"What's the secret?" you ask. Well, it's been a closely guarded secret for years by many sewists, but I'm going to let you in on it. Its spandex. Yup, spandex! Now, I know many sewists are downright afraid of stretchy fabrics, but spandex is much easier to work with than you may think. If for no other reason, it takes no effort to add ease into spandex, plus its very forgiving for the less-than-perfectionists among us -- like me! If you've got a serger, its a perfect medium for your creativity, and I urge you to give it a shot.
Now, wouldn't a family member love to have a pair in their favorite color/s for their gym days. (Christmas is coming soon) I'm working on putting together a class on making these for a local sewing shop, and I'll post pictures and illustrations as a tutorial here to accompany the class. Maybe I can inspire you to try your hand at it, too. You can do it, and it only takes a yard of fabric....how can you go wrong!
Kwik-Sew has this really easy little pattern for capris and leggings, too -- Kwik Sew 3463. I recommend these as a starter project. The methods I'll be posting will work with leggings, too. These are super quick to put together...just two seams, a casing for the elastic, and a hem...voila! The spankies pictured above are a little more complicated only because there are six panels instead of two like the leggings have, but once you learn the techniques, you can make a pair of spankies in about an hour, start to finish -- no kidding.
So, think about watching for a sale of 4-way stretch fabric....(often labled as dance-wear) and giving it a try for yourself. I think you'll be happy you did.