Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tutorial: Upcycle Wool Sweater to a Pair of Baby/Toddler Longies or Pants

If you cloth diaper I'm sure that you have heard about wool. Wool is the most awesome cloth diapering item you can own. I admit, it took me a long time to even try wool, but now I'm hooked! Wool is a natural, breathable nonbacterial material that is perfect for night time diapering. Both of my boys are super soakers at night and PUL pocket diapers do not work. Believe me, I've tried doublers.........even tripple stuffing! Does. Not. Work. I finally tried wool and it works! Fitteds and a wool cover is my bullet proof night time diapering system now and very happy with it. Everyone needs to at least try wool, you will be surprised, I promise!


It is very easy to sew up a pair of longies or shorties out of an old wool sweater. If you don't have any on hand (like me) you can usually pick some up for fairly cheap at a thrift store or garage sales. I happened to find a couple early this spring and since they were black and a gorgeous deep orange I knew they would be perfect to use this fall for my new baby!

First you will need to felt your sweaters. Throw them into a pillow case and tie a knot at the end. Wash them on hot with half the amount of detergent. Then throw the whole bag in the dyer. After drying, repeat the whole process! My black sweater shrank up a bunch so it only made a newborn sized pair of longies. My orange 100% Fine Merino in women's size medium felted just fine and still was soft and stretchy. I used this sweater to make a pair of longies which I would consider to be a size 6 to 9 months.

After felting cut the arms off the sweater.

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You will need for the project:
  • sleeves from wool sweater (already felted)
  • elastic
  • safety pin
  • pair of pants in the size you want to make the longies into
  • applique for the longies (I used my GO! Baby to cut mine out)
Measure the inseam of the pants.

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Place a pin on both wool sleeves to your desired inseam to mark where you will need to cut down to.
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Trim off the curve of the sleeves.

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Cut down the seam to where your pin is marked.

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Turn sleeves wrong side out.
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Pin together the ends.

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Sew together using an overlock or zig zag stitch.
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 Fold down approximately 1.5 inches over waist elastic, tucking in raw edges. Pin around waist before sewing. Sew around the waist, leaving an inch opening to fix the elastic before sewing up.(FYI Since the pants are for a baby and aren't very wide I opt for just laying in the elastic, folding over the waist and tucking the raw edge under to sew instead of making a casing and threading it through.)

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After sewing the casing, shorten the elastic to the desired fit. Cut off extra elastic and sew ends together.

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Iron on your applique, then use a tight zig zag stitch around the edges and you are done! The GO! Baby made the perfect fall applique for my longies. The Fall Medley template also has another leaf design as well as a pumpkin. I would love to use the pumpkin on another pair of fall longies! You can read my full GO! Baby review here.

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I made this pair of longies a bit longer in the legs and just rolled up the cuffs so they would fit Cole for a while.



And here's an 'action' shot! He's not standing up on his own yet so there isn't much 'action' in this photo ;-)
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7 comments:

Sarah J. said...

I was totally intimidated by wool! I still have lanolizing issues, but I think it is because I have been using liquid lanolin. Mayer has been leaking through fleece, so it's definitely time to get out the woolies! The embellishment is super cute!

Sue D said...

Fantastic! I have been collecting wool sweaters to felt from garage sales and was thinking of making felt flowers--I never would have thought of making longies.

Carrie Phelps said...

I just made my new granddaughter a pair of lambs wool longies the other day using an old sweater & I had a really hard time with the crotch area. Because she's cloth diapered I thought I needed to "add" to that area and it came out terrible! I wish one more day & had had this tutorial (I got the email the morning after). Thanks, I'll now give it another shot!
carriedust@yahoo.com

Nancy said...

What a clever idea!

nrbird @ gmail.com

HappilyDomestic said...

I love wool longies! Yours turned out super cute.

Maxine said...

I love the acorn applique that you added to these pants. So cute. What a great way to get more use out of clothes.
Big_dog_max@yahoo.com

Marisa said...

Wow, this looks so easy! Can you use any sweater? I'm guessing it needs to be 100% wool?

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