Sewing wrestling tights is a practical and less-expensive option to purchasing tights. Because wrestling tights are created from stretchy Nylon Lycra fabric, only three seams are required in addition to a waist casing and ankle hems. Nylon Lycra is sold from 60-inch-wide bolts. You'll need a helper to make the pattern, but after that, you can make your own wrestling tights in an afternoon with moderate sewing machine skills.
Wash fabric in warm water, then dry in your clothes dryer.
Measure from beneath your ribcage to the top of your feet. Lay on a continuous piece of paper, with your legs straight and about four inches apart. Have a helper trace your outline from bottom of your ribcage to your ankle. Outline between your legs in an upside-down U pattern. Stand, then use a ruler to make the outline one inch wider along the outside of the legs. Cut out the pattern.
Fold the Nylon Lycra in half (36 inches length) so the right side of the fabric is touching. Pin the pattern to the fabric. Cut the fabric along the pattern edges. Remove the pattern, pinning the fabric together.
Sew the left side seam using a narrow zigzag and a half-inch seam allowance. According to "Threads Magazine," "...all-purpose polyester thread is your best bet because the thread itself has some stretch built in. When threading the bobbin, be sure not to wind it too fast, or the thread will be stretched and the seams puckered. Resist the urge to stretch seams as you sew; using a narrow zigzag...will add all the stretch your seams need." Remove the pins. Repeat this process for the right side seam. Remove the pins.
Remove the pins from along the inside legs near the ankle. Fold the bottom edge of the trousers leg up against the wrong side of the fabric a quarter inch, then fold over a half-inch, forming a hem. Pin. Repeat for other leg.
Sew horizontally across the hem, with a straight seam and half-inch seam allowance. Remove the pins. Align the inner leg sides and re-pin.
Sew, with a narrow zigzag and half-inch seam allowance, the inseam in one continuous seam beginning at the inside left ankle hem, along the U-shape, ending at the right ankle hem. Remove pins.
Fold the waist opening down a quarter inch against the wrong side of the fabric, then pin. Sew using a straight stitch and quarter-inch seam allowance. Remove the pins. Fold hemmed waist down one inch and pin, leaving a one-inch opening in the centre of the "front" of the tights. Sew, using a straight seam and one-inch seam allowance, leaving the one-inch opening to form a casing for the drawstring/elastic. Remove the pins.
Connect a safety pin to the elastic end. Connect another safety pin to the other elastic end and to the casing opening. Feed the pin/elastic through casing until it emerges from the opposite side of the opening. Remove the pins. Insert elastic under the machine's pressure foot. Sew vertically and connect the two ends of the elastic.
Connect a safety pin to the cord. Feed through the casing. Pull cord ends to tie.
Things you need
- Washing machine
- Clothes dryer
- Tape measure
- Wrapping paper
- Straight pins
- Nylon Lycra - 2 yards (60-inch width) continuous length
- Scissors - very sharp
- Sewing machine
- 70/10 SUK ballpoint sewing machine needle
- All-purpose polyester thread
- Elastic: ½-inch width by three quarters of waist measurement length
- 2 safety pins
- Lightweight cotton cord, about 45 inches