I LOVE me some warm legs. It's the one appendage, if you will, that kind of gets cheated each winter. And why should it? Those poor legs endure so much. But don't fear my friends, it's all gonna change.
These leg warmers and heat packs will keep your legs so snuggly and warm. What's better is you'll get to thrift shop and sew (two other needs I love to fulfill :). I hope you try it out and help stop cold legs forever. After all, cold legs are just not thatcool.
Step 1: Measure Your Legs
Measure the length around your calf (width). Measure from your knee to just past your ankle (length). These will be your leg warmer measurements.
Step 2: Cut 2 Leg Warmer and 4 Pocket Pieces
The Leg Warmers (2)
Lay your sweater on your cutting board and cut two leg warmer pieces using the measurements you just made. If you use the sides or the fold of your sweater when cutting your leg warmers out, you only need to sew one side, or one seam.
Cut out four pocket pieces at least 3" shorter than the length of your leg warmer, and 2" smaller in width. Make sure it is at least 1/2" bigger around than that of your rice or heat pack dimensions, to allow for a seam allowance and some wiggle room to fit your pack in. (Directions to make a rice pack will follow).
Set aside two pocket pieces for each leg warmer (4 total). I arranged the pockets so I could have one pocket on the front, and one on the back of my leg- for total maximum leg warmth.
Step 3: Attach the 2 Pockets to Each Leg Warmer
After laying your pockets down, pin them in place and sew down the side, bottom, and other side of each pocket, leaving the top open. Do this to both leg warmers; you'll have two pockets per leg, so four pockets total. It's getting warmer already.
Step 4: Add a Tag (optional)
If you've never made tags before, you can make a tag by finding an image on your computer, reversing the image, then printing it on to "iron on transfer paper." You can then iron it on to your tag.
To attach your tag, measure 3" from the bottom of your leg warmer and put the tag above it. Lay your tag with the print side facing down, and pin in place. By sewing the tag on like this, it will stick out of your leg warmer (fashionably so, I have to say).
Step 5: Sewing Your Leg Warmer Seam(s)
Next, we'll sew the side seam for each leg warmer. To do this, fold the leg warmer so the right sides (or the side that faces the freezing, cold world) sandwich or face together. It should look inside out. Then, sew one seam down the side (if the fold was used when cutting), or one seam on each side.
Step 6: Finishing the Ends
You'll finish the top and bottom of your leg warmer by cutting the collar or bottom of your sweater into pieces, then attaching it to your leg warmer.
Cutting your End Piece
Cut two pieces of sweater to finish the top and bottom of each leg warmer. Cut each piece to measure the ends of your leg warmer, minus 1 inch. The collar or bottom of your sweater is great for this because it has the manufactured finished edge. Having your end pieces an inch less will taper it slightly and keep your leg warmer on your leg better.
The width of the end piece can be as wide as you would like; just adjust the height of your leg warmer to be shorter if you want a chunky top. I kept mine skinny.
Attaching Your End Piece
Create a circle with each end piece by folding it in half and sewing the end together (right sides of the fabric facing each other). Next, attach a circle end piece to the top and bottom of your leg warmer. To attach your end piece, face the right side of the end piece to the right side of the leg warmer, raw edges facing up or pointing out to the right, and then sew.
Step 7: Finishing Notes
You're finished! Excellent work! People are gonna think you're so cool- er, I mean warm. Hmmmm.
You can buy heat packs (or hand warmers), or make your own rice pack (and heat them up in the microwave) to put in your hidden pocket. There are heat packs you can purchase that can last up to 7 hours. Also, try to think outside the box with your hidden pockets.. put a heat pack, your cell phone or car keys in this pocket instead.
The next step are instructions for rice pack tips and helps. Warm wishes to you all!
Step 8: Rice Pack Option
If you don't have a heat pack handy, and aren't sure how to sew up a rice pack, the "Bee in My Bonnet" blog has a quick tutorial on how to create one.