30 April 2017

DIY leggings into leg warmers / knee socks

Another very old item I bought many years ago and never wore it. These leggings are from H&M bought at that time when leggings got popular again.

But as you can see here a little bit, they are too tight at the hips for me. And please notice that I already opened the seam at the back but it still almost hurts wearing them.
I thought of different options like just making it wider at the hips or making gloves out of it. Then I chose making leg warmers as I needed thin ones.

You'll need a sewing machine for this (or do it by hand if you like) and some studs if you want to embellish them like I did.

You can either part the two legs by cutting along the middle seam or let them together for the first step. Which is cutting the length you need.
I measured my thigh high which is about 35cm from ankle to bottom of knee cap. Then I added a few cm to that to let it sit loose if I want. I didn't care about the exact length. If you do, be sure to add 0,5cm for seam allowance on the open side.

Then put them on inside out and upside down. If it fits, use the original bottom hem as your upper hem at your knees. That way you can spare one hem.

Now adjust them to your leg while wearing them. Use safety pins for this as regular pins will hurt you or come off when you pull the fabric out. If it fits at the top part, you don't need to pin anything.
For my opinion 3-4cm distance between the pins is not too short and not too far. But I highly recommend using one pin at the very bottom, because you'll need to know exactly how wide that part is.
It should look like the image above when you're finished.
Then you can put it off. Be careful doing this!

Put it down flat and make sure the pins are going in and out at the same place. This is very important or otherwise you'll cut of more or less than you want.
Take some tailor's chalk and mark the position of the pins like I did above.

When you marked everything you can take the pins out. Now it should look like this.
Yes that is my chalk lying next to it.

Connect the spots. It's better to do it free-handed because, well, your leg is certainly not a straight line.
One thing is important here: Try to get a smooth blending from the last (highest) pin to the original hem. Let it fade out. Otherwise you risk getting an ugly fold here.

Then it is time to sew. Sew along the line with a zigzag-stitch to keep it stretchable.
DON'T CUT NOW. First try it on and see if it fits as you want it to. If it does, now you can cut off the unneeded rest. If it happens to not fit you can undo the seam and try again.
You'll need only a very small seam allowance, I'd say 0,5cm is surely enough. Don't forget to trim the hem.

Last thing you need to do is hem the bottom line. To do so turn about 1-2 cm over and sew it on with a small zigzag-stitch (for stretching). You can do this with a twin-needle if you like.

Aaand basically it's finished. If you want you can embellish it now as you like. Put on a bow, decorative buttons or studs as I did.

As examples you could wear them like this:

Knee high with a cute skirt and ankle boots.


Casual below your knees combined with sneakers and shorts.
I love knee-free in spring.

What would you use to embellish them, or would you leave them bare?
Which style do you like better?


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