This dress was been sitting in my fabric pile for years. You might know what I’m like when it comes to reusing unloved clothing. I wanted to reuse the funky print of this dress but until now I haven’t dared to; 1) it’s reaaally stretchy, and 2) I didn’t know what to make with it anyway.
But then recently I came across a pattern for toddler leggings in Love Sewing magazine and knew I must make some. Leggings are fabulous for kids. However, my little one wears cloth nappies so the fit is often a bit too tight round her bum. This pattern, however, has an added section on the bum so it looks like they’re designed for cloth!
So here they are…!
Of course I was so happy to have found a use for my old dress! It must have been fate because the pattern pieces literally only just about fitted on the dress once I cut it open. This is the leg piece; the photo’s not very clear but the pattern piece is right at the bottom of the fabric!
And the back panel only had a little room to spare on the sleeve:
It was meant to be!
Cutting the pieces out wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be; I think I did it quite accurately. I used the stretch stitch on my sewing machine to join the legs with the back panel first. I was so impressed with myself!
I managed to make a good point where the pieces join, and nothing stretched very much out of line.
I knocked them up really quickly, actually – to the stage before I had to add the waistband. At this point they were left on the side for a good few weeks. The instructions said to add some knit ribbing to make the waistband and hems. Well, I don’t have any and didn’t know exactly what to buy, so… I left it.
After some time had passed I had a think about what I could do instead of buying a small amount of ribbing. Which, I thought, would probably cost me more (including postage) than a pair of second-hand leggings would. Of course, the obvious solution would have been to add a waistband to the top… but I didn’t have enough of the dress fabric left and just wasn’t sure that another fabric would look right. I spoke (online) to some sewists who are more experienced than me and discovered that I could just add elastic to the top. An obvious solution! So that’s what I did. And it worked a treat!
I then tried them on my toddler and the fit was super – minus the extra long legs! So I chopped some of the length off and simply hemmed them.
OK, there wasn’t much ‘simply’ in simply hemming them. Those hems were TINY! But I got there in the end… the stitching is scruffy, the line is uneven, but I don’t mind; who’s going to be looking? I’m so proud of my first pair of funky leggings! (OK, they’re still a bit long…. it’s called growing room!!)
The photos of the leggings in the magazine almost put me off because the panels were made in different colours; they were just too crazy for my liking. But then I figured that I could use the same fabric for the back panel too and they don’t look half as bad! I love the addition of the back panel for practicality’s sake. Why don’t shops sell leggings like this?!
I’m not sure I’m brave enough to make adult-sized ones (I remember the leggings episode on GBSB all too clearly right now) but I definitely hope to make some more mini ones!
Thanks for reading and sharing my glory in defeating a stretchy fabric!!