Baby legs are essentially leg warmers for babies and toddlers. Paired with a onesie or a t shirt or dress, or even just a cute cloth diaper, they make diaper changes easy because you don’t have to unsnap or pull pants or shorts down, or unbotton a little romper outfit. Baby stays warm, and it’s faster! It also makes potty learning or elimination communication much easier, because you can get the baby on the potty faster than if you have to mess with, say, overalls. Plus, baby legs come in all sorts of colors and patterns and are basically really cute.
And pretty expensive, honestly. Most are $12/pair, and then you usually have to pay shipping unless you happen to find them at a physical store. I decided that I already love baby legs, and want quite a few pairs, but I don’t want to pay for how many I want!
Solution: ladies’ knee highs! Target had a sale a few months ago on ladies’ knee highs; almost all the patterns were only $1/pair. Once I finally perfected how I wanted to make the baby legs, each pair only took me about 10 minutes, and probably 1 penny’s worth of thread. Kind of hard to beat that.
I am indebted to the tutorial I found at one point, like, a year ago, that talked about sewing the little cuff smaller than the rest of the leg, but I cannot, for love nor money, find/access that now. So, I decided to put my own rendition up, and hope that it helps others make their own baby legs.
Baby Legs Tutorial
It is really important that you select a small stitch size. I used “1” on my machine. Also, when you sew the cuff and main portion of the sock together, you must pull the fabric layers tight as you sew them (picture and more instructions below). This is crucial because you need to have more stitching than fabric so that the stitching doesn’t break when you stretch the baby leg to put it on your little one. Also, I used a stretch needle, but I don’t think it is necessary, it just made it a bit easier for me. I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance when I sewed the layers together. I also washed and dried the socks before I started cutting and sewing, just to be sure about shrinkage and bleeding.
1. Assemble your ladies’ knee high socks.
2. Cut the toe and the heel off, so that you have 2 sections of sock left; a main sock portion and a smaller portion.
3. Turn the smaller portion inside out. Sew a seam 1 inch from the natural fold. Trim the inch of leftover fabric. Essentially, you’ve made a skinnier smaller portion. In this picture, the top of bottom are still open from when I cut the small portion away from the rest of the sock; the fold of the sock is at the right and left.
4. Fold the skinny small portion so that all 4 rough edges are together, like this. This is now your cuff.
5. Tuck the rough edge of the main sock portion through the tube of the cuff. Scootch things around so that the 6 layers of rough edges are all lined up.
6. Pin a few times around the circumference of the cuff + sock so that the pins go through the cuff and 1 layer of the main sock portion: bascially, pin through the three layers, but make sure that you ONLY pin through three layers (two layers of cuff + one layer of main sock) since you want to be able to get your baby’s feet through the end. I know I just said that twice but I hope it’s clear. If you have a patterned sock, you might want to try to line up the cuff with the main part of the sock so that the pattern continues. Frankly, I found that to be a lot of bother, and didn’t worry too much about it.
7. Sew the three layers together all around the circumference of the sock. REMEMBER TO PULL THE FABRIC TIGHT AS YOU SEW IT. It is tricky to sew 3 layers while you pull the fabric tight, in a circle, but you’ll get the hang of it pretty quick.
Ta da! A pair of cute, inexpensive baby legs.