DIY Toddler leggings for dummies
For this months challenge “Clothes” with Monthly Makers I went out of my comfort zone and made a pair of leggings for my daughter.
I want to show you a super easy way to draft a pattern and sew a pair of upcycled leggings in less than an hour (or so). I´ve never made a pattern, sewn a garment or sewed in stretch, so this is definitely a very basic guide suitable for dummies as myself.
Start with having a rummage through your wardrobe. Look for old knackered stretchy garments that you are fed up with. I happened to have a suitable stash of leggings that was perfect for the purpose, score!
1. Use a pair of toddler leggings that are good in size as a template. To make the sewing pattern use an old newspaper.2. Place the leggings on the newspaper and remember that the outer side will be on the fold, add about 0,5 cm in allowance (not on the fold) Add about 3 cm at the waist for elastic.
If you want to have cuffs at the bottom, make a template for that. Simply just make an additional piece as if to extend the leg (if that makes sense?)3. Place the pattern on the garment that you want to upcycle and reuse. Remember to place it on the fold, so when you cut the fabric you get front and back of each leg in one piece. Flip over the template and cut another piece from the other leg of the garment.4. You should now have two legging pieces, one front and one back. Two small pieces for the cuffs. and two knee patches if you like that.5. If you want to pimp the leggings with knee patches, use Bondaweb to make it easy for yourself. Its double sided sticky vliseline which you use on appliques.
It´s really convenient to use, as the fabric attaches instantly and it doesn’t slip. After you´ve ironed on the bondaweb, use a bowl as a template to cut out a shape for the patch.
It’s hard to know which is front, back left and right, so pin the leggings together as they would be used. Position the patches, pin them into place an iron them on.6. Once the knee patch is ironed on, zig zag around them with stretch seam. I don’t really mind the visible stitch, I think it goes well with the look.7. It’s finally time to sew! Start with the crotch. Right sides together, and pin together. Straight stretch seam.8. Start with the inside of the legs. Once the crotch is done, fold over the leggings, so they look ”right” in shape. Make sure you pin well, it really helps.
9. Cuff-time! Cut out two pieces thats measures the girth of the leg and twice the final length. Sew the cuff-tube together lengthwize, right sides together using straight stretch seam.
10. Turn the cuff right side out , half the length, so it is doubled in fabric. Attach the cuffs to the leggings right sides together and the cuff upside down, so when attached and folded out , the seam will be on the wrong side and you will have a nice looking right side.
11. Measure the elastic band. You don´t want it to be too tight or too loose, just a little stretchy. Sew it together overlapping double seam just to secure it.
12. Time to attach the elastic band. This was the only part I was worried would go wrong. I told myself as long as I pin and sew slow it will be fine. And it went well!
Place the elastic all the way at the top of the waist. Fold it over twice and pin in the fabric, not the elastic. Sew with straight stretch seam in fabric, making sure you stay on a straight line not pulling the fabric.
Et voilà, you know have your toddler leggings!
I hope this guide was helpful. I´m sorry if my wording is confusing at some places, I´m not a seamstress and I don´t have any experience making clothes or tutorials.
However, I live by the motto ”how hard can it be?” so I tend to make it work my way in the end. There might be a “right” way to do certain things, like attaching the elastic, however this is my way, and it worked for me.
If you are not satisfied with the first attempt, you can always make another. Remember, use pins, sew slowly and if you are not satisfied, unpick the thread and do it again.
I would love to hear your feedback on this tutorial. Any steps that needs clarifying?
// Love Stina