Jewish Journal

Clothing redux: Leggings into a cardigan

by Julie Bien

October 28, 2013 | 12:14 pm

I'll be the first to admit it--I have a leggings problem. I have soooo many pairs it's ridiculous. Hate all you want, but those things are comfortable and perfect with a long tunic. But sometimes you need something else in your wardrobe, like a cardigan. So what can a girl do when presented with such a conundrum? Easy! You sacrifice a pair of leggings (this also works with dance tights, like Capezios.) Without further adieu, leggings-become-cardigan-101:

PS. I wore this cardigan out to a full day of running around and then a late night concert. It remained looking snazzy throughout the entire ordeal.

What you need

-1 pair old leggings (with the legs still intact)

-two  8"-12"pieces  of cloth ribbon or long, thin strips of fabric

-matching thread

-sharp scissors


- 2 straight pins (or safety pins)

Step 1: Place your leggings on a flat surface with the waistband at the top. (Don't lay them on a couch like I did, unless you're very certain you won't accidentally cut, pin or sew the project to your couch).

Step 2: Cut the inner/center seam from the inside of the left thigh to the inside of the right thigh.

Step 3: Try it on as if it were a cropped t-shirt, with the legs now acting as the arms. Finish cutting the seam (where your head goes) until you like where it lays.

Step 4: Take the shirt off, and lay it back down, waistband at the top, with the side you want as the front facing you. Cut the center seam from the head-opening through the waistband. When you try it on, it should look like a cardigan (with the elastic waistband at your ribs).

Step 5: Take your two pieces of ribbon (or strips of fabric) and pin one end of each to the bottom edge of the elastic waistband, where the cardigan opens.

Step 6: Sew the strips on

Step 7: Try it on, and tie the ribbons until it fits just right. Voila! Your old leggings have gained a new life as a cardigan in under 30 minutes!

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Hi. I’m Julie Bien.

I’m a writing, blogging, coffee-drinking machine.

I also have a thing for sustainability, organic gardening, cooking, and easy crafting. I’m like Martha...

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