I’m using a new dye that I bought in London, at the suggestion of Nicole – we’ll see how it holds up! I gotta say, I’m not looking forward to the fading… green always fades so ugly. Also, these pictures are REALLY deceiving. It’s much brighter and more emerald in real life. I took these pictures on a grey and overcast day, so the color is kind of sludgy here. I don’t know how to color correct my photos, so this is what you get. Sorry, not sorry 🙂


40 Responses to “Completed: Ooh La Leather Leggings”

  1. Lisette January 26, 2015 at 8:01 am #

    I love them together…sort of 5th Element of something. I really need to buy that leggings pattern now that I belong to a gym and actually need more than just running shorts.

    • LLADYBIRD January 26, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

      Oh man, the leggings pattern is SO good – if anything, it’s great for using scraps. And I love that it’s high-waisted, so I can wear my sportsbra without a shirt and not feel completely exposed 🙂

  2. Nathalie January 26, 2015 at 8:54 am #

    You must sew a lot! You post so frequently and to know that you make a lot more makes me incredibly jealous. 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD January 26, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

      Hahaha! I just like sewing – a LOT! Try to get a little bit in every day if I can 🙂

  3. sallie January 26, 2015 at 8:56 am #

    Woo Hoo!! Pleather leggings are so fun! And the fact that you pieced these with the pleather on the outside and ponte on the inside means that you won’t have that dreaded ‘thigh squeak’ from pleather rubbing against pleather as you walk (please tell me you know what I’m talking about). Which is a long way of saying: these are like the classed up version of your high school pair!! And wool knits are always cozy and classic. These are great not-so-basic basics.

    • Kathleen January 26, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

      I knoe that thigh squeak all too well…that’s why pleather pants stay in the closet. Lauren is on to something here, no more squeak!

    • LLADYBIRD January 26, 2015 at 3:42 pm #

      Oh, you’re so right! didn’t even think about thigh squeak bc it’s been sooo long since I wore pleather pants (although, if I recall, you can rub baby powder into the vinyl/pleather and that helps with squeaking. Seriously!). Woohoo, I feel like I won without having to put any real effort into the race! Haha!

  4. christinatina January 26, 2015 at 9:59 am #

    I just bought the Ooh La Leggings pattern a coupe months ago – I think Katie updated the instructions because they don’t have you feed the elastic through a hole. Instead, you sew the waistband to the top, flip it down and topstitch down. It’s definitely the best method for attaching elastic and I’m pretty much never going to do the hole again, if I can help it!

    • LLADYBIRD January 26, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

      Ah, that’s good to know about the instructions! She was the one who originally told me a different way to put in the elastic, so I’m glad to hear it’s been updated 🙂 It’s an AWESOME method, isn’t it?

  5. Kelly January 26, 2015 at 10:13 am #

    I’m too shy to wear leggings in public, and I seriously do not need another tee shirt pattern, but oh I want them now!

    • LLADYBIRD January 26, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

      I thought the same thing about leggings, but if you get a thick enough ponte (or wear a long shirt to cover your butt), they’re not so bad! And they’re COMFY. Like secret pajamas. My favorite! 😀

  6. Kaoru Marie January 26, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    The description of that ponte is hilarious. Mood suggests you can make “audacious pants” from it! I’d say you definitely did 🙂 This whole outfit is pretty awesome. I’ve never been a big fan of wear leggings, but I’m beginning to rethink my reasons after seeing all of your versions.

    • LLADYBIRD January 26, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

      Hahaha I didn’t even read the description! That’s awesome hahaha!!

  7. weefrills January 26, 2015 at 11:23 am #

    Super love the wool top!

    • LLADYBIRD January 26, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

      Thank you! It’s def a new favorite of mine 😀

  8. Anonymous January 26, 2015 at 11:35 am #

    Love this version of the leggings. I have this pattern. Other reviewers have written that they pattern runs large. Has this been your experience with the Papercut sizing?

    • LLADYBIRD January 26, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

      My measurements are fairly close to the ones for XXS (my waist is about 1″ bigger but everything else is the same), and I’ve found that it runs true to size for me. Some of the patterns are drafted with a bit more ease, and for those I do need to take them in (just because I like my clothes to be pretty fitted!), but I don’t think it’s a matter of them running big. The leggings pattern fits me perfectly with no alterations.

  9. puu January 26, 2015 at 11:39 am #

    the only thing that comes to mind here is WHY HAVE I NEVER THOUGHT OF THIS?!?!?!?!?!?!

    • LLADYBIRD January 26, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

      I don’t know!!! This is a style that is SCREAMING for you to wear it!!!

  10. Birgit January 26, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

    Ooooohhh great leggings!

  11. Marike Smit January 26, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

    Loving those leggings- they look so kickass! Also loving the emerald green hair.A few weeks ago, I experiences a mini midlife crisis and made my hair bubblegum blue. It looked awesome on the ladies in the inspiration photos, but seeing it on myself I felt like a awkward fairy that needs to start working at kiddies parties. Maybe I just picked the wrong colour???

    • LLADYBIRD January 26, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

      Oh no! Maybe it was just too light of a blue? I’ve found that I look better with the darker, jewel-toned colors (which makes sense, because those colors look best on me in other applications as well – like for clothes and shit), so maybe you just need to layer a darker blue over it? I would venture to say that the really bright colors can be hard for people to pull off – most look best with darker brights, or pastel washes.

      Also, you can’t take those inspiration ladies seriously. You know they’re basically perfect, and everything looks good on them regardless of how it looks on real people 😛 haha!

  12. tworandomwords January 26, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

    I’m also a huge fan of Papercut – and it doesn’t hurt that they’re from my home town, either (and the girl she’s got working there now? My mum’s god-daughter). I’ve only made this pattern once, because it’s way too hot for leggings here, and I haven’t been able to find suitable fabric… but when I do, this winter – it’s going to be leggings time.

    I also know what you mean when thinking back to things you wore as a teenager… I was also in the punk scene, but I was ridiculously bright and colourful. But, hey, I loved it so no ragrets.

    • tworandomwords January 26, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

    • LLADYBIRD January 26, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

      Oh, that’s so awesome! I love Katie, wish I could get over there to hang out with her! Lucky goddaughter 🙂

      Also, that no ragrets photo makes me laugh every time. Killlssss me.

  13. Caroline Joynson January 26, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    Loving this outfit! It definitely has a Bladerunner / 5th Element feel to it – which is pretty darn cool to me x

  14. jules January 26, 2015 at 8:39 pm #

    Hi, If you want to learn how to color correct your pics it’s very easy in Adobe Photoshop. Open the image and go up to the menu and then layer>new adjustment layer>curves. Mess around with that until you likey. It’s non destructive this way so you can reset everything to the way it was by clicking off the eyeball in the adjustment layer or just deleting that layer. It’s fun. Try it.

  15. Jennifer January 26, 2015 at 8:58 pm #

    Those look great, leggings and shirt. Love the mix of fabrics.

  16. Gina January 27, 2015 at 2:40 am #

    These are awesome! I wore a pair of stretch pleather pants exactly one time in high school. My friend’s grandmother (!) had given them to her for a birthday, and my friend was like, seriously, grandma? The dress code at school won’t let me wear these! So she gave them to me, because my school had apparently never considered the possibility that anyone might want to wear pleather pants and therefore had no policy on the matter. I also have no idea how my mother let me leave the house in those things, but I looked pretty rockin with my Nirvana Heart-Shaped Box tee . . . that is, until the pleather started separating from the fabric backing and then getting stuck to seats and then ripping completely off one of the seamed sections of the pants. If my middle-of-nowhere farm country classmates weren’t already giving the new city girl enough strange looks because of her pleather pants, the destroyed pants fixed that nicely. ANYWAY, I’m sure your pants will last much longer, and I really love that it’s just a panel of pleather! The seaming on these leggings is perfect for this, and it’s so much more interesting than just plain old pleather pants.

  17. Helen Made January 27, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

    What great leggings – I only wish I had the legs to get away with wearing something like that myself!

  18. nicoleneedles January 29, 2015 at 5:57 am #

    Another great job! And I hope the hair dye holds up…

  19. sewcookgardenrepeat January 29, 2015 at 6:23 am #

    I went through my baby hooker phase in grade seven and eight, and yeah, how I was allowed to leave the house…. I still don’t understand.

    Also: One can NEVER have too but grey knit. Never.

    Also: I didn’t like those leggings on the papercut site, but I like your version here. I’ve been thinking of sewing up a leggings pattern (mainly because none of my pants fit right now), so maybe this will be *the one*

  20. Lola January 29, 2015 at 10:57 am #

    don’t bring these to phila because they might go missing.. *cough


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