It's that time of year; I'm pulling out leggings and wool tights to wear under skirts and add a little insulation to my wardrobe. I love the look of intarsia sweater leggings, but geez, the things are so expensive.
What's a girl to do?
Well, last year (yeah, last year! I am so behind on getting things done!) I bought a pair of gorgeous intarsia sweater tights by Eloise from anthropologie's clearance section ... for $5 (down from $38). score! But here's the thing: I bought these tights even though Eloise is too small for me (btw, from what I read, Hansel from Basel tights are too short for anyone over 5'2" or 5'4"). I figured that with a little elbow grease, I could turn them into leggings.
Here's how I did it:
first, take your seam ripper and carefully cut apart the stitches that hold the toe together. You don't want to pull or yank too much, so that you don't start the tights unravelling. These eloise tights are essentially long tubes - there is no figured heel or toe cap. I think if you have a pair of tights with a figured heel, you may want to just cut the tight open above the heel and continue.
next, fold the tights over and pin. Then fold again and pin. You want to trap the loose edges inside this roll. Use pins to keep it together, and remove while you sew.
You can hand-sew a stretchy stitch if you use a catch stitch. Catch-stitch around the opening, stretching the fabric slightly as you sew. I made one line of back stitches (half of the catch stitch) down the middle of my double-folded hem, and one at the top edge.
voila! done! Cute geometric-pattern wool sweater leggings for $5 and about 1 hour of time.
hm. Lots of bright pink lately ...