Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How I kicked over-priced baby accessories in the butt

Have you seen these?  

They are too cute.  You already know that when I found out I was having a girl, I went crazy with bows and flowers!  BUT, what I haven’t mentioned is that this goes for pretty much any girly accessory.  Tights, hair clips, shoes, socks, EVERYTHING.  There are just too many cute things you can do with a girl.  When I found these baby leg warmers at Target, I had to have them.  HAD TO.  I mean, hello!  What a perfect nod to my formative years - the 80’s.  (Back then I called them “leg burners”, so that’s what they are at my house...)  
I lovingly picked out two of my favorites (I didn’t want to go TOO crazy all at once...)  I carried them with the rest of my purchases to the cash registers.  I still remember the patterns.  One pair was a light green with bright kelly green polka dots and the other pair was pink stripes.  It was only at the register that I bothered to look at the price.  And dropped my jaw!  Can you believe those two little tubes cost 12 bucks?  Seriously.  For my baby who would wear them, I don’t know, 5 times maybe?  (Quick math here.... that’s like 2 bucks per wearing.  In my opinion she’d have to wear them oh, at least four times that much to get their worth....) Anyway.  I decided that I couldn’t pay that, it was ridiculous and I sadly put them back.
It wasn’t until I was at the store the next week that I realized I could make my own baby leg warmers out of adult sized knee socks by simply cutting the feet off and sewing a hem.  Actually, there are a ton of little variations on this that you can do - you can add cuffs to the part you cut off instead of just hemming.  You can add an embellishment all around the tops.  You can ruffle the bottom.  And adult knee socks are like, what?, two bucks a pair?  That’s just about right, I think!  And I did all of the above - cuff, embellish, ruffle.  (I do not currently have pictures of all of the above, so you’ll have to wait for that...)
I really thought this idea was unique and original - but of course it’s not.  Come on, there are some super crafty people out there.  Low and behold, I found a tutorial for some sock to leg warmers on Samster Mommy, here.  There’s also this on Everything your Mama Made and More, and this on ehow.  And probably about a billion other tutorials out there!  So, no, I guess I’m not original... (but I did figure it out on my own, before looking around on-line!)
Anyway, while I was on Samster Mommy, I found this great tutorial for making leg warmers out of sweater armsHow perfect for these frigidly cold winters?!  (I really hope Natasha from Samster Mommy doesn't mind that I take all of her ideas.... she probably doesn't since she makes them into tutorials...) So I got right to making some.  I happen to think one of the cutest things ever is little striped legs on baby and toddler girls, so I used two sweaters I found at the thrift store for 50 cents each (no I’m not kidding) and this old sweater of mine that I love a lot but can’t wear anymore without being indecent.  These sweaters are kind of big for baby leg warmers, so I decided to make them for my niece.  K gives all her clothes that don’t fit to mini anyway, so someday mini will wear them!

I just cut the arms off, sewed the tops down, leaving a small opening, threaded some elastic (measured to fit K’s leg) through with a safety pin, sewed the ends of the elastic together with a zig-zag stitch (for stretch) and then sewed the opening closed.  Voila!  Couldn’t be easier right?  

Yeah, except with the pink striped ones I decided THEY needed a cuff, like I made for the sock leg warmers.  BAD IDEA.  
I cut off the turtle neck of the sweater to use for the cuff.  There wasn’t enough fabric around for two, so I cut it in half the long way.  When I sewed the first cuff on, it just wouldn’t lie flat.  It was so bulky and folded over all wrong, and parts of the wrong side were showing... ew.  Then I had to put elastic in because I knew they wouldn’t stay up otherwise and it gathered the cuff all funny.  It was a nightmare.  Then, when I went to sew the second one on (because, doggone it, I don’t give up that easily...) I realized that because I cut the turtleneck in half the long way, and cut the turtleneck off of the sweater, THIS particular band of turtleneck had TWO unfinished edges, not one.  Note: This is when I got really upset, grabbed the scissors and cut the cuff off.  I still wasn’t satisfied, so I threw the leg warmers across the room.  So, no, I don’t have a picture of them... I have a fake picture of them in which you can’t see the top that you can see up above.  (Pretend with me, ok?)  So much for being original...  Sooooo, the green ones are cute, and the pink ones are.... on hold for a while.
Then I made these: 

and even though they aren’t anything fancy or original, I love them - I think the little elastic gathers on the sides are PERFECT for little girl leg warmers!  (I didn’t do that, the sleeves were like that.  But maybe there’s a way to get that look... I’ll have to try it out!)  K is super styling now.  I think I need to get some smaller sweaters to make some 3 month sweater leg warmers for mini.  
(Stay tuned for pictures of the other leg warmers I made out of socks)

Additional comments:

Here are the sock leg warmers I made.  A few aren't pictured, but you get the idea!

And here is one of my favorite models, showing off another pair:

And, not to be out done, here is my other favorite model - having found a new use for leg warmers, he now won't take them off.  In fact, he wore them to bed tonight.

The little yellow bows pictured on the black and white argyle leg warmers that mini is wearing are detacheable.  I made the bows out of ribbon and hot glue, then I used a small safety pin to attach them.  This way, I can not only use the bows for other things (like in her hair, etc.) but I can attach different colored bows to the leg warmers... or rhinestones, or other bling, or just leave them plain!  That's the plan anyway...

And just because she's so darn cute here's another picture of those black and white leg warmers.  (they are my favorites, anyway)

SYS Thurs

1 comment:

Linda@CraftaholicsAnonymous said...

Way to go Kimberly! They look super cute!
happy crafting,

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