Adventures in Mending- Leggings Edition

Our girls wear a lot of leggings. And, the way the three of them play…there are a lot of knee holes in those thin, stretchy pants. Once the holes get to a certain point, I usually cut them off into shorts and we get another season or two of wear out of the deal.

I’ve never tried mending the holes in their leggings because I thought it would be a huge pain. I mean, putting a walking foot on my machine and changing out to a ballpoint needle? Eh, I’ll stick with denim. Plus it’s so easy to lop them down to shorts!

Today, however, my sweet preschooler came downstairs in her favorite leggings – so favorite she even wore them for our family Christmas picture – and asked if we could fix the holes. “No shorts, Momma.”

She refused my attempts at persuading her to turn them into shorts and use the resulting scraps for a scrunchie. After all, my wise four year old pointed out, it’s going to be too cold for shorts soon.

So we hit the knit scrap bin and went to work. Turns out she’s pretty good at clipping and managing the start/stop button while I bounce baby on my lap.

I approached this pair like I did my son’s sweat pants last winter. We cut out the entire middle section that had the hole in it. After cutting it open to lay flat, we laid the hole filled section on our t-shirt scrap and eyeballed it to add seam allowances. *I actually added another inch to the height since the original leggings were on the shorter side.*

After adding the “inseam” to our scrap piece by sewing the short edges right sides together, It was time to sew the leggings back into one piece. I slid the scrap piece over the upper thigh section and sewed those two right sides together, lining up the inseams. Then did the same for the bottom shin section.

Miss Preschooler tried them on halfway through to make sure we were on the right track. Success!

She was so pleased with the end result that she ran to grab another pair of knee hole leggings. Back to the scrap bin we went.

Bolstered by the success from our first foray into leggings mending, I decided to try a different approach for this next one.

We took the seam ripper and *gently* tore open the knee section of the leg with the offending hole. After placing our chosen patch over the hole (right side of the patch to the wrong side of the legging), I zig-zag stitched down the three sides that were not on the inseam. Luckily we had perfectly matching thread! I made a little pleat on the long side of the patch so there would be a little extra “give” on the knee. Finally we sewed up the inseam, catching the unsewn side of the patch.

We turned the leggings right side out again to examine our ten minutes of improv sewing and did a happy dance! It worked!

Not sure how long these patches will last, but less than an hour or get another month or two out of my kids’ clothes?

Worth it.

Plus, it would have been even less time without juggling two kiddos on my lap for most of the process!

Maybe I shouldn’t have waited so long to attempt mending leggings after all.

Though, at the rate these girls blow through their knees, I’m sure this won’t be my last patching adventure.

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