T-shirt to Girl’s Leggings Tutorial.

OK, maybe the word ‘tutorial’ is stretching things. But this is so easy, you don’t really need to have a step by step manual, I promise.

Take a t-shirt – Cotton with a tad bit of Lycra or Spandex are my favorite to work with. Found in the plus sized section of the thrift store.

Choose your pattern  – a favorite pair of pants – in this case, Claire’s Carters Flared Leggings (We loved the flair!!!)

Fold the leggings in half lengthwise to outline the shape of the front leg pieces. Lay this on top of the shirt. (I folded the shirt in half lengthwise as well, separating the layers so I was only cutting through a double layer of the front of the shirt, rather than all 4 layers – do you follow?) Cut out that shape, with 1/2 inch seam allowance all the way around.

Fold the leggings the other way (backside out) to get two back pant legs. If you study most pants, you’ll notice that the crotch seam is more extended on the back pieces (left) to accommodate the fullness of that little diapered bum.

Now you’re ready to sew. First take a front and back leg piece and sew up the side seams to make the left pant leg, then do the same for the right. Turn one pant leg right side out, tuck it into the inside-out one, and pin them together along the crotch seam.

Sorry I don’t have pics for this step – I was on a roll and forgot to take pictures. But MADE has a great tutorial for boys pants you can reference – why reinvent the wheel here?

Last step is the waist band. I simply take a piece of elastic, measure and cut it to the size of the child’s waist, and join the ends. Then I zig-zag it to the top edge of the pants, stretching it to fit as I go. I flip the elastic down to the inside and do one more row of zig-zagging to finish it off.

I made these to go with a tunic dress I whipped up for Claire from a thrifted flannel night shirt. No, I am not exaggerating – I literally whipped it up in just two hours, thanks to using all existing hems and seams and even the buttonholes and pockets. For the tunic dress I copied an adorable one I got at Carter’s on sale. I rarely buy new clothes for my kids, but I could NOT resist the purple and green print – could you have? Then I saw the polka dot shirt and knew she must have TWO adorable tunic dresses for her winter wardrobe.

Then someone gave me a whole box of beautiful name-brand hand-me-downs that will all fit her this winter, and I asked myself – “Why did I bother?”

Because all my life I have dreamed of sewing clothes for my daughter. These are for her birthday at the end of the month. From her mother. With love.

4 responses to “T-shirt to Girl’s Leggings Tutorial.”

  1. Prada Shirt Avatar


    love all these ideas and the recipes sound great, too. thanks for sharing.

  2. Pam Avatar

    I hope the box of clothes keeps the pressure off a busy mom to make ALL the clothes. I'm glad you get to make her something though — it's part of the fun of being a mom, and sometimes, these early years are the only time you get to do it to your satisfaction. Enjoy.

  3. Kateri Avatar

    I would say that Claire is one lucky little girl! 🙂

  4. Daisy Avatar

    You should put a label on each piece you make for her with those words: “from your mother, with love”! My mom used to do something like that on all the clothes she made me and I still have a few pieces! The label made it even better.

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