Sunday, June 3, 2012

T-shirt Transformation: Making ruffled leggings from a T-shirt Tutorial

These ruffled leggings are from an up-cyclyed t-shirt.  Learn how I did it here and be inspired to try some of your own.  You'll need a t-shirt and a sewing machine.
I went hunting in the local thrift shop and found these knit tops for $3 each.  I was looking for stripes and a 95% cotton /5% spandex mix.  The larger the t-shirt the more fabric, but I was specifically looking for fabric designs that would match some of Brooke's current closet.

I used a pair of leggings that we currently own as a pattern.

You can alter the size by fold up the leggings and a bottom ruffle will add length.   Fold the t-shirt down the center and use the bottom, finished edge of the t-shirt as waist of the leggings.

Use the rest of the t-shirt to cut strips for the ruffles.  It is up to you how perfect you want your leggings, but I  know that a 2 year little girl with 2 big brothers will be wearing them, so perfection doesn't last long around here.  I didn't remove the pockets or worry much about the inseams of the T.

Here are the cut pieces from the t-shirt, the legs, and strips for ruffles.  The strips will be long loops, just cut on one end and gather.

Take the strips of fabric to the sewing machine and gather the top of each strip.  These leggings will have two ruffles on each leg, so I gathered 4 strips of t-shirt fabric.  I am blessed enough to have just upgraded my sewing machine; when I raise the thread tension and stitch length, the knit strips easily gather.  Some people may have a gathering foot, or conventionally gathering the fabric works too.

Place the right sides together of the leggings leg and ruffle and I added a plain strip to have 2 ruffles.  

This is what they end up looking like all ruffled up!

Next, sew the leggings together, and then sew the leggings, all right sides together.

Last step is to fold over the finished edge of the t-shirt and sew leaving a small opening.  Insert the elastic into the opening and weave it through the waist channel.  Stitch the ends of elastic, and wallah!  Finished leggings!

Comfortable and cute, feminine and frilly, leggings for your little lady that cost $3.00,  and an hour of time.  I hope you are inspired to try something new!


  1. You amaze me! I love what you do for our children and how you use your talents for others. Keep up the great work!

  2. What a great idea! Thank you so much for sharing your creative ideas with us! Can't wait to see what else you come up with! You do inspire me!

  3. Yea Dawn!! So glad you are finally blogging - it's about time to showcase your creations!! Super cute leggings!

  4. This just great a recycling tip and great looking leggings sewed with a mothers love.Keep the awesome tips coming.


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