A creative mess is better than tidy idleness. ~Author Unknown
Any day spent sewing, is a good day. ~Author Unknown
I love sewing and have plenty of material witnesses. ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Leggings or Leg Warmer Tutorial

Summer has just begun, but for us who sew it's time to start preparing for the next school year. Perhaps you don't have a young daughter, granddaughter, niece or friends child in your life; maybe you know of someone who’s pregnant or has a new baby. Leg warmers are great for both genders when they’re learning to crawl; they're wonderful for protecting the knees. They’re also great for under dresses as the weather gets cooler. I know for those of us in the south “cooler” isn’t a word right now; can you say blazing heat? Do we really get used to breathing in the moist HOT air? What about frying eggs on the sidewalk? Sorry, rabbit trail! In the south we not only have HOT summers, but we can have mild winters too. So under all those cute handmade dresses my daughter will be wearing to K3 she will have on leggings. The great thing about leggings is she can wear them in the morning then take them off in the afternoon when it warms up.

Leggings are easy and cheap to make. All you need is tall women’s socks, some thread, and about 15 minutes (for the first pair). By the way, I used 1/4" seams and zig-zag stitched.

Pick your color and make sure they are tall socks. I bought these recently on clearance at Target for $1.
Cut the foot off the socks right above the heel. It's okay if it's already flaring where you cut; because it's knit it won't show.

Cut a section out of the foot portion 5"x 2.5" on fold. You will end up with a rough 5" square; these will be your cuffs. Note, I typically cut this from the bottom of the foot, but these socks really slanted so I went from the top.

Fold the cuffs so that the pattern of the leggings match the cuffs. I've messed this one up a few times so make sure it's how you like it.

The top cuff is still showing the direction I want it when it's on the legging. On the bottom cuff I opened it up leaving Top A up and folding the sides together. Zig-zag stitch down "sides" creating a tube.

Turn the cuff in half so that Top A & B are up and the wrong side of fabric is together. Sorry, the it's blurry!

Save your sanity and zig-zag stitch the two raw edges together. I've made the leggings without doing this and it's a pain; not to mention time consuming.
Also, (hehehe) the loop is so small make sure you don't catch the top in the portion you are sewing. I'm not saying I did it or anything (guilty look), but if one should catch even a little bit of the top you might just have to take the foot off the sewing machine to then clip the fabric.

Slip the cuff over the legging matching the seam up with one of the pressed sides of the legging. The cuff will be smaller then the legging so you must stretch it out to pin it down; you must also do this when zig-zag stitching them together.

Your finished!

Here she is at 1.5 years old wearing her leggings. As you can see she wasn't a very willing model; she was taking them off.

These are also great for travel! We were driving from England to Germany when at one gas stop we realized the temperature had dropped. We slipped the leggings on her and she was good to go. She was 1.5 years old in the photo wearing a pair of white leggings. She still wears both pairs of leggings at 3.5 years old. I've read they can wear them until they're about 7.


CJ said...

Wow!! Thanks Jennifer, for this awesome tutorial!
When my girls were young (not saying how long ago that was) they loved wearing leg warmers under their dresses and in the winter even wore them over their tights :)
What a great Christmas gift idea ~ when it gets this HOT I like to start thinking about Christmas gift planning, anything COLD to help get my mind off the heat (we were 103 today).
Cathy (CJ)♥♥

Anonymous said...

This is an awesome idea! so Cute! Thanks for the share & great tutorial! susie

Francien said...

Love the tutorial...thank you!! how cute are those?!
greetings Francien.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to share this wonderful tutorial with us Jennifer. Your right these would make awesome gifts for the little ones... Hummmmmm now APP has to stalk the playgrounds for little ones to make leg warms for. Do you think I will get arrested if I stalk the parks?? Maybe I better not and just make them and send them out to my 3 year old niece and her new baby sister :)
Thanks again for the lovely tutorial.

Kathryn said...

This is brilliant and adorable all at once! I love it! Thanks for such a great idea!