In honor of Fitteds and Wool Month at the GGB, I wanted to share an easy project with you that packs a super wollop of greeny goodness. Not only are you taking a used item and giving it new life, its new life is as a cloth diaper – keeping your kiddo out of disposables! (And kiddo’s pee off of your couch! Win, win!) Doesn’t hurt that it’s monumentally cheap, ridiculously easy, and makes you feel like you did a great big thing even though it only took you about 30 minutes.
Make Your Own Recycled Sweater Longies!
1- 100% wool sweater - the bigger the better, so look at your favorite thrift shop in the big and tall men’s section. Bonus points if Bill Cosby would have worn it, though I’m fairly certain his were mostly acrylic.
Polyester thread – this is important! Cotton thread will wick, and that means pee on your couch. Even if it’s just a little pinpricky line, it’s still pee.
1/2″ or 3/8″ Polybraid elastic (optional), as many inches as your kid is around – If you’d like an elastic waist, you’ll need elastic. Make sure you look for the polybraid – it’s available everywhere, very cheap, and it is the industry standard for diaper elastic. It stays stretchy when other elastic poops out.
(all pictures are clickable for a better look!)
1. Take your sweater and wash it in hot water with your next load of towels or something. Pop it in the dryer on high as well. Depending on the size of your sweater and the size of the kid you’re making longies for, you can either felt a lot lot lot or just a little. The more times you run it through the wash/dry, the more it will felt and shrink. We have an XL women’s sweater, and since I’m making mine for a newborn/small, I felted the bejeebers out of it, which shrunk it a lot lot lot. Felting also makes the fibers cling to each other so that when you cut it, it won’t unravel and make you cry.
2. Find a pair of knit pants that fit your kid with a little room to grow. My kid is still in progress, so I went to her clothes and hoped that these pants will fit her.
3. Cut off the sleeves. If you’re making longies for a big kid or using a smaller sweater and crossing your fingers, you can follow the sleeve line, which will give you a diagonal cut. My kid is small, so I just cut straight across. You can use your pants as a guide (see next step picture) to determine if you’ll need the extra fabric up there.
4. Fold the pants in half and lay them on top of the sleeve. If you know the pants fit your kid well, you can line up the bottom of the pants with the cuff of the sleeve (or scoot up like I did to give growing room).
5. Giving yourself a bit of seam allowance (room to sew!), cut along the backside curve. You will be folding these over at the top waistband to make a casing for either a tie or elastic, so leave plenty of room when you cut at the top for that casing. Do not cut the bottom cuffs or sides of the legs. That sewing is already done for you, so thank the sweater manufacturer and avoid extra work.
6. Take your two cut sleeves and turn one inside out. Stuff the right-side-out on inside the inside-out one and line up your cut edges. They should be right sides together. I usually pin my centers and edges only, but you’re welcome to pin around the whole thing if that is more comfortable to you. You’re going to sew from the top of the curve all around your cut edge to the top again. From the yellow to the pink pin in the picture. Do not sew across the top (waistband) or there will be no spot for your kid to get into them.
I usually do a straight stitch around and then follow up just to the right of it with a zig-zag stitch for added stability.
7. When you take it out of the machine and unstuff the leg, you have longies! Almost! Stop here to marvel at how it took you only about 2 minutes flat to get things that actually look like pants. Also, feel superior to me, because I’m sure you matched your stripes better or cut with more precision when cutting off the sleeves.
8. Turn them inside out again, and fold over a casing wide enough for your elastic or the tie of your choice. I liked the way the skinny ribbing at the bottom of the sweater felted up, so I just snipped it off to make a tie. Here’s where we separate if you’re doing a tie or elastic. (Pictures show a tie.)
For a tie: Sew your casing all the way around.
For elastic: Sew your casing all the way around EXCEPT for about an inch – leave that inch unsewn.
9. Now you will either insert your tie or insert your elastic.
For a tie: Snip two small slits on either side of the center front seam in the casing. You’ve felted your sweater, so you should be experiencing no unraveling.
For elastic: You don’t have to snip anything since you left an opening in the bottom of your casing!
For a tie: Put a safety pin on one end of your tie and run it through one slit until it comes out the other side. Pull the sides even and tie, trimming any excess tie length.
For elastic: Take the length of elastic that fits your kiddo comfortably (usually their waist size – you don’t want it tight, you just want it to stay on!) and put a safety pin on one end. Run it through the casing starting at the opening you left and coming out the other side. Once you’re through, put the elastic ends together and sew it closed into a complete circle. Back and forth stitching a few times here should do it. Tuck the elastic up into your casing and stitch the opening closed.
10. Admire your handiwork and take a picture of it. Probably post it to Facebook and reluctantly share that it only took you about 20-30 minutes, even with your children and pets underfoot. Receive at least 12 comments from friends requesting that you make their kid some. Send them here and tell them to make their own
Now that you have longies, Win BAMBOOZLES to put under them!!
Luscious, absorbent, fabulous Bamboozle Bamboo fitteds are AMAZING to pair with wool for every day or overnight. You will not believe the soft squishiness of these diapers! Two sizes go from birth to potty training with ease! We’re giving away TWO to one commenter randomly selected by Random.org!
Comment here to win! Have you ever made your own woolies? Are you excited to try?
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