Tights galore

I’ve made quite a few pairs of tights for Me-Made-May and most of them required dyeing as the base fabrics were fairly terrible colours. The piece below is a minty green colour that was last fashionable in the noughties.IMG_5499

It finished up being the indigo at the left of this photo, and the charcoal colour next to the black, third from left.


The olivey green tights began life as white fabric, and the other four on the right all started off as hot pink cotton/lycra, which caused me some issues as the pink was really difficult to cover, and I can see it so obviously in the reddish coloured ones.

The indigo tights in action – they go brilliantly with my denim skirt (the photo is out of focus, but you get the idea)


Several people have asked me about making the tights. I used the StyleArc Laura Leggings pattern as a basis and added feet, but after the first pair I eliminated the heels and just take them  down to a rounded end for my toes. There are tights patterns out there and  handmadebycarolyn has a tutorial on how to make your own pattern.  I use any fabric that has two way stretch (or is that four way?) and I’ve now found that if I use the straight grain going round my leg, they tend to sit a little better. I haven’t definitively proved this, but I am doing some serious unscientific research using the above tights to experiment on – the sample size is a little small, but you get the idea.

The leggings pattern has a one piece leg with a side seam. I don’t notice the seam much, but in close up I think I should reduce the seam allowance.


I use one of the stretch stitches on my machine, with woolly nylon in the bobbin to add even more stretch, and then a three thread narrow overlock to just add some security in case I do break those stretch stitches. I could probably just use the overlocker with some woolly nylon in the needle. I might do that next time.IMG_5581

I use clear elastic for the waist, again sewn in with a stretch stitch and then stitched down, and I am really happy with this as it doesn’t add any bulk and it’s super comfortable. The photo with the tights shows what the top looks like.

Having spent all that time dyeing these tights, I think the ones I shall be wearing most are the black, charcoal and dark brown. I am going to have to work hard to wear those green ones!! On the other hand, all that ghastly coloured, but high quality, fabric is out of my stash and in a drawer, just where I like it…


24 thoughts on “Tights galore

  1. I agree with you about the brilliant tone-on-tone combinaison of indigo tights with denim skirt. Your outfit in action is wonderful. And thanks for the link to Carolyn’s tutorial. Her home-made pattern is clever! In your experiments with tights, Sue, have you considered moving the seam to the back like vintage stockings? Could be fun.

    1. Thank you Hélène, I would love to move the seam to the back, but would then need to go through a process like Carolyn’s. The seam would be more obvious but it could be made decorative. You’ve given me ideas!

  2. Love the tights with the short skirt. Can’t wait to see the hot pink ones – love that colour!

  3. Inspired by you and Carolyn, I made my first pair of tights yesterday. I used a leggings pattern, extended with rounded toes. I also added heels – disaster – one ended up on the top of my foot. Mine seem quite wrinkly all up the leg. I used lycra. Do you put the greatest stretch up and down, rather than around the legs for yours? Help!

    1. I finished up putting the DOGS around my leg. I also found the heels caused wrinkles around my ankles, so just make sausages now! I tend to use cotton with 5% lycra because, well, I like cotton! They are thicker though. Yours may be too long – my first pair are far too long, but when there is no heel you can just whack some length out of the foot and it’s good. We might need a tight making day!!

  4. These look great and will get lots of wear over the next few months. You have piqued my interest in making my own tights…something I have never before considered.

  5. This is so impressive. I tend to buy cotton tights from M&S and Woolford – the latter having the best colours, but M&S being rather more affordable. But your posts, and Carolyn’s, make me want to try. Good results from the dying too Sue. Well done.

    1. Thanks Kate, I also love Wolford tights and they last for so long, but I am really won over by the hand made tights, particularly as I haven’t had to buy any fabric for them.

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