Holes in the knees 3 – Inserts

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Yes I am back on the holes in the knees band wagon!  I have turned them into short leggings, and added cute patches.  But then my MIL gave me this idea and I just had to try it out.  It is easier and quicker than adding patches and you can add/reduce length as much as you like.  Both sound pretty good in my book!

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You can even stand around in mid-air wearing these!  Well Hannah can, I got on the trampoline not so long ago…you realise you are not as light and strong as you were as a kid!!!

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I love the look of the band around her knees!  You can use any stretch (knit) fabric you like.  Mine is slightly heavier than the original leggings (shop bought) and it works fine.  I wouldn’t go too heavy, then you’ll get bulky seams either side of the insert piece.

What You Will Need

  • Leggings (with or without holey knees!)
  • Two small pieces of knit fabric for inserts – mine were 6” (15.2cm) long by 12” (30.5cm).  One for each leg.
  • Pins. Overlocker (Sewing Machine ok too), thread

Step 1 – Measure and Cut Fabric

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Firstly cut out the holey piece.  I removed a 3” (7.5cm) section to remove the holes and any overly stretched fabric.

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I had small off cut pieces that were almost the right size to work with, but you can lay your fabric on top of your leggings as a guide.  Make sure the stretch of the insert is going horizontally across the leggings.  Decide how long you want the insert to be.  Hannah’s leggings were 7/8 length and I wanted to make them longer.  I removed 3” to cut out the holes, so I wanted to add those back plus the extra length I wanted.  I decided on 3” (removed piece) + 2.5” (extra length) + 0.5” (seam allowance), my total added up neatly to 6” (15cm).

As in my calculations above your piece will need to be 1/2” (1.2cm) larger to allow for the seam, at the top and bottom. Add more allowance 3/4” (2cm) should be fine if you are using a standard machine.

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Cut out your pieces leaving the width a little long, so that when folded double and lined up on the leggings it overhangs the seam side a little (see photo above).  You can see I have marked the excess to remove with a pen.  I have left the 1/4” (0.6cm) seam allowance on (or 3/8” (1cm) for standard machines).

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Pin the edges together, knit fabrics have a tendency to roll up and you wouldn’t want to miss on layer when sewing.

Step 2 – Overlock Side Seam

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Overlock the side seam so that the cutting blade lines up with your pen mark.

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This is what you should end up with.

* If you are using a standard machine stitch the seam using a 3/8” (1cm) seam allowance using a small zigzag stitch.  You can then trim off the excess, you don’t need to finish the edges as the knit fabric shouldn’t fray.

Step 3 – Sewing Pieces Together

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Leave your insert piece inside out and slide over the leggings, which are the right way around.  This way they will be right sides facing each other.  Line up the raw edges, and the seam needs to line up too.  Make sure that you insert is the right way up!  You don’t want the narrower end at the top.

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I like to pin the seams together first.  I line up the seams and fold the seam allowances one each way.  That way there isn’t a thick lump with them all to one side.

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Pin on the inside the rest of the way around, making sure it is lining up nicely.  It is ok if one side is slightly longer than the other, just spread the gather evenly.

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Starting at the seam overlock the two raw edges together.  You can lightly stretch the fabric to make the sides line up, but don’t overdo it or you will end up with a wobbly seam.

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Now you should have something that looks like this!

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And once turned around the right way you get to see what it is going to look like.

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Now just attaching the bottom piece.  Lay them out like above, with the bottom piece inside out.  Pull the upper leg inside the bottom piece.

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Pin into place and sew just like you did for the first join.

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Here it is a little clearer to see with the colours this way around!

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And there you have some nice knee inserts!  These are grey with a neon-orange stripe, I do love a bit of neon!

Just one more way to get some more life out of those leggings with holes in the knees!  I would like to try the inserts on an angle next…I won’t bore you with another tutorial but will share the pictures on Instagram.  Now just to wait for Hannah to go through the knees on another pair!

What is your favourite way to fix those holey knees?