A pair of ladies' knee-high socks, pre-washed. Check the dollar store, or catch them on sale for around $1-1.50 each.
Optional: ribbing material
pull the fabric layers out as you sew! You need more
stitching than fabric so the thread won't
break when the warmer is stretched out.
Select a small stitch size on your machine! If you're using a serger, bump up your differential feed to 1.75 (2 is my highest setting), which will allow you to not have to stretch the fabric out the whole time you're sewing.
Cut the toe and heel off, leaving you with the leg portion and the foot portion of the sock.
OPTION A: To
use ribbing as your cuff: Cut two pieces of ribbing to
2" x 6" rectangles, fold in half, and sew or serge the
2" sides together. Skip the Option B step.
OPTION B: To
use the foot portion of the sock as your cuff:
foot portion inside-out, and serge or sew a seam 1 inch
from the natural fold. Trim off excess fabric. This
basically just makes the tube a little skinnier. Now
turn it right-side-out again.
Fold the ribbing
(option A) or foot tube (option B) so that all four raw
edges are together, and the right sides of the fabric
are facing out. This will be your cuff. (The first photo
shows the foot tube before folding, on top, and the foot
tube after folding, on bottom. The second photo shows
what the tube/cuff looks like from both the folded side
and the raw edge side. The third photo shows what the
cuff looks like made of ribbing)
Place your cuff around
the leg portion of your sock, so you now have all three
raw edges together. The cuff should be on the outside
and the leg portion should be on the inside.
You can pin the three
layers together if you like, but I find that to be a
pain and leave it unpinned.
Serge or sew all three layers together around the circumference of the sock, pulling the fabric taut as you sew.
This is what it'll look
like after sewing or serging...
Now turn it right-side-out, and there are your baby legs! The first was done using the foot portion of the sock as its cuff, and the second was done using ribbing as its cuff...
Don't worry if the edge
is a little gathery... it'll be pulled smoother when
it's worn, as you can see below, plus that can be the
top edge that doesn't show, if you'd rather.
Variation: If you're wanting to make some arm warmers
for an infant to wear under a short-sleeved onsie in the
winter months, then use an appropriately sized
long-sleeve onsie as a guide for the length of your
"baby arms", rather than using the full length of a
knee-high sock. For the smallest sizes, you may also
need to "take in" both tube portions, making them a tad
skinnier for those little bitty arms. The standard "baby
legs," as described in this tutorial work for both baby
legs and toddler arms or legs. Here's my 2 1/2 year old
modeling them as arm warmers...
IF you used ribbing at the top, and still have the foot portion of the sock in tact, don't throw it away... make some hacky sacks!
Last, if you decided to
do this project yourself, please send me a photo of it
with your name and what state you're from! I've recently
decided to start featuring my readers' finished results.