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How to Make Convertible Tights

By Joanne Robitaille ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Footed tights
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Clear nail polish
  • Needle
  • Thread
Tights are an important part of a ballet dancer's wardrobe.

Convertible tights combine the function of two types of tights into a single pair. There are three main types of ballet tights: footed, footless and convertible. Footed tights cover the feet completely, and footless tights stop at the ankle. Convertible tights have a hole in the bottom, which allows dancers the option of wearing the tights either footed or rolling them up to be footless. These tights can get expensive if you need to replace them often, so making your own from a pair of footed tights will help save you money.

Put on the tights. Mark the location of the ball of your foot with a pen. When the hole is created, it should extend from the ball of your foot to about the midpoint of the arch.

Remove the tights. Slide your hand into the leg of the tights so your hand is flush against the bottom of the foot section. Cup your hand and pull the tights taut (just enough so the fabric is flat without stretching the weave). The mark you made should lie over the cupped area of your hand and not be touching your skin in any way.

Cut along the marked line with a pair of sharp scissors, careful not to cut your hand. Hold the foot of the tights taut and slip the tip of a pair of scissors through the weave. Slowly begin cutting along the marked line. The scissors need to be sharp so that the edges of the cut don't fray.

Keep the tights on your arm and coat the edges of the cut with clear nail polish. This will help to prevent fraying initially and allow you to do the next step without risk of creating a ladder in the tights.

Fold the edges of the cut under and hem. Use a small needle and matching thread to sew the edges. In order to ensure that the tights are able to stretch without tearing around the hole later, they should be stretched while you’re sewing. With the footed section of the tights pulled tight over your hand, spread your fingers apart to stretch the fabric, and then begin sewing.

Tip

Cut carefully to ensure you don’t accidentally cut your hand. Pull the tights over your nondominant hand to make the cutting easier.

An alternative to sewing the edges of the cut is to singe them with a small lighter. This binds the weave together along the edge of the cut. Be careful if you attempt this method to ensure that you don’t burn yourself.

About the Author

Joanne Robitaille's first journalistic experience was in 1994, when she did school reports for a local newspaper, "Shoreline." Her articles now appear on various websites. Robitaille has a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of Windsor.