Monday, October 24, 2011

Sweater Tights

About a year ago, my husband inherited a bunch of "Old Man" type sweaters from his father. They're not his style, but we don't really like throwing things out around here, I figured they could be of some use. I've had my eye on this one for a while now, to turn into leggings for the little miss. This morning, she woke up cold, and it was clear that she needs warmer pj's than her old cotton knit capris. Grandpa's sweater to the rescue!

You need: 1 Grandpa Sweater
                 1 pair of old paints to be recycled *(must have elastic going all the way around)
                 Sewing machine or needle and thread. Hand stitching would be neater if you have the time, but the girl was cold and I only had a few minutes.

Lay your sweater on a flat surface and place the pants on the bottom edge. I don't have it all the way at the edge in this photo, but you need it there. You're going to eyeball about an inch wide on each side of the pants, measure if you like, mark it with chalk if you want, I just winged it.

I turned it around in the pic, but you'll want to cut straight down the side of the pants, all the way to the shoulders. The shoulder seams of the sweater will be the toes of your tights, and the ribbing at the bottom of the sweater will be the waistband of the tights.
Flip around the sweater and cut out a V, which includes the collar. You want to taper a little, but not too much. You can take off more fabric later, but you can't put it back, so cut cautiously. You may want to measure the diameter of your kids legs too. I didn't and I've made my daughter enough clothes to guess the width of her little chicken legs. :)

Rather than having a seam allowance, I sewed right along the edges of the sweater, leaving only about a quarter inch. I then zigzagged over that quarter inch to clean up the edges and further secure that seam.

I cut the band of elastic off of the pants I picked to recycle (I will turn the rest of the pants into doll clothes), and without bothering to remove the fabric, I sewed it onto the inside of the waistband of the tights using a zigzag stitch on the top and the bottom.

I rounded off the toes and trimmed off the corners. Later today, I will get some fabric paints and paint some dots onto the bottom of the feet to make them nonskid.

She loves her little tights and they will do for wearing to bed or wearing under skirts in the winter.  Daddy just bought her a pair of Hello Kitty boots that are a tad too big, these will go perfectly. They don't only have to be for girls, either. Make them as pj's for your boys and don't call them tights! They can make long underwear too, and if your child is taller than mine (or you want to have them wear these with shoes), just cut off the toes and hem them.

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