Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Turn old Leg Warmers into Pants in under 15 minutes!

I have been itching to do today's craft for a long time and just kept putting it off for other things.  I don't know why I did this though because the entire project took only 15 minutes- start to finish!  And honestly, that was with me stopping to take photos so it's probably even quicker than that.  I absolutely *love* the finished product.

So here's the story.  I had these amazingly adorable little leg warmers that I never wore (because I'm not cool enough to pull them off).  I couldn't bare to sell them and have kept them around FOR YEARS waiting to find some way to re-purpose them.  When my little guy came along I decided that I would use them to make lounge pants for him.  It was perfect!  Pants are basically just two legs, which is exactly what two leg warmers are (I know, that was such a smart statement- ha!)

Depending on the fabric of your leg warmers, the size may differ but with no extra cutting down my leg warmers made pants for my (on the short side) one and a half year old.  If you want a smaller size, use the same instructions just cut it down a little.

{Seriously though, those leg warmers are totes cute aren't they?}

All it takes is SIX easy steps.  This post includes a lot of photos to help you along the way but it's super easy.

Step 1: Measure your pants.

Using an existing pair of pants, figure out how long the leg needs to be.  Place a pin on the leg warmer at the same spot as the groin where the two legs meet.  I used two different pairs of pants just to double-check the fit.  Both pairs had the groin seam (is there a better name for this?) in the same spot which is always reassuring!

Repeat on both leg warmers.

Step 2: Cut your opening.

Going from the pin that you marked, cut a straight line all the way up to the top of the leg warmer.  If they had a string running through the top like mine did, remove the string and cut the leg warmers with the hole at the cut.  This isn't of top importance but when you go to fold it down and re-string it as pants you wont have a random hole on the inside giving you trouble.

Repeat with both leg warmers.

Step 3: Pin the two leg warmers together and sew!

Don't forget to turn your fabric inside out before pinning.  If you have a design that needs matched together, now is the time to carefully line those up.  If you look at photos later in this post you will see that I neglected to do that on the back of the pants (arg! so frustrating) and was able to correct it by the time I got to the front.

Use your judgement on whether or not your fabric needs more reinforcement.  I thought this would be the case for mine but one straight stitch at 1/2 inch held strong!

Step 4: Measure the top of the pants/Make a casing.

Once finished sewing, turn it right side out again.  Hey... they actually kind of look like pants now!

Next, bring in your previously owned pants and figure out where the waist needs to be in relation to the split at the legs.

Fold the fabric down into the inside of the pants.  Sew another straight stitch along the entire waist at roughly 1 inch below the fold (where the dotted white lines are above).  If you want to make it fancy with a double needle, that looks very professional but if you don't really care (like myself) one stitch will get the job done.

If you are folding down several inches, cut some off before sewing.  Just make sure you still have enough left for the stitching to "grab" both layers 1 inch down.  This is going to be the casing for your drawstring.

Step 5:  Cut a hole for the drawstring.

On each side of the center seam on the front side of the pants, cut a small hole for your drawstring to come through (1 on each side, 2 total).

Step 6: Insert the drawstring.

Depending on your fabric you might want to add some fabric fray to keep the holes from getting bigger after wearing/washing.

Yea, I forgot to do this before inserting my drawstring.  I could have just taken it out but the babe was awake and trying to "help" so I didn't have time to dawdle.  Learn from my mistakes.

Use a safety pin on the end of your drawstring to make running it through the casing easier.  I used the leftover string that I took out of the leg warmers but your local craft/fabric store will have some as well.  You may sew up the ends if you like or you can simply tie the ends in a knot.

That's it!  So easy and such a fast project.  I kind of wish I had kept more of my old legwarmers around (not like the kid needs any more clothes!)

Because leg warmers are made of a stretchy material, these pants can stretch over little one's bottom without having to angle your pieces at all!

...and since the bottoms of leg warmers are already finished, these pants have a crisp cuff at the ankle that we never even had to make!  Gotta love projects that practically do themselves.

I love them too buddy.  Thanks for helping me keep this adorable fabric around just a little longer.

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann