Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How to Stretch a Shirt - Project 1 (for little legs)

The very first thing I made with my thrifted striped shirt was a pair of leg warmers for mini.  I love leg warmers.  They are easy to make and adorable.  And you can make them out of all sorts of things... knee socks, tights, and - of course - SLEEVES!  I’ve gone the sleeve route a few times, and I have to say, I think it’s my favorite medium.  Use a t-shirt and they are light weight for spring and fall.  Use a sweater and they are nice and warm for winter (or spring or fall if you live around here...).  
For these little leg warmers, you’ll need:
your aforementioned long-sleeved shirt
a sewing machine and thread
skinny elastic
baby legs (not the brand of leg warmers, ACTUAL baby legs.  I mean, what else would you put them on?)
(Can I just take this moment to reiterate - there is NOTHING cuter than baby legs in leg warmers.  Nothing.  ESPECIALLY when the leg warmers have a fun pattern.)
These leg warmers will fit anyone from a newborn to about a 9 month old, depending on how you measure and sew.  
First, cut your sleeves off of the shirt such that you leave a "cap" sleeve attached.  (Don’t cut the whole sleeve off, or you won’t be able to make one of our future projects!)

Now, turn your sleeves inside out.  Fold down the jagged edge you cut and hem it.  If you’d like, you can do this twice to completely hide the jaggedness.  (I didn’t because I’m kinda lazy, and also knits don’t fray, so I wasn’t worried about that.  When you hem this part, just make sure to hem it to the exact length you need for your little leg (so you may want to measure the leg, too).)
Now, take a bit of skinny elastic and measure it to the fit around the baby leg and double it.
Starting at the seam, line up your elastic about a half inch below the hem.  Now, run your sewing machine while holding your fabric in place for s few stitches - to tack the elastic down.  
Now, using a zig zag stitch, pull the elastic tight as you so, using one hand to pull the elastic and one hand to pull the fabric through.  Go all the way around the sleeve in this way.
(This is how I "fake shirr" by the way...)

Now, make sure your sleeve is the desired width for the leg.  Mine was too wide, so I took the sleeve in a bit by sewing a straight stitch about an inch in from the original seam all down the length of the sleeves.

Cut off the excess fabric.
That’s it!  Your done!  Since you used the bottom, finished edge of the sleeves for the bottom of the leg warmer you don’t have to hem this edge at all - just leave as is!  The elasticized end will fit over the thighs to hold the leg warmers in place and it looks cute to boot - all ruffly. 
(depending on how you measured you could turn the leg warmers the other way and wear the ruffle around the ankle and this is also SUPER cute, since the ruffle doesn’t stretch out as much.  You’ll want to make sure that the leg warmer is small enough around the thigh to stay up, though.)
There will be many, many more leg warmers made in this fashion, I’ve no doubt.  This is the ONE thing from the 80’s I’m glad has come back in style.  (all the weird distressed denim and neon accessories... never mind the lacey bottomed leggings worn UNDER SHORTS can go back to the 80’s.  But the leg warmers?  Well, I won’t wear them, but I’m glad my baby can make use of this trend!)

(Stay tuned for our next project, where we use Rae’s tutorial for baby tights!  The idea for the tights was inspired by this outfit which is just screaming for something extra:  )

SYS Thurs


Julia said...

Oh such a cutie!!!

The Redhead Riter said... cute!

Val said...

I love the yellow. So CUTE.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...