I braved a stretchy knit!

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.

old dress for upcycling!

But then recently I came acrossย 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…!

toddler leggings

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!

leggings pattern

And the back panel only had a little room to spare on the sleeve:

pattern piece for leggings

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!

sewing toddler leggings

sewing toddler leggings

I managed to make a good point where the pieces join, and nothing stretched very much out of line.

toddler leggings

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!

toddler leggings

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!!)

toddler leggings

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 andย 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?!

toddler leggings

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!!

Beth x

12 thoughts on “I braved a stretchy knit!

    • The fabric was really meant to be for leggings. It’s nice and soft too; they look so comfy ๐Ÿ™‚
      You must make some! Well Christmas is creeping up on us fast… I need to do less blogging and more shopping!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh that waistband was so easy, I’m glad I did it like that ๐Ÿ™‚
      They’re nice and soft too so they’re fab all round even if I do say so myself…
      Haha everyone loves her little poncho!


  1. Well done – I’m still very much in the learning stage with knits – I don’t whether I haven’t managed to get my machine on the right settings but whether I use a walking foot , twin needles or whatever I really struggle to get those seams to sit flat. Yours look great.


    • Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ I wouldn’t say my seams are dead flat but weren’t too bad after a good press!
      It must be your machine’s fault because I think you’re certainly talented enough to do it!


  2. Glorious leggings…this is a good idea to make more to sell. Eco leggings…recycled material for Eco mums that use cloth nappies!! You have found a niche market ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Mum xx


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