How To Transform Leggings Into Top Creatively

How To Transform Leggings Into Top Creatively

Discover how to transform leggings into an adorable and unique one-off top! If you are into wearing print or colours as a top, then this is the perfect DIY sewing idea for you.

Check the video further down in this post for the details.

How to transform leggings - the upcycler

By Mariana Kirova

Why Looking At How To Transform Leggings Anyway

I don't know about you but I love leggings! Not every print or colour leggings are exactly my choice, though.

This legging came to me as a present. And, although the polka dot print is not busy, I didn't like the density of the T-shirt jersey material. The fabric content, on the other hand, was top notch natural cotton with good amount of stretch elastic fibres into it.

You know me, I can't waste it if it's such a good material. On top of this, it was a sentimental gift from my mum. So, I just couldn't wait to rework these adorable polka dots.

Let's see how much I liked it.

Colour: my favourite black - check. Print: something I loved how it looks around my face, thus, its suitability and lovability - check, check!

Besides, the fabric was very good quality and I thought although heavy for a bottom, it seemed perfect for a top. To keep my arms and upper body warm, since I need warmer tops.

Check, check and check ;)

Now, I just needed to figure out exactly how to transform leggings into a top...

Redesigning The Top

Now I couldn't be more happy that I've found a wonderful upcycling idea how to transform the leggings into a top at the end.

I played for a while with the different options, of course. Usually I tend to do that as there are always more than one ideas ;)

My favourite method of visualisation which includes draping on the stand instead of drawing on paper, helped me to finalise the redesign idea.

How to transform leggings - design option 1

1. Design option #1

How to transform leggings - design option 2

2. Design option #2

How to transform leggings - design option 3

3. Design option #3

By the way, did you notice the skirt on the dummy?

It is another amazing zero waste refashion and, acclaimed by the audience at my local presentations as ingenious idea. It's so soft and warm in winter, I just love it! It's a dress turned into a skirt. Watch the video containing all the details here.

Back to the polka dot top, the final look actually came out different than the design options up above.

It got developed throughout the making process. This often happens when you rework clothing into something new.

If you can't wait to scroll down, check the video below with the finalised look or on YouTube here ;)

Finishing Off The Outfit

After dressing the top half of the body, I had to dress up the lower too. Refashioning is no different than dressmaking and styling in this regards.

I used the skirt from the above for another outfit, so I needed something else.

Therefore, to finish off the outfit I created a skirt that uses again the upside-down upcycling technique. The skirt also went as part of the collection. As most of the other items, over time it has proved itself as a wonderful winter piece, too.

I love how creative the upside-down technique is! All articles I've done with this technique instantly become true show-stoppers leaving in awe the audience at my local presentations and workshops every single time.

Great For The Runway, Great For The Wardrobe

This piece became one of my favourite from my upcycled collection "Upside-Down" that I created for the first Eco Fashion Week Australia.

How to transform leggings - runway shot 1

Runway shot #1, credit: Harry Leonard Imagery

How to transform leggings - runway shot 2

Runway shot #2, credit Harry Leonard Imagery

Most of the refashions from the collection had been proved being great over time.

So, after having this top for a while, I was surprised how pleasant was to wear. People around me say it suits me well. I'm adding a photo, so you can judge for yourself.

All this, at the end absolutely made it another fab staple to my wardrobe! Very happy with it :D

How To Transform Leggings Into A Top

Check details on how to transform leggings into a blouse reusing the entire material in the video below.

Video Highlights:

  • 01:14 – Why this material and how integrates into the entire redesign
  • 01:25 – Details on how to transform leggings into a top
  • 02:00 – What are the additional materials used to create the neckline and the bow (also the pocket on the skirt) 
  • 02:39 – How to use the leftovers from the leggings
  • 03:00 – Sewing finishes for the leftover material and additions
  • 03:27 – More about the upside-down upcycling technique
  • 05:30 – Make it unique using the leftovers

I hope this project idea of how to transform leggings into a top inspires you to dive into creating original clothing pieces of your own!

It would be much better do something with those castoffs rather than leaving them gathering dust at the back of your wardrobe, right? :) 


Happy upcycling!

Mariana x

Mariana Kirova

Mariana is passionate about garment upcycling and helping others to make their own upcycled clothing. Graduated with Award in garment construction from WAIFT, Perth WA, Mariana is not a main stream eco fashion designer. She makes unique eco-friendly garments from unwanted clothes and materials and believes that small fashion professionals and DIY sewers can embrace sustainability in garment creation, thus changing the fashion world for good.

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