Monday, 19 March 2012

How to make recycled sweater leggings

By Megan @ The Byron Life

Hello! This "how-to" was posted on my blog back in 2010. Now that the weather is turning colder for us here 'down under', I thought it would be timely to share this simple recycling project with you. Even if you have just basic sewing skills, as I did at the time, you'll be able to make these.


 It was rainy and cold yesterday, and since we've had so many sniffles and colds of late we decided to make it an at-home day. In between chasing little kiddos around the house and feeding teenage hordes, I managed a spot of sewing for my girl.

Last week I showed you the little leggings I made for the baby from a recycled sweater/jumper and there was some interest in a “how to”. As I didn’t photograph the making of those particular leggings, I started on a new set from another recycled wool sweater to bring you this “how to” . Today, in Part One, I’ll show you how I made these pants for Miss Three. In Part Two I’ll show you how to make baby leggings, with enclosed feet.

(I hope the following “how-to” makes sense; after attempting to explain all of this, I now have an even greater appreciation of those crafty types who write fantastic “how-to”s.)

How To Make the Pants:

1. I started with this sweater and the arms were a perfect length match to Melli’s legs.

2. Turn the sweater inside out. Cut off the arms, as shown. I didn’t felt this sweater, so I left the seams intact so the knitting wouldn’t unravel.

3. Bring your two “arms” together as shown. You can see the pants shape now. Pin the “arms” together at the arm-holes, and sew carefully along the inside of the seam all the way from front to back of the pants. Make sure you line your stripes up.

4. My attempt at explaining this in diagram-form. You sew the two arm-holes together at the dark lines in the drawing, keeping the inside of the pants hollow...

5. So it looks kind-of like this

6. Turn out the right way and now you have pants! Just like that. Next, they need a waistband.

7. Cut a waistband from the body of the jumper, as shown. (For your waistband you could also use the stretchy waistband of the jumper itself, but in this example I am saving the jumper waistband for the baby pants.)

8. Sew the waistband ends together so it matches the width of the pants.

9. Matching the waistband seams with the side seams of the pants, place your waistband over the pants, right sides facing, and sew together at the top.

10. Turn it right side out and it will look like this. (yours will be prettier, and straighter, because you are not sewing on my vintage Lemair which had a complete breakdown over sewing these pants!)

11. Measure some elastic to your child’s waist and now we sew this into the waistband.I sewed the ends of the elastic together, and sewed them in the inside of the waistband, at the back of the pants first. Then simply fold over the waistband so the elastic is tucked away inside. Pin like this all the way around, and then sew it together.

12. Et, voila! The end result is a wonky, but cuddly, soft and warm pair of woollen pants for Miss Three.

"Jumping beans", new purple boots and a tiara are optional extras!