Wool Baby Pants from a Felted Sweater

The time I accidently shrunk and felted Doug’s favorite sweater in the laundry was disappointing. I tried not to be too excited when I thought about what I could make from the felted wool.

First up: wool baby pants

I used the free “Katrina’s longies” pattern instead of trying to wing it. The measurements were spot on for my child. The waistband rises in the back for a good fit.

Baby pants are made from three pieces: two legs and a waistband. Choose the size based on your child’s measurements, so if your child has some extra fluff from cloth diapers, measure him with the diaper on.

First you fold each leg piece in half and sew the inseams, then you join the two legs together, and finally you sew on the waistband. (More detailed sewing instructions with photos are at this tutorial.)

I took a shortcut and used the sweater sleeves for the legs, with the cuffs already finished around the ankles.

They are so soft and cuddly!

Before I cut into the wool I made a practice pair using cheap fleece. The pattern works well with fleece, but make sure the fleece stretches horizontally so you can pull the pants over the baby’s hips. You want to make sure the waistband can stretch too.

Now my baby runs around in a bright green pair of Kermit pants.

Seriously, no sweater is safe anymore.

Around this time each year I have to do a reality check and decide how much time I can reasonably spend on sewing, because if I haven’t made a handmade gift by now, it’s probably not going to happen. But I’m not quite there yet, and I think there may be some more wool projects coming.

What else could I make from a felted sweater?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. i discovered felting last winter and got a bunch of wool sweaters from goodwill, etc. i made our christmas stockings (it was our first married christmas) from fair isle sweaters, and with a bunch of others i used the sleeves to make legwarmers and slipper boots and such for gifts for our sisters. (i started a pair of moccasins, too, but that didn’t go very far.) i still have a bunch of half-dismantled sweaters — don’t know yet what i’m going to with them! =)
    katie´s last post…i’m dreaming…

  2. Beautiful, talented, sweet Alicia Paulson has directions to make a cute purse/bag from a felted sweater in her first book called Stitched In Time. I LOVE that book…except that I haven’t actually made anything in it yet. The pictures and her words alone are reason enough to have it. One day…one day I’ll make something from it.
    Rebekah @ It Only Gets Better´s last post…Goodbye Grinchy Feelings

  3. http://aliciapaulson.com/books.html

    Sorry! I forgot the link!
    Rebekah @ It Only Gets Better´s last post…Goodbye Grinchy Feelings

  4. I bet you could use the main body portion (but perhaps the arms as well) to make those pseudo-scarf neck warmers. I’ve seen some really cute knit ones, but I’m sure if you make it look chunky enough (perhaps stuff it a bit?) it would be really cute with some funky buttons.

    I love repurposing projects. So eco-friendly, and always pose a challenge! I wish I had more time to sew/crochet. I say every year I’m going to make handmade gifts.. bah. Not enough time in the day! The pants are absolutely adorable, though. I’m sure the little guy is super comfy as well :)
    Tara´s last post…The Holidays in… Micronesia

  5. Darling little model ya got there. :)
    Zoanna´s last post…Squirrel Drawing

  6. i just made a patchwork scarf for a friend from scraps of felted sweaters that i had made longies from. i love it and i hope she does too!
    i also saw a tute for a scarflette (http://blog.betzwhite.com/2009/01/fast-felted-scarflette.html) that was uber-cute!
    i also use the body to make more longies too. boring i know but oh so adorable and practical!

  7. Love this blog! Cute pics too :)
    I usually just use old clothes for rags, but now starting to wonder about the idea of making a quilt or something similar??? Thanks for the inspiration!
    angelvalerie´s last post…the rules we live by…

  8. Last year I collected so many cute felted sweater ideas, and then went thrift store hunting and for the life of me could not find even one ugly wool sweater! I’ve seen some adorable throw pillows, and today Apartment Therapy had an article on felted wool products that were so cute!
    Kait Palmer´s last post…A Little News

  9. I did this last year, and I’ve made scarves, a neck warmer, hats, rosettes for pins/ hair, and leg warmers. You can also make gloves/ mittens, an iPod cover, a reusable drink sleeve (this is next up for me), and more! Martha has some ideas… and all wool or even cashmere sweaters are so easy to find at thrift stores. Have fun!

  10. Do you really want to know all the cool stuff you can make from felted wools sweaters? My list of “things I want to make from wool sweaters” is just way too long but here’s one project for the holidays that a reader shared with me:

    Happy felting!
    renee @ FIMBY´s last post…As we come into Spring- the

  11. So cute! I keep thinking about making these mug sleeves : http://tenthmusestudios.wordpress.com/2009/09/30/an-upcycled-sweater-project-beverage-sleeve-and-coasters/

    I never remember these when I have free time, but last year I thought they’d make great gifts for this year. Oh well, maybe next year? :D

  12. Oh how very cool! I am not crafty, but my daughter with children is, so I will have to share this with her!
    Living the Balanced Life´s last post…How to lose the negativity

  13. The green pants are adorable! Too bad I’m completely uncrafty (and I don’t own any wool sweaters actually).

  14. These are so cute! I’ve been wanting to make some clothes for my little boy, but all the patterns I see at the craft store are girly dresses. This gives me some ideas, though. Thanks!
    Amy´s last post…Grandma Pierces Christmas Cookies

  15. I admire people who can sew. My mother, grandmother and aunts made their livings as seamstresses, but, unfortunately, I didn’t inherit the gene. The pants are adorable! I’ll be on the lookout for some cheap wool sweaters just in case I get inspired to try it out. Surely, I can make a scarf or pillow. Until then, I’ll stick to the kitchen.
    Kim McCallie´s last post…Gooseberry Patch Review- Homestyle in a Hurry

  16. I’m loving these ideas…no more late night movies for me- time to sew!

  17. Gorgeous pants.

    I LOVE sewing with felted wool. I can never find enough thrifted jumpers. Some of my favourite creations have been toys for gifts. I’ve made a fairy house, chickens and a play sandwich.

    I tried making some slippers. They are amazingly comfy and warm but look rather weird.

    My favorite gift from my husband is some felted wool oven mitts he made for me. I smile every time I use them.

    You can see all these creations here: http://littleecofootprints.typepad.com/.services/blog/6a00e55397a5c2883400e5537c29938833/search?filter.q=felted
    Tricia´s last post…Taking care of my most important eco asset

  18. So cute! I get nervous by the thought of my sewing machine but I so badly want to sew all these wonderful things — I might be daring and try these out for my little boy. They’re not too hard, right? Do you mind if I link to these on my blog?

  19. LOOK HOW BIG HE IS! Oh my goodness. So precious.

    You know, I can never find wool to thrift! Maybe I’m not looking in the right thrift stores. It’s just not as plentiful in Oklahoma as one might think, and it was REALLY hard to find in the Austin area!
    Megan@SortaCrunchy´s last post…Links for 2010-12-13 delicious

  20. Bright green Kermit pants! Love it!

  21. I just don’t know if I’ll ever be a crafty person. I think the women who can do it are super-women. But I had to comment about Tom. How adorable is he! It seems like you were just introducing him to us and now he’s walking around looking exactly how Lane did when I first starting reading your blog. I’m glad that you feel so comfortable sharing your family with us.
    Jennie´s last post…Beginnings and Endings

  22. I saw the cutest little Christmas trees made from felted wool sweaters at a craft fair this year. She cut smaller and smaller circles, stacked them, and held them together with a wire through the middle. Similar to the Christmas tree made out of different sized star cookies.

  23. Nice job on the cute pants. What a great way to recycle. Did you make the pants out of the sleeves of the sweater?

    • yes, the wool pant legs are made from the sweater sleeves, and the waistband from a portion of the sweater in the middle.

  24. Very cute! I love the idea of repurposing materials.

  25. Love these! Can’t wait to make them!
    JWK´s last post…Shocking Schiaparelli

  26. Lily (from Italy) says:

    OT: what do you think about what’s happening in Italy? :-/

  27. Rachel,
    I meant to mention in my comment that I thought it was such a cute touch that your little one happened to be looking at a book about Tuscany! :-)
    Living the Balanced Life´s last post…You can’t change everything

  28. I love to sew and like you f it’s not made by now you aren’t getting it. I recently made 3 baby blankets for people at my husbands job that went over great. They were extra large, crib size so the baby could grow into them made from material I had planned on making into a quilt for my own bed. They quilted up wonderfully.
    Next set of babies are going to get those burp cloths you made.
    Try taking the legs of an old pair of jeans and making little pants from those–priceless. And of course those old flannel shirts made into lttle pullovers. Never let any material go to waste if possible in grown-up clothes when the little ones can get an oufit from it. Merry Christmas everyone.

  29. Oh, how cute. Tom is adorable. And he looks so much like Lane.
    don_mae´s last post…24 Hours Free Shipping

  30. Rachel,

    Wow, this is very creative idea, I am pretty bad at sewing and can do only basic stuff, so this seems very impressive. Tom is growing up to be handsome little boy.
    Zengirl @ Heart and Mind´s last post…Meaningful Celebration- Free eBook download

  31. I LOVE using felted sweaters to create things. I made ornaments for our Chirstmas tree last year using cookie cutters as a pattern. With a four year old we are always celebrating a friends birthday it seems, my go to gift for girls has become a fleted sweater purse. I recently ventured out and made a “man bag” for a little boy…it turned out great!! Felted sweaters are so fun!