Saturday, October 25, 2008

Swamp Yankee to the Rescue: Tights Edition

I am not anatomically suited for tights. I’m not sure if my legs are just disproportionately long compared to my torso, or if it has to do with my gigantic feet (trust me, I’m more likely to find myself shopping alongside drag queens than other short women like myself), but either way tights never fit me. Even if I buy a size larger then the package instructs the legs end up being way too short and the crotch of the tights falls…well lets just say it’s closer to my knees then I would prefer.

This was the problem with two nice pairs of super thick tights I had bought awhile ago. My intention had been to wear them under pants or skirts in the winter for warmth, which I did once or twice but I got sick of constantly doing that weird dance where you grab the waist of your tights and try and shimmy them up. They ended up getting shoved to the back of a drawer.

This year I have developed an unnatural love of leggings (perhaps it is a subconscious product of the four years of my childhood which occurred during the 80’s) so I pulled out the too-short-tights determined to convert them.

Since the feet didn’t have any defining features like socks I decided to leave them on as part of the legs. I simply snipped off the stitching at the end of each foot to open the tights up. I probably could have left them like this but they seemed like they might fray easily so I rolled over the edge a few times and stitched around it with an overcast stitch.

One thing to keep in mind here is that if you sew too tight you will eliminate the elasticity of the knit tights and you won’t be able to get the ankle hole over your feet. To avoid this I stretched the opening as I sewed. The result of this was that the edge has kind of a lettuce leaf look which is just fine by me.

Just promise me that if you try this you won’t abuse your leggings privileges. If college taught me one thing it is this: leggings are not pants and should not be worn like them! Further, wearing them with just a long shirt doesn’t count either; you still need bottoms to go over them!

I’m glad I could put that warning out there; it lets me feel a little better about encouraging something that has the potential for so much good and yet so much evil.

The finished product! (Look at the size of those feet!)


  1. I can't tell you the shock and thrill that ran through me when I saw your blog title. For years I have tried, in vain, to explain the term "Swamp Yankee" to various friends and other persons. And here you are- another Swamp Yankee. You made my night.


  2. Great idea! And thanks for the tips. I've been meaning to do this for a while for my daughter.
    And yes, leggings should not be used as a replacement for pants :). I like your style.

  3. Thanks Dana! And Barbara I'm glad to know there is at least one other Swamp Yankee out there who has a computer!

  4. Hi Becca, I've been trying to catch up on reading your blog, now that I'm feeling better. I like your leggings, and as for the size of your feet, you must know you inherited that from your Grandma Loretta! As for the length of your toes -- sounds just like mine!