Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tuesday's Tute: Ruffley Lace Legwarmers!

We saw these cute ruffled lace legwarmers online recently.  Actually we've seen ruffle lace skirts, rompers, leggings, and dresses, too.  Since Allison is in dance and loves frilly things, she wanted a pair of these legwarmers.  It has take quite a bit of research, trial, and error to figure out how to get ruffles and stretch at the same time without using stretch lace.  I wanted to use materials that were readily available and inexpensive.  Stretch lace isn't inexpensive or easy to find for most.
So here is what we learned.

Knit fabric for the lining  For Allison we used a 16 x 12 rectangle for each leg.
1 1/2" wide Lace- 8 yards of flat lace Where we live, gathered lace is less expensive (per flatened yard) than is flat lace.  So we bought 5 yards of ruffled lace and unruffled it.
Elastic thread
About 18" of 3/8" elastic
Sewing supplies


1. Measure this part of the foot to determine the width of fabric you need for your leg warmer.  Add 2" to this measurement.

 2. Measure the top part of a knee high.  Add 2" for fluff and the top casing. Mark the knit rectangle with top and bottom. 

 3. Load the elastic thread onto your bobbin.  To do this, hand wind the elastic thread onto your bobbin, without tugging.  Put your bobbin in the machine.  Set your machine for the longest stitch length.  Beginning at the bottom edge of the leg warmer, stitch on rows of lace.  I suggest keeping your lace in one strip and cutting it off after you sew on each row.  The elastic thread is on the bottom and will gather up the knit and lace as you sew. Make sure you are sewing on the bottom edge of the legwarmer.  I got mine quarter turned and ended up with a longer and thinner legwarmer than I intended.  They are now going to a younger girl with a smaller foot measurement. ;)

 4.  Continue stitching on rows of lace until you are 1 1/4" or so from the top.  This knit part will become the elastic casing at the top.

5. Fold the legwarmer in half long way.  Use a 2 long by 2 wide zigzag stitch to stitch up the side seam.  It's best to keep the lace rows matched up on the inside and to sew over the elastic thread ends.

Sorry I didn't get a casing picture.  I was too excited to see them finished.
6. With the legwarmer inside out, fold the top knit edge down to form a casing.  Stitch around the bottom edge of the casing, leaving a 1" open space to insert the elastic.
Cut a piece of 3/8" of elastic that is 1" smaller than the circumference of the leg.
Thread the elastic through the casing.  I put a safety pin on the treading end to help with this.
Stitch together the elastic ends, and pop the elastic into the casing.
Stitch up the casing opening.

Enjoy your Ruffley Lace Legwarmers.  This ruffle lace application can be done with any type of garment where you'd like to have rows of ruffley lace.

Happy Sewing!

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