Thursday 26 April 2007

Little Kid LegCozys (Shhhhh They're Legwarmers!)

It's spring here, but hey, it's still pretty cold in places, so here's my offering for this month's Whip-lash on Whip-up!

Being urban baby-wearing parents in a frigid winter climate, we were often just going out for a quick walk to the corner store or braving the 2 minute walk to the mall from our condo just for a change of scenery and some sanity. If you've ever noticed, when a little one is in a sling or baby-carrier, very often their pants ride up and their poor little ankles are exposed, which is a problem not only in winter but in spring and fall with unpredictable weather and wind and such.

What to do? Donning the full gear was a hassle because when we got to our destination there were often no lockers and we'd have to lug everything around. Leggings underneath her pants were out as well, because then she'd boil in the mall (why do malls do that?).

Out of frustration one day I whipped these up. Yes, they're "just" legwarmers, but I still think they're brilliant because the felted wool kept her really cozy, you could keep her in the sling and just pull the legwarmers off when you got to where you were going (I wore her under my coat most of the winter, but that doesn't really help ankles), they were a cinch (ha ha) to put back on again, and the drawstrings kept them up when you needed to pull the bottom end down over her shoes to keep her warm. All good!

And since I made them to go all the way up to her little chubby baby thighs, they're still long enough to fit her now, at 2-and-a-half years old. There have been so many compliments, that I thought I'd share. They're fast to make (even if you include the felting), useful, and cute to boot!

Step One: Obtain felted sweater (a big baggy sweater with cuffs like this one makes great legwarmers for babes) and lop off the arms:

Step Two: Using a straight stitch and a fairly loose tension (and a knits needle!), hem all the way around, leaving enough of a "pocket" that you'll be able to put elastic cord through it when you're done. You don't have to worry about finishing the edge because it's felt (yay!).

Step Three: Snip a very small hole through the outer layer of the"pocket" and finish off with a blanket stitch or some such. On the original pair I didn't finish the hole and all the tugging and wear stretched it out a bit, so this prevents that a bit.

Step Four: Thread elasticised cord through (I just use a large safety pin to pull it through) and put on toggle. Leave ends plain with a knot if you're in a hurry (they'll fray) or finish off with pom-poms or ribbon tags - get creative!

The Finished Project:

And as a tribute, a picture of the originals, still going strong:

Obviously there are many ways to make these, and for older kids I skip the cord all together:

depending on how thick the wool felts. If you try these, hope you have fun :-)

and if there are any questions, please don't hesitate to email me! Thanks!



Valerie said...

Too cute! Reminds me of an old friend I used to go to hockey games with - one day she showed up with a turtleneck turned upside- down and on her legs! she had forgotten her longjohns at her parent's place...

Anonymous said...

brilliant! great tutorial - and sweet ribbons, too. tee hee!