Saturday, September 12, 2015

DIY Baby/Doll Leggings from Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Does your girl have any long sleeve shirts that are getting too small?  Does she have a favourite doll that is in need of a new pair of pants, or a younger sister that needs leggings?  Don't throw out those long sleeve shirts, because they can be easily turned in to a cute pair of leggings for a doll or younger sister.

For doll leggings or baby leggings, any long sleeve shirt in size 7/8 girls or larger should work since the sleeves should be long enough for the legs, as well as the elastic waistband at the top.  For bigger kids, any adult long sleeve shirt will work for the leggings since the sleeves should be long enough to make the legs and the waistband.  These leggings can be worn under dresses and skirts, or as pants.

Would you like to make some leggings for that special girl or her doll?  You've come to the right place!  Catch the tutorial below:

Things you'll need:

  • A long sleeve shirt in size girls 7/8 or larger for doll/baby leggings or an adult-size long sleeve shirt for toddlers
  • A pair of leggings that fit your girl or their sister if you are doing the baby leggings
  • Your girl's doll if you are doing the doll leggings (so you can measure the inseam and rise length)
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing Essentials (Machine, thread)
  • 3/4 or 1 inch non-roll elastic for waist (you can use narrower elastic for the doll leggings if you like)
To begin, you will want to place your girl's long sleeve shirt on the table like this so you can determine how much sleeve to cut off:

Using a pair of your girl's leggings, or the measurement of your doll's body length from the feet to the waist to determine how much sleeve to cut off.  In this example, I am making leggings for an American Girl doll of one of my cousins so I cut the sleeves off at the armpit, perpendicular to the sleeve inseam:

Now, measure your legging inseam or doll inseam to determine how long the legs will be.  In this example, the doll's inseam is 7 1/2 inches.  I took my ruler and measured up 7 1/2 inches and marked the inseam of the sleeve at that measurement:

Next, cut from the top of the sleeve to the mark you made in the previous step, right beside the serged  seam.  this will be the rise of the pants, the part that leads to the waistband.  Repeat for the second sleeve.

With one sleeve inside-out and the other right-side out, take the right-side out sleeve and put it inside the inside-out sleeve, matching up the inseams:

Pin along the front and back rise, matching the two sleeves so the inseams are matched and the tops are matched, then sew.

Now, take the leg that is inside the other and pull it out to get two legs joined at the rise seams.  It's starting to look like leggings!

We need to make a casing to hold the elastic waistband.  Fold the top of the waist 1 1/4 inches and sew, leaving a gap in the back to insert the elastic.


Measure around your girl's waist, or the doll's waist if you're making leggings for a doll, and cut your elastic to that length.  Then, feed the elastic through the casing using a safety pin to help guide the elastic in to the casing.  When you get the elastic back to the starting point, overlap the ends by one inch and sew the ends together.

Sew the gap in the casing closed by pulling the elastic taut and sewing next to the elastic.

Enjoy your finished leggings!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

DIY Batman Shorts

Who likes superheroes?  Who has boys that like superheroes?  If you or your kids like superheroes, then these shorts are for you.  These shorts are inspired by Batman's blue and grey costume so you can use these shorts as part of a Batman Halloween costume if you live somewhere where it's warm.

I bought this Batman print from Walmart the other day and thought that Batman shorts were a good idea because it is getting warmer outside.

Would you like to make Batman shorts for yourself or for your kids?  Here's the tutorial.

Things you'll need:
  • Batman print fabric (Amount depends on size of wearer.  For 18 months, use at least 1 metre)
  • Matching thread
  • Bias Tape
  • A pair of shorts that fit you or your kids
  • Paper to trace your pattern
  • 1 inch wide elastic
The first thing you need to do is create your pattern.  Use a pair of shorts that fit you or your kids well.  You are going to make something like the image below.  Measure your wearer's inseam from the top to just below the knee and mark that on your pattern.  Then measure the width of the bottom of the pattern and measure up from the middle line.  Mark where your diagonal cuts will be.  You'll be making an upwards pointing V cut (point of V facing up) in the bottom hem to replicate Batman's legs on the image of the fabric sample.

Next, cut your fabric using your pattern.  Place the straight edge of the pattern on the fold of your fabric and cut around the pattern.  You will cut two pieces out of the fabric using your pattern.  You should end up with this:

Open the pieces up and you should get this:

Now we are going to bind the bottom edges with bias tape.  Measure along each edge and cut your bias tape.  You will need four pieces of bias tape for each pattern piece.  Bind each inside edge with your bias tape and sew down.  You should have this before you sew the bias tape.

Next, with right sides of the fabric together, sew the front and back rise from the top to the bottom of the curve.  It's hard to see the pins in the photo but you will be sewing where the pins are.

Next, sew the inseam of the shorts.

Now we are going to create a casing for your elastic.  Fold down the top 1.5 inches and pin.  Sew the casing and leave a two inch gap for feeding your elastic through.  Measure your wearer's waist and cut your elastic with 1 inch extra.

Feed your elastic through using a large safety pin.  Overlap the ends one inch and sew down.  Adjust if needed.  With the elastic inside the casing, sew the opening closed.  Now you have a pair of Batman shorts.