How to Make Cozy Leggings from an Old Sweater

How to make leggings from a sweater - before and after

I was looking for new sweater refashion ideas when I came across Sadie’s sweater pants project.  Who knew a large sweater could be easily transformed into leggings?  After reading her project, I was inspired to do my own version with some slight tweaks.  I found the perfect wool sweater at the thrift store for $5 and immediately got to work.  In this sweater-to-leggings tutorial,  I will show you how to recycle an old sweater into a pair of cozy leggings  in one afternoon.

I made these leggings on my serger, but you can easily make this on your sewing machine.  Here are my favorite tutorials for sewing with sweater knits:

How to sew sweater knits by It’s Always Autumn

How to sew with sweater knits by Colette

 

Here’s a quick overview of the project:

Step 1:  Cut sleeves of the sweater  to make the bottom half of the leggings

Step 2:  Cut the bodice of the sweater for the upper half of the leggings

Step 3:  Sew the upper half of the leggings

Step 4:  Attach sleeves to the leggings

Step 5:  Add elastic waist

 

Step 1:  Cut sleeves of the sweater  to make the bottom half of the leggings

 

Cut off the sleeves of the sweater to use as the bottom half of the leggings

 

The sleeves are the perfect size for the bottom half of the leggings.  I chopped the sleeves right below the armhole.  Pardon the poor photography.  The sweater looks green and brown under fluorescent lights when it’s actually teal and navy.

 

Step 2:  Cut the bodice of the sweater for the upper half of the leggings

Use the bodice of the sweater to use as the top of the leggings

I used a pair of stretchy yoga pants as my pattern to cut out the top half of the leggings.  In my haste, I forgot to take a photo of this step (sorry!),  Check out my frumpy dress to jumpsuit refashion on how to use an existing pair of pants as a pattern.

Notice how one piece is bigger than the other?  The sweater I used was size small, and it was barely enough to make the leggings.  I highly recommend using an XL sweater so you don’t run out of material.  I knew this wasn’t going to be a problem because sweater knits have a lot of give and mold to your body.

Step 3:  Sew the upper half of the leggings

Sew the center seams of the upper half of the leggings

With right sides together, sew the center front and center back seams of the top half of the leggings.

Sew Inside Leg of sweater leggings

Then sew the inside leg and crotch.

 

Step 4:  Attach the sleeves to the leggings

Sew sleeves to the leggings

With right sides together, pin a sleeve to the upper half of the leggings and sew.

Step 5:  Add elastic waist

Add Elastic Waist to Sweater Leggings

 

Cut a length of elastic that fits snuggly around your waist.  Close the ends and attach to the top of the waist.

Whadaya think of the finished project?  I made the leggings this way because I wanted all the stripe to run horizontally.  It was also easier to hide the seams in the stripe pattern.

Make leggings from an old sweater

In the real world, I would pair these leggings with a denim mini skirt, but I’m wearing it bare so you can get a full view of the leggings.   To be blunt, this baby don’t have enough back to wear any leggings without bum coverage.  My tookus is as flat and flabby as a pair pancakes.  Notice the absence of pictures from my backside . . .

Closeup of leggings made from an old sweater

 

How to make leggings from an old sweater

 

I’m short, so I was able to do this project with one sweater.  For the taller gals out there, you can combine a couple sweaters for a cool patchwork effect.  Take a look at these sweet sweater leggings from Free People.

 

Inspiration for patchwork sweater leggings.

Did you enjoy this sweater-to-leggings refashion?  Let me know by leaving a comment.  I love hearing from you.

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http://www.trevorlovesmommy.com/2017/03/08/how-to-make-cozy-leggings-from-old-sweater/
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There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Tina Campbell at 2:01 pm

    Thanks for this tutorial, exactly what I was looking for. I want to turf all my polyester-blend leggings and love re-purposing old clothes 🙂

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