In 2017MakeNine/ Favorite Projects/ Sewing

Papercut Ooh La Leggings in Stretch Vegan Leather

One thing I really want to do this year (besides sew ALL THE LEGGINGS) is sew more outside my comfort zone. One great way to do that is to say “Yes!” when fabric shops ask if you’d like the opportunity to try out some of their stock, especially when such stock includes stretch matte vegan leather and you’ve never sewn (or worn!) such a thing before. So without further delay, here’s my final fabric review for Girl Charlee and a love letter to the Papercut Patterns Ooh La Leggings.

Girl Charlee contacted me before the holidays and asked if I’d like to select a few yards of fabric from their site in exchange for a review. After browsing their options I selected the BOLT knit (as shown in my last post) and the 4-way stretch vegan leather. I SUPER LOVE the vegan leather even though I was skeptical about wearing pleather leggings at first.

***One very important thing to note! Girl Charlee offers two types of vegan leather on their site, one is a 4-way stretch and one is a thicker fabric with a 2-way mechanical stretch. When browsing for fabrics for realllllllly tight fitting leggings, it’s absolutely essential that you have 4-way stretch (unless you don’t care to sit down or bend at the knee), so make sure you read the fabric description thoroughly before ordering knits online. It looks like the burgundy colorway I got is currently sold out, but they do have black, navy and charcoal grey left in the 4-way stretch.

Some Tips For Working with Stretch Pleather:

-Use pattern weights and a rotary cutter when cutting out your fabric to avoid unnecessary pin holes. Holes in this fabric will not heal like they do in other knits or woven fabrics.

-If you have to use pins while sewing, place them parallel to the edges within the seam allowance.

-Use the heftier, 90/14 ball point jersey needles! I had terrible, terrible skipped stitches using 80/12 ball point needles while top-stitching the waistband. The slick poly coating is a bit tough for lighter needles to pierce, especially on the waistband and ankle hem where the fabric is doubled over. Sizing up made a huge difference.

-Use your serger if you have one – so much easier!

-It probably goes without saying but high heat exposure will melt this fabric! To help settle my seams I pressed them gently from the BACK of the fabric on the lowest heat setting. I did also tumble dry this fabric on low heat, even though it’s recommended that you hang it to dry. I’m impatient when it comes to laundering fabric. Whatever.

So now let’s talk about the pattern! It’s the infamous Ooh La Leggings pattern by Papercut and I wish so hard that I made them sooner! I bought a copy of the PDF back in August but didn’t make the effort to sew them until I started struggling with the fit of the Sloan leggings as described in my last post. There are some very small adjustments I could try on my next pair of Ooh La’s (the rise pulls down a bit in the back, probably because I have a pear butt and need a low seat adjustment) but for a first try attempt I’m SO HAPPY with the fit of these!

This is such a fun pattern to construct and they’re really not as difficult to sew as they may look! However, there are a lot of strong curves that go together much like sewing the sleeves on a t-shirt, so if you hate that step these may not be the leggings for you …but I love them! I probably won’t be sewing any other pattern for leggings (ever!) so I hope you’re not sick of seeing this pattern around the interwebs.

I can’t get enough of the fun seams! It makes them look so polished and more like real pants, definitely not your basic leggings. I’m going to experiment on future versions and sew an inside-out pair with the exposed seams as a design feature, kind of like this LuLuLemon pair that I could never afford.

My only small complaint about this fabric is it’s quite thin. In many of these photos (like the one below) you can see the seams of my Calvin Klein “invisible” underwear which is definitely not desirable. I don’t usually wear leggings without some amount of bum coverage so I’m not too worried about it but just keep the fabric weight in mind if you’re all about wearing stretch vegan leather leggings as straight-up pants.

So that concludes my last fabric review for Girl Charlee. I definitely recommend their new wholesale brand of BOLT knits for cozy loungewear and sleepwear, and their 4-way stretch matte vegan leather if you want to make all your high school punk rock dreams come true! I had the fishnets, the plaid cigarette pants, and a Brody Dalle level mohawk (seriously) but I never had the pleather pants until now! Totally worth the wait, btw.

Side note: I’d like to welcome you to the time of year where there’s too much frigid white stuff on the ground to take photos outside, and the sun never fully shines so allow me to introduce you to the one dim corner of my room that you’ll be seeing over and over and over again until Spring, which doesn’t arrive until late April here in upstate New York. Second side note: there are two sneak peek projects included in this post – My latest Lark T-Shirt with a curved hem modification and my first knitting pattern to be released in March! Stay tuned for more info on both 🙂

Annnndddd as promised, here’s the lucky randomly selected winner from last post’s Girl Charlee gift card giveaway!


Congrats, Laura! I’ll be emailing you soon.


  • I love leatherette but i think it might not look good on me as i am very healthy. But it looks fab on you. The patter is too good. I really wanna try it so why not to try Ooh La Leggings. Thanks for posting the review. Its just been a year since i started learning sewing and knitting. Taking online coaching and also reading books. I have recently completed my knitted leggings project which might be helpful for you and your readers too. I will share it with you soon.

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  • Deloris A. Duncan

    Hello, with the vegan leather from Girl Charlee, you indicated in the article that it would melt in heat???? I’ve just started back sewing and soooooo many things have changed which EXTREMELY AWESOME…. need help. looking to order some of this fabric to make a black/white dress for a 50th BD celebration

    • I got your email! Let me know if you have any more questions 🙂

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  • Emily

    Super cute!! Do they feel sweaty after a while or are they breathable?

    • I haven’t worn them out in the summer weather yet so I’m not sure, but the fabric does have a regular knit backing so the insides don’t feel rubbery. It just feels like wearing polyester, which always feels a little hotter than other fabrics in my opinion.

      • Emily

        Super helpful! Thanks!

  • You are kicking a$$ and taking names in these fab leggings!! I love them on you!!

  • Kwirky Kiwi

    Love the leggings! But I just have to ask – do you have any photos of you with the mohawk?!? I would love to see that! Big Brodie Dalle fan here 😉

  • Wow these look totally fab! I love leatherette but I’ve always been quite shy about committing to using it for something requiring such a close fit. Think I’m sold now! Definitely going to investigate the charcoal colour vegan leather and the pattern! Thanks for posting a great review 🙂 x

  • These are just so beautiful! I love every bit of your outfit. I”m wearing leggings and a covers-the-hips top right now as I lounge around on the weekend (ok, it’s basically pyjamas, except that I sleep with less on) and I wish I worked in a place where I could get away with this all week long! So comfortable. I hope your outfit gets lots of wear!

  • I have to put my 2 cents worth in on ooh la leggings too – I LOVE this pattern! I made myself 2 pairs in the fall – one didn’t work out so well (not enough stretch as you point out in this post – make sure you have 4 way stretch!) and I couldn’t even get them over my calves! But my second pair was in a gorgeous Liberty of London b&w flowered print rayon/spandex and they are gorgeous if I do say so myself. I love them so much I’m afraid to wear them out! Yes the best pattern ever for leggings I have to say.