Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Homemade, or Not Homemade... Leggings for all!

One of my favorite things about winter is layering! Although I love leggings for myself, I really love the look of leggings on babies, and they are so versatile - you can let them run around (or crawl around!) in a long-sleeve shirt or onesie and the leggings, and it is easier to change their diaper! Or, layer them with other clothes for winter outings! (don't layer them too thick - remember the scene from A Christmas Story when little Ralfy couldn't put his arms down?!)

They are really easy to make from items you may already have around the house! But, let me stop here, for those of you who are not crafty, or just don't have the time (or patience!) right now with the holidays, I found some Organic fiber ones HERE for only $8.95, and some bamboo fiber ones HERE for $9.99 - they have many different colors/patterns for boys, girls, and unisex! Or, if you want to look at other Organic and Eco-friendly baby/kid products, you can go to Baby Earth's Eco-Friendly department, HERE!

If you ARE in the mood to make them yourself, you can easily recycle some of your or your husband's old knee-high (or calf-high) socks! Don't throw them out just because they have a hole in the toe! Do the "green" thing and recycle them in your own household! You could make these for babies, kids, teens, or even for yourself depending on the sock size! Just cut the whole foot portion off right at the ankle, simply fold that raw edge under twice (basically fold it about 1/4 inch inward, then another 1/2 inch or more or less, depending on how you like it! Be sure you are folding it so that you are sewing on the wrong-side, which is the side that will not be visible)... then pin it in place... then sew it either by hand or by machine... or, even use that mighty mend-it stuff (or similar product from a craft or sewing store like JoAnn's)! Argyle socks make the cutest leggins! From there, you can get creative with it by adding a ruffle to the top and bottom for girls, or add some cool patches on the knees for boys! Patches are really easy - most of them are iron-on, and then you can stitch the edges to give it that cute crafty look! Another way I've customized some of these, is to use a large-eye needle and I "embroidered" abstract flowers climbing up the leggings using yarn instead of thread. If you want them shorter, just cut more off! If you need them to be tighter, you can cut a seam up the back, and cut some extra fabric out vertically, then sew the seam back up again either by hand or machine (if you are experienced seamstress, you can do a French Seam/French Hem for a nicer finish! - here is an image of how that is done by sewing with the wrong-sides together first, then turning it out, and then sewing again with the right-sides together, to seal the raw edge within a casing - it is easy once you've done it a few times!), but if the fabric is too thick, it may end up being too bulky.

You can also buy your own fabric, and make your own. There are some organic fabrics HERE and they have FREE shipping on orders of $35+ ...put "Organic" in their search box to find most of their organic options. You can get a yard of organic fabric for under $10, and make 3 - 5 pairs from it! Simply cut a rectangle that is angled slightly vertically (imagine that the top of the rectangle will be closer to theirr knee, and the bottom side closer to their ankle - you want the ankle side to be smaller so it's not just a tube that slips off their feet), and then hem the top and bottom just like above, and then fold it in half vertically, and sew the raw edge, and you can do a French Seam like above too! A fabric with some stretch to it will work best, like a Jersey Knit, Rib Knit or the Sweatshirt Fleece they have. Most bamboo fabrics have a little stretch to them too. You just don't want to use a rigid cotton like quilters cotton or muslin, etc.

Want more ideas for recycling or revamping your old duds? Click HERE to my previous post with some other ideas!

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