Hi, today I want to show how easy and fun it is to upcycle clothes. This tutorial is designed for a size 2, but you can apply the technique for larger sizes. We are going to refashion an old pair of leggings into new harem pants. For this project, you will need to download the Free Harem Pattern to create the main piece of the pants and old leggings. We'll use them to make the sides.
- Old/thrifted kids leggings - Old/pre-loved XL or larger adult stretch knit polo. - Serger or a regular sewing machine with a stretch/jersey needle - Scissors - Pins - Free PDF Pattern DOWNLOAD HERE!
1. Print and tape the pattern. Cut out the size that you need. PRINTING INSTRUCTIONS
2. Unsew the waistband of the leggings and take out the elastic. Keep it for another upcycling project!
3. Cut the bottom of the leggings (2" down) and don't throw them! We will use them later to create new cuffs.
4. Fold leggings in half and make sure that the crotch seam is completely flat. Place the front pattern on top of your leggings. If the waist of the pattern doesn't match the waist of your old leggings, you can adjust it raising or decreasing the waist of the pattern.
We are going to remove the crotch of the leggings, so the bottom of the crotch seam must be flush with the bottom of the leggings. Trace and cut down the length as shown below.
5. Cut off all the seams of the polo shirt. Fold the front and back in half and lay the patterns out flat. You can secure them with pins or pattern weights. Cut out the pattern pieces. 1/4." seam allowances are included in the pattern.
6. With the pieces inside out, sew them together. Make sure you sew the front piece of the pattern to the front piece of the leggings and the back piece of the pattern to the back piece of the leggings.Finally, sew the crotch seam.
If your knit polo has a waistband, you can recycle it. If not, use the knit fabric from the polo. Remember that the stretch of the fabric runs parallel to the floor.
Cut out the waistband following the same technique as we did before:
- Fold in half the knit fabric
- Lay out the pattern
- Cut it out.
Fold the waistband in half (right sides of the fabric facing). Sew the raw edges together to create a loop. Once the loop is sewn, fold it in half again (right sides facing out).
With the pants still inside out, turn the waistband upside down (raw edges at the top) and align with the top of the pants. Pin together the center front, center back and sides of the top of the pants with the waistband. Since the waistband is smaller than the fabric, stretch the waistband as you go to fit it in between the pinned points.
Grab the bottom of the leggings that we cut before and insert them inside the ankle of the pants, matching up the raw edges and sew, lightly stretch the cuffs to fit the pants ankle.
Turn the pants inside out and you're done!! Now your kiddo has new harem pants!! :)
- Men's sweatshirts (XL) (I used two to combine different colors) - Sewing machine or serger
Bodice and Sleeves:
Cut off all the seams of the sweatshirt, fold front and back pieces in half and lay them out flat. Pin the pattern to the fabric or use some pattern weights. Before cutting remember to ADD SEAM ALLOWANCES ( mine are 1/4").
Place front and back right sides together, pin and sew the shoulder seams.
Grab the sleeves from the old sweatshirt, lay out the sleeve pattern and cut out the new sleeves. To cut one of the sleeves, remember to place the pattern facing down.
With right sides together, line up the center of the sleeve with the shoulder seam and pin. Then pin the edges and keep pining toward the center. Do the same for the other sleeve.
With front and back sides together, sew the underarm and the side seams.
One of my old sweatshirts had a turtle neck, so I decided to recycled it for this tutorial. Making a turtleneck it's really easy. First, you need to measure the neckline curve of your design. Add seam allowance to that measurement (mine was 1/2").
Then, draw a rectangle, the length will be the measurement of your sweatshirt's neckline and your height will be the double of your desired height for the turtleneck.
Once you have drafted this rectangle, fold it in half, right sides together, matching up the raw edges. Pin and sew. The seam allowance for this seam will be 1/4". We added 1/2" to the neckline length before, and now, we need to divide it by 2 to maintain the same measurement as the neckline length.
Fold the turtle neck in half wrong side together and turn it upside down. Slip it over the bottom of your neck, lining up the raw edges. Pin and sew.
Waistband and cuffs
If your old sweatshirt has waistband and cuffs, cut them off and use them. If not, fold a piece of fabric of your old sweatshirt and draft three rectangles using the stretchiest direction of the fabric. Choose your desired length and height to do the waistband and cuffs.
Once you have cut the pieces follow the same steps than before.
Now you have a new sweatshirt and new pattern from an old garment!! You can make different variations of this design!
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