The Leg Warmer Tutorial

* I just started a flickr group for any projects made using my tutorials.  Please feel free to stop by and post your finished or WIP! :)

Ok so I took some really crappy photos of me making a pair of leg warmers. Hope you can follow and if not I can tape it in video. I took a bunch of different instructions found online (very similar ideas) and made a few changes here and there to make them my own. I don’t take credit for thinking this idea up, just doing what works for me :) These would also work with sweaters really well. Anything that is a tube and has a cuff is easy to work with. I don’t mind if you sell leg warmers from these instructions, just don’t sell the instructions because, well, there are many free instructions that are all really similar in idea so let’s all share  the love! :). You can also teach your friends and family! Ok here goes :)

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Supplies:
-Socks (knee high are the best). I got all of mine from evil Walmart in the girls section for a whopping $1 for 2 pair!! They had 3 sizes and I found that the 10 1/2-4 size works for babies, the 4-10 for toddlers to adults, and the little ones I can’t remember the size were good for newborns (they are really small and precious when completed). You could also use women’s socks but remember that they will fit a bigger person and probably be really baggy on a baby, just try things out and see what you like best :)

-Good cloth cutting scissors. I have my trusty Ginghers here and I love them (they are quite expensive $20-$50) so any scissors that will cut through multiple layers of fabric will do great.

-Straight pins (I like the longer ones better)

-Optional cutting mat and rotary cutter for the first initial cut if you desire. You can also use scissors but a mat and ruler give you a straighter cut ( I really suck at cutting straight lines so I chose to do it this way)

-Sewing machine or hands duh! ;)

-Thread (it’s nice to have coordinating thread but if not that is cool too).

-Candy or some other treat, come on you are making the 80′s come back in some small way and that deserves some celebrating! :)

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-Lay both socks together and as even as you can get down on your mat, or table if you are cutting by hand.

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-Going down as far as you can before the heels cut straight across. You are cutting of the entire foot portion of the sock.

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-Cut off the toes and heels of both socks at once to make 2 tubes. They will become your cuffs. I like to go directly around the toes and heels and then straighten my cut, this way I can salvage as much as possible.

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-Now even up the tubes still working with both socks together. By cutting both at the same time you are ensuring that both warmers will be identical in size.

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-Straightened cuffs.

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-Now using your scissors or cutter trim up the upper portion of the sock to be as straight and even as you can.

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-Here are the trimmed and ready to pin tube and body.

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-Now you will take one tube and fold it in half so that the right side is outside. If there is a pattern you want to show on the finished product make sure it is front and center when folded. Do this to both tubes.

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-Both tubes are folded into cuffs.

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-With the finished edge of the cuff facing away from your arm pull the main body of sock inside the cuff so that the raw edges come together. So both finished edges will be going upwards and the raw edges at the bottom. *I find it easiest to only pull one side in at a time. I also find the natural fold in the sock and match it up with the fold in the cuff.

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-I begin to pin the cuff to the sock. You can see the natural fold in the photo and that is what I use to pin. I use 4 pins for each warmer. Two pins where the natural fold is and two others in between. This way you know that the space is evenly distributed around the circle. I pin one side at a time and then stretch in between the two pins and pin again.

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-Both cuffs are pinned and ready to sew!

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-Using the middle needle position (1) and my regular old joe presser foot (J for a Brother machine) I lay the warmer down with the cuff portion facing up.
-*You will want a needle that is good for knits to sew these. You can get them at Walmart or any other store that sells sewing supplies. If you don’t have anything and can’t get to the store try a regular old needle and it will probably work :)
-I use a stitch length of 3.5 on the straight stitch. It helps to feed the fabric along easier than a shorter stitch length.
-Sew using the outer edge of the presser foot as your guide and stretch the fabric as you go around. This makes sure that you will get a more even stitch and also that you will get a nice pucker around the seam when finished. Stretch it real good! :)
-*You can take the pins out as you sew or leave them in and sew over them, I do the latter and remove them after I am done going all the way around.

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-Both seams are done. I like to go right below the seam line and zig zag using a 2.5 stitch length and 3.5 stitch width.

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-Congrats! You are finished! Just fold down the cuff to hide the stitching! Hooray you rock! :)

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-Awwwww :)

Have fun!! I want to see pictures of these made!! :)

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1 Response to “The Leg Warmer Tutorial”


  1. 1 imogen November 24, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    i’ve been meaning to make some legwarmers for my toddler for ages, first i tryed knitting some but he was too interested in the knitting & it got messed up. Now i’ve been meaning to cut up some socks for a while but i hadn’t thought of doing cuffs, they look lovely like that. thanks for the idea.


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