How to Sew Running Pants

Jun 12, 2017 By Jessica Abbott
How to Sew Running Pants

As a runner, I love to clear my mind as I hit the pavement, watching life whirl by as I log the miles. Running isn’t easy, especially that first mile, which is why sometimes a little inspiration can come in handy. Today we are having some fun, running like a GIRL, with an exercise outfit inspired by Wonder Woman.

These running pants are made to get you through those long miles in style, with pockets to hold your electronic device. The new performance fabric at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores has so many fun colors, styles and options to choose from, you will find yourself wanting to sew a few pairs. So grab your bracelets of victory, and let’s get sewing!

running pants

running pants

running pants

running pants

How to sew Running Pants

Skill level: Advanced beginner, familiar with sewing knits
Time Needed: 2 – 3 hours

● 2 yards activewear fabric
● Leggings sloper
● 1 – 1.5 yds of 1.5” elastic
Ballpoint sewing needle
Coordinating thread
Tracing paper
Fabric scissors / rotary cutter
Sewing Machine

Fabric seen in these photos:
● Red and silver stars on blue performance fabric, found in your local Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store
Performance Fabric-Basic Workout Mesh White E/O Quality 

running pants


running pants

1. You can use a leggings pattern block, or trace around a pair of leggings you already own for your main pattern pieces. You will want to use a leggings pattern block that does not have a side seam. When sewing activewear, you want the running pants to be slightly tighter than normal leggings. If desired, you can size down one size to achieve this. Trace around your leggings pattern block onto a piece of tracing paper, or large white paper (the back of wrapping paper works well for this).

2. Measure 5” from the front seam, and cut a straight line down your leggings pattern. Measure 4.5” from that cut line, and cut another line down to the hem. Add ½” seam allowance to all cut lines. Cut (2) mirror images of each new pattern piece from your performance fabric.

3. Lastly, we will want to draft pockets. Cut a pocket the same width as your middle pants pattern (5.5” wide) x 9” long. Cut a diagonal line across the top of the pocket if desired.

4. Turn the top of the pocket down 1” and sew using a stretch stitch, zigzag stitch, twin needle, or cover stitch machine to secure.

5. Cut a piece of elastic your waist measurement, minus 1”. Fold elastic in half right sides together, matching up the outer ends. Pin in place and sew. Open up the elastic seam and sew down to secure, sewing a rectangle around the entire seam.

6. Place the pocket 5” down from the waistband on the center leggings panel. Pin in place and baste stitch the side seams to secure. Pin the bottom pocket edge to the center panel and sew, using a stretch friendly stitch. Repeat for both center leggings panels, making sure to mirror the pocket.

7. Place the front legging panel right sides together with the center panel, matching up the side seam. Pin in place and sew. Repeat for back leggings panel on opposite side.

8. Serge or finish the seams with an overlapping zigzag stitch and use your finger to press both seams towards the middle panel. Sew down both seams to secure. This will add an extra level of security against ‘popped’ stitches in your leggings. Repeat step 7 and 8 for both legs.

9. Place legs right sides together, pin and sew the front and back crotch seams. Finish seams, press to one side and sew down the seam to secure.

10. Open up the leggings and place the legs right sides together, matching up the inner leg seam. Pin and sew. Finish seam, and press to one side with your finger. Carefully sew the seam in place, starting at the hem of the leggings and working your way up to the crotch – being careful not to get any wrinkled fabric in your stitches. When you reach the crotch, sew back and forth a few times and stop. Repeat for the other leg by starting on the other hem and working your way up.

11. Pin the waistband right sides together with your leggings, matching up the waistband seam with the back center of your pants. Pin in place and sew using a stretch friendly stitch, gently pulling the elastic to match the width of your leggings while you sew. Finish seam and press up. Sew in place to secure. Fold the bottom hem of the leggings 1” towards the wrong side and sew using a stretch friendly stitch to finish.

And you are done!

running pants

running pants

running pants

running pants

running pants

For more details on the matching tank top, please visit The Sewing Rabbit.

Addtional Info