Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tutorial: Baby Leg Warmers

Ever since I first saw babylegs I've thought they were adorable, and wished I'd had some when the first kid was a baby. Now that I know how to make them, I'm, as usual, a little obsessed. A tutorial is probably unnecessary, given there's already good ones out there, but I had my camera handy when I was sewing last night so why not?

Start with knee socks. Ladies socks for your standard size. For newborn babies, with their adorable little chicken legs, you can use girl's knee socks. A great place to find funky knee socks are those mall stores targetted to tweens and teens, although you will feel REALLY dorky and out of place when you go in.

Cut each sock as shown. Easiest with a rotary cutter and ruler, but if you don't have those you could just use scissors. You basically cut off the foot, then cut the toe and heel off of the foot so you are left a cylinder.

Fold the cylinder wrong sides together to form a cuff.

Insert the sock leg into the cylinder, lining up the raw edges as best you can. Since the fabric will roll a bit this can be tricky, so just get it as close as possible.

Two pairs, cut, folded, and ready to go.
Using a long straight stitch, stitch the layers together. I lay the cylinder down on the sewing machine, then pull the top three layers of the pile out of the way and start sewing. I don't bother to pin these, I haven't found it helps that much, but you may wish to put a few pins in. Sew all the way around and secure the seam by backstitching a couple of times.

NOTE: try not to stretch the fabric at all while you do this step.

At this point I always check to make sure all the layers got caught, sometimes something shifts and there's a gap you need to go back and fix. This one worked well, though.

Showing the seam. Not the straightest stitching I've ever done!

Now I like to trim everything to about a quarter inch or so from the seam, just to neaten things up.

Using a wide, tight zigzag stitch I sew all the way around, to bind the edges so they don't unravel. Set your stitch so that the needle falls off the edge of the fabric on the right side.

NOTE: Again, try not to stretch the fabric at all while you do this. It's probably more important with this step, actually, if you stretch while you so the end result is very odd and bumpy looking.

Close up.

And it's done! Just flip the cuff out and you are good to go!

Baby leg warmers are VERY SERIOUS BUSINESS.

OK, maybe not! They are awfully cute.

They also make great arm and leg warmers for kids, too:

Give them a try, they are easy, cute, and SO practical!


Zeeshan Hamid said...

It's silly how easy you make it all look :)

Sandra said...

Last year I made the same thing for my daughter.There were so many fun socks but only black legwarmers!!!
BUT your finishing work is muuuuch nicer. I just cut them of and sew along the edges with a zig-zag stitch, very lazy..

MimiRob said...

I've been wondering how in the world this was done...can't wait to try it, thank you!!! (Love your blog...(^_^) )

The Sewing Dork said...

hah! I just spent tons of $$$ buying these in every color this past year... now I'm going to make my own. Thanks so much!

yankin2002 said...

thanks!! so inspiring!

Erika said...

Thanks for the instructions...I'm going to make myself a pair of arm warmers with a pair of over the knee socks, but I was nervous about trying until I read your blog!

Nicole said...

I made these tonight and they came out great! Thanks so much for the great photos and tutorial! :)

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