Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Cashmere Long Underwear
Have I mentioned our house is cold? Well, it is. I drip the faucet every night to make sure our pipes don't freeze up so I can still cook and wash the dishes. When it's cold, you need long underwear. It makes a huge difference in your body temperature. Last year when we were still living at my parent's house, I bought Caleb Ruskovilla Wool Long Underwear. It cost like $90. AND he hardly wore it, because he was already warm. I was happy to see that it still fit this year, but I was going to need more than one pair. And I certainly wasn't going to spend another $90.
I had recently discovered the wondrous fabric that is cashmere for myself. I had a cashmere sweater that was thick and super soft, but not really presentable anymore so I asked my sewing friend to make a pair of long underwear out of it (I gave her some tangrams in return). She made a gorgeous pair for him, and I was hooked. But she now lives 6 hours away, so I had to learn how to make my own. I've since made 3 other pairs, and I love them. I gave a pair to my friend's son, and he wouldn't take them off for days.
Now it's time for you to learn how to make your own and save that ninety dollars for some nice wooden toys. :) (sorry about my pictures, the camera has a droopy shutter)
1. Get a cashmere sweater from the thrift store or your closet (you can also use any soft, non-itchy wool sweater, but cashmere is just heavenly).
2. Cut off the sleeves as close to the seams as you can get. These will be your pant legs.
3. Trim the sleeves to resemble pant legs about to be sewed together. I add a large waistband, so keep that in mind when you are measuring these. It helps to use a pair of pants that your child already has.
4. Lay out a tight fitting shirt of your child's over the sweater to use as a guide. I use the first cashmere long underwear shirt that I made. It was a little short and tight, and I wanted to make this one longer and a little looser (turns out it's a little too loose, but it's still nice, and it will fit next year too!).
5. The sides of the sweater are going to be your shirt's sleeves. You want to get these as long as possible (if you are making them for a 3 year old and up). The picture shows how to cut better than I can explain it.
6. Cut the tops of the sleeves where they joined to the shirt. I cut them a little bit rounded out.
7. Then start sewing it together. I hand sewed the three that I have made. My friend used her serger. I double stitched all the seams.
8. The pants are sewn together, and then I added the turtle neck of the sweater for the waistband. You can also use the unused top portion of the sweater, if yours isn't a turtleneck.
9. The black pair I gave to Caleb's friend, and the blue pair was his. They are made so that you fold the waist down. I'm adding elastic to the blue pair, because the turtleneck wasn't tight enough to hold them up.
They are very easy to make. I'm not a sewer, so if you are, you can make them nicer. But if they don't look quite right, it doesn't really matter because they are supposed to be worn under other clothes anyway, though mostly Caleb just wears them by themselves when we are in the house (at least in the warm room of our house).