Monday, February 24, 2014

Sewing for toddler: Footless tights

Sewing for toddler: Footless tights

I love early spring time. It means warmer weather, but not sweltering heat. It means adorable dresses on baby girls, and fun had by all hanging outside.
But what it also means is chilly mornings and evenings bookending the warmth of the mid-day sun. So while it is too chilly in the morning to wear dresses with nothing on the legs, it is too warm mid-day to be wearing winter appropriate attire. It can sometimes make it hard to dress children for the day if you intend to leave the house in the morning and not return until later.

With boys it’s easy enough, jeans or cotton pants and you’re good to go. Girls are harder. Dresses are fun and adorable, but can be chilly on tiny toddler legs in the morning chill. But full on tights can be a pain, and too warm if they are of the wrong composition.

So what to do?

I have always worn footless tights in spring and summer. I like to have a little covering on my legs when we are going out and about as I find most businesses keep their thermostat lower than I am comfortable with. I also always bring a sweater to put on, but that’s another story.

Finding foot gear for my twins is hard. They are two years old, but petite for their age. Infant sizes are too short, while I find toddler sizes to be miles too large. Not to mention finding items in pairs that I like is proving harder unless I want to pay an arm and a leg for them.

I rarely dress the twins alike as most struggle to tell them apart without them being “color coded”.  So I try and coordinate as best I can. They have a handful of matching items, and even if they dress the same, the socks are different so as to assist with the differentiation.

Last week I decided I wanted some footless tights for the girls to wear with their dresses. But I couldn’t find any.  I looked at several stores, and even online and had no luck.

So I decided I would just make some. I happened to be at Target when the notion struck me, so I ambled on over to the women’s hosiery department and ogled the knee socks. They had an awesome selection, most on sale for under $3 a pair. Can’t beat that.

I picked out two matching pairs (for $1.75 EACH how nuts is that?!?). Since their dresses are different colors, the tights could match and we could still tell them apart pretty easily.

So I took my treasures home and got to work.

For these tights, we use the “knee” portion as the ankle, and the feet area as the waist. So first you want to cut the toes off.

Then cut along the middle portion of the foot up to the heel area. Do this for both socks.

Turn one sock inside out. Place the right side out sock inside the other, so the right sides are together and the heel areas are lined up. Pin like crazy all around this U shape.

My socks were fairly thin, so I pinned a lot. They shifted quite a bit while sewing, so you want to go slow and use a knit fabric stitch to allow for stretching.

Flip them inside out, and we’re almost done! In my case, the tights were tight enough with just enough stretch that they stayed on without elastic. Much like pantyhose. But you could do an elastic casing if you prefer.

Now find some cute toddlers to test them out on.

Mine are thin, so meant to be worn under dresses, but if you used a thicker sock, you certainly could use in lieu of pants. 

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