Saturday, November 17, 2012

DIY legwarmers (or faux boot socks)

diy faux boot socks from an old sweater

 I have been lusting after boot socks for a while now, as is evidenced here. The problem? I am super picky when it comes to my clothes, and I literally could not find boot socks that met my extreme needs. The ones I bought and referenced in that post were a bust. They were too thin, too short, not slouchy enough, didn't fit over jeans...*sigh.* (Let me add that this was after going to six different stores looking for the perfect leopard print scarf and failing at that as well.)



So I decided enough was enough. I needed to bite the bullet and make my own, dammit! I scrounged through my pile of Goodwill donations and came up with two sweaters that could possibly work. Because one of them didn't have sleeves I ended up doing leg warmers two different ways. Which I will now show you:
  

The Sweater:


diy faux boot socks from an old sweater

The Process

1. I started by cutting up the tunic style short sleeved sweater at the seams, and cut off the collar:

diy faux boot socks from an old sweater

 For the record, my sweater had a shawl collar that was perfect for this method, but you could also cut  the ribbed collar off any old sweater and make it work, it just wouldn't be quite as wide as mine. Or as I will show you on the second sweater, you can just use strips of the body of your sweater.

2. You will need to cut a long thin strip from the collar out (this will be for your ankles) and we are going to make our legwarmers out of the center of the sweater like this:

diy faux boot socks from an old sweater

diy faux boot socks from an old sweater

All I did to figure out how wide my rectangle needed to be was literally wrap the sweater body around my leg and pin so I knew I had the right size of rectangle, then cut it out.

3. After you've done this, measure your ankles with the long strip from the collar:

diy faux boot socks from an old sweater
Cut out two strips that are long enough to fit around your ankle somewhat snugly. You want this to be snug enough to keep your legwarmers in place when you put on boots! My strips ended up being about 5 inches X 3 inches long.

4. Stretch the ankle pieces out and pin them to your long skinny leg rectangles:

diy faux boot socks from an old sweater

You will want to make sure you use lots of pins to hold it in place evenly!

5. Sew, but remember to keep the ribbed ankle piece stretched out while you sew! Like this:

diy faux boot socks from an old sweater

This will make sure it's nice and evenly spaced and you don't end up with any bunchy folded fabric around your ankle.

6. Pin up the side of your legwarmer:

diy faux boot socks from an old sweater

Sew it up and you're done!

Variation 

1. The second sweater I used has sleeves that happened to be the right width around and the right length, so I just hacked them off:

diy faux boot socks from an old sweater

At the unfinished end, I cut down along the arm seam about three inches, to make a place for me to pin in the ankle binding

 2. I also cut two rectangles from the body of the sweater like this one:

diy faux boot socks from an old sweater

If you fold these strips in half lengthwise you can pin and sew them on just like I did in steps 4 & 5 above. Then you can follow step 6 exactly the same way!

Here are my perfect new boot socks:

diy faux boot socks from an old sweater

And..

diy faux boot socks from an old sweater

I am IN LOVE with these! The tight ankle cuff keeps them in place when you put your boots on, and they are super long, so I can cuff them, make them slouchy, or pull them all the way up my thigh. And because they're made of actual sweaters, they're really warm! I can't wait to wear them.

Oh! And the piece of the second sweater that was left may look like this:

diy faux boot socks from an old sweater
  
 Don't throw it away! We will be doing something else fun with that part later.

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