Monday, January 31, 2011

Make Your Own Girls Tights!

Pin It Now! tights

(UPDATE: You can see a VIDEO how-to of this project HERE!)
 
I have a love/hate relationship with girls tights.

I love dressing up my daughters in pretty dresses, nylons and clippies.

I hate that my daughters to this to the thin, regular nylons on the very first wear:

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I love it when my daughters pair funky tights and loud skirts and walk out of the house looking like Fruit Loops.

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I hate that a pair of heavy, funky tights can cost up to $5-10 a pop. And times two … make that $10-20. 

Or for more than one pair apiece … make that $40-50.

Are you kidding me?

So when I found these awesome ladies knee highs at Target for $1 a piece …


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… the wheels started turning … and I wondered … and I raced home to dig out that stash of blown out tights that I wasn’t emotionally ready to throw away … and voila!

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Old, ripped tights + cheap ladies socks =

Homemade Stocking Awesomeness for a dollah.

And you’re going to love how fast and easy these are to make.

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Have the child that’s going to wear these put on the pair of ripped tights …

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… then pull on a pair of ladies knee highs right over top, making sure the  heel of the socks line up with the child’s heels or the tights will look funny from behind.  

Use a pin to mark where the child’s toes are so you know where to trim later on.

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Safety pin the socks in place and carefully remove.

To attach, slide the tights onto your sewing machine and carefully stitch along the top of the finished sock hem using a zig zag stitch.

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(Switching to a lighter pair of tights and socks to make the next few steps easier to see.)

Turn tights inside out and carefully trim away threads and the legs of the tights, making sure not to cut the socks underneath.

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(All nice and trimmed) 

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To finish the foot, trim away the extra sock above your pin mark …

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… and use the cut off toe piece as a template to cut around.

To finish, just whip stitch the foot closed from the inside.

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Start to finish, 15 minutes flat.

No more expensive tights. No more slouching knee highs. No more getting mad when kids from school with holes in the knee.


Oh, and they hold up in the wash like a dream.

My daughter’s already plotting for the holidays.

See?

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Valentine’s Day … St. Patrick’s Day … Easter.
(Plus general cuteness the rest of the year.)

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A few THRIVE tips to save you some headaches:

1. I know a custom fit is best, but what if I’m making these  for someone else?
Measure down and attach socks to tights 1” from the crotch seam for toddlers and 2” down for girls 4-8.

2. Why hand stitch the toe? Why not zig zag or serge the edge?
The zig zag and serger stitch stretched out the sock really bad and caused a bunch of puckering. My girls hated how it felt on their feet, too.

3. What colors can you use?
Rock what ya got.
My first choice is for the tights and top hem of the socks to match. I think it looks more professional, subtle and like the store bought kind.  That being said, I didn’t have enough black tights to use with the grey and white argyle socks so I used a pair of pale pink tights. No big whoop. 

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My girls always wear shorts under their dresses anyway (plus NO ONE should be looking.)

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Have fun raiding the ladies sock section –
hope to see you there!

tights.19 Signature



 


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105 comments:

  1. Fabulous!! I love the funky tights but hate paying for them too, definitely going to be making some of these for my girls!!

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  2. Best Solution ever! I'll be sharing this on FB!

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  3. I WILL be making these soon. Great idea!

    PS: I thought of you when I had a brainstorm the other night and instead of wishing I had a cozy pair of cotton gloves to keep my nightly slather of bag balm from getting all over teh bedclothes (winter pregnant chapped skin ...ugh) I grabbed a beat up should be retired anyway pair of my hubby's socks and stuck them on my hands! If I get time, I'll trace my fingers and sew them into gloves. Until then, sock hands at night it is! And no more cracked skin! Rock what you got, right? :)

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  4. These are so adorable! I don't have a clue about how expensive girls' stuff can be since I only have boys...but tights for $1 is a steal for sure:)

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  5. Seriously great idea! I might have to check out target since I don't have any great socks. I do, however, have ripped tights.

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  6. you are so smart. I love these kind of ideas.

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  7. Awesome! You have some amazing ideas Nike!

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  8. Oh my goodness!!!! This is the most exciting thing I've seen all day! (I know. I don't get out much.) With three (3!!!) girls and another on the way, I completely understand the cost of cute tights!!! This is perfect!!! Thanks so much for the awesome tutorial!

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  9. love love love this! Plus kid's tights don't have the cutest designs. These on the other hand are great!

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  10. I think you are a genius. I'm a tights-addict for my little girl -- now I will no longer live in fear of her putting a hole in a pair. THANK YOU!

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  11. you are unbelievably creative! Can tights get any cuter? To bad my only "girl" is going on 21 and hardly wears tights enough to ruin them. Thumps way up in the air for your blog...

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  12. How cute! I'll definitely be using this idea. Thanks!

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  13. You are the first blogger I've read who knows how to spell "voila" instead of "walla." This is my first visit to your blog, and I love you already, just for your spelling! Love the tights too!

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  14. This is brilliant! I have a pair of the thick nice tights for my daughter, but she is too tall for them, I am definitely going to try this idea to make them longer!

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  15. Oh my goodness! That is so great! I can't wait to try it.

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  16. I love it! I'm laughing, because I am so totally going to make some for me, not my girls! Hehehe. What a great idea! Keep 'em coming! ;)

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  17. That is truly genius! I used to use those cheap target/walmart socks to make baby legs but my daugther is getting too old for those and this is perfect! Thank you!

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  18. You just rocked my world....
    And I thank you for it!
    -Michelle

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  19. This is one of my favorite ideas I have seen in a really long time! I have used the legs to make stretchy headbands - who know the part I was just getting rid of could be potentially the coolest!

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  20. Yep, that's pretty much a freaking awesome idea!!!! I'm totally going to be making new tights for my daughters! You rock!

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  21. You are a genius!!! Truly Creative Artist and I've met a lot!!! Hands down you take it!!! Smart and very affordable : D

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  22. What a brilliant idea! I always see those socks at Target and try to think of something fun to do with them. I love this idea. My little girl is a chub and baby legs don't stay on (my original Idea with the socks). Thisway the will. Thanks. I'm heading to Target!!! :)

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  23. Brilliant!! I'm going to start following you. So glad Ucreate featured you!

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  24. Great idea!my girls are too big for this but I will be sending others here to see this!

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  25. Thanks!
    I had to give it try and the sky is the limit.
    I did embelish a little...added a little soft flat
    ruffle where the sock meets the old tight to make
    a more finished look

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  26. sorry to leave another comment...I JUST found you on Uccreate today and I read your whole blog. I LOVED it. Really. This is sure to be one of my favorite places to visit! I have to say thank you for one thing - Now maybe my hubby wont kill me for the giant stash of cans I have been saving for "some project"!! ~tai @ taidye original

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  27. oooo- what a great idea for blown out school uniform tightts!

    THANKS

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  28. Love this!!!! So much I can't tell you.

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  29. Oh great! I already spent a small fortune at Target buying socks for arm warmers & leg warmers for my neighbor girls & nieces around Christmas. Now I need to go get more for tights for my daughter because I LOVE this idea!!! My daughter will love this! I could even make them out of the tights that are way to short for my girls. :)

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  30. Holy cow. Best.Idea.Ever. I am Sooooo doing this. :) Thanks.

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  31. Love, love, love this idea. They are totally adorable!

    So glad I popped over from TDC.

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  32. My 6-year-old is blog hopping with me, and she was SO excited to see these! We'll be trying them out tomorrow (hopefully our Target has a good supply...). :)

    Thanks for the inspiration. I'm becoming a follower! (coming via UCreate)

    Aloha,
    charlie

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  33. Love this!!! Now to get my 13 and 15 year olds to wear dresses again, ha.

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  34. This is the coolest, most useful thing this mom of 3 girls has EVER seen! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your genius! :)

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  35. This is a fantastic idea. Thanks for sharing.

    Jessica @ http://myworldmadebyhand.blogspot.com/

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  36. Genius! I'm inspired and plan to make some this weekend.

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  37. Love this!!!! I have the same problem with my daughter who loves to wear skirts even in winter. I will be making some for her. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

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  38. what a great idea!
    Thank you for sharing

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  39. That is so amazing!!

    I ran across you blog a week ago and I cannot believe the great stuff you have come up with!

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  40. What a great idea!

    Too bad I can't use the most recent pair of "dead" tights... the waist elastic has failed! Gotta dig deeper into the dead tight bucket....

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  41. Awesome! At fourteen months I don't quite have this problem yet, but I'm familiar with the tights conundrum. Heck, at $5 for three pair of cheap tights and $1 for each pair of socks, it's almost worth using new tights just to avoid the heartbreak.

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  42. Your ingenuity always amazes me, but this idea is absolutely stellar! Thanks for teaching us how to make these adorable tights!

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  43. What a fantastic idea! You're very clever! I'm your newest follower. Stop by sometime at Just Drink a Coke. on your Coke break:)

    Miranda
    www.justdrinkacoke.blogspot.com

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  44. Oh these are SO. AWESOME!!!! I WISH that I had a little girl so that I had a excuse to make some!!! :) I'd love for you to link up to my new linky party, Tute {Yourself} Tuesday!
    LittleEme.blogspot.com
    The linky will be open until this evening. :)

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  45. Can I just say...you flippin rock!!!!! I just threw out a pair two days ago...on the first wear! Ahh! even if I have to buy a pair of tights to sew the socks to, it is still worth it to have something that is a)a million times cuter and b) will actually last. Ideas like this are why I love blogging! Seriously, killing me that I can't run out and buy some now! I would love if you would link this up to my Sew Crafty Saturday party this weekend! ~April

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  46. VERY CUTE! Love it!
    You should come link this up to my weekly Thursday through Sunday Making It With Allie Link Party! I think it would make a Fabulous addition!
    AllieMakes.Blogspot.com

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  47. ADORABLE!! These are so creative it makes me wish I had a daughter to make these for!!

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  48. WoW. YOU are a freaking genius. Love this idea so much! I featured you on my weekend wrap up so feel free to stop by and grab my button.

    Halsey

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  49. I saw those knee highs too and bought a whole bunch to make baby legs out of! Will have to try this idea next time though, looks super easy! Thanks!

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  50. I LOVE your blog!! I actually saw this post on another site and was blown away by the you created a fashionable, fun and functional piece of garment : ) Kudos to you girl : )
    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, I'm following your blog and hope to see some new and exciting ideas.

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  51. Loving this idea. I actually saved a few pairs of tights that my girls have worn out or outgrown & was hoping to find something to do with them. Very creative & CUTE!!!

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  52. Love it!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!
    AllieMakes.Blogspot.com

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  53. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEK I'm so excited to find this! I am a huge fan of funky tights and my girls are rough on them - always a rip or tear somewhere. This is a GREAT idea!

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  54. GREAT IDEA. THANK YOU FOR SHARING. I AM YOUR NEWEST FOLLOWER AND I WOULD BE HONORED IF YOU WOULD LINK YOUR SUPER CUTE BLOG UP ON MY BLOG STALKIN' PAGE.

    http://alaynahoward.blogspot.com/p/blog-stalkin.html

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  55. So so cute!! I'm going to be featuring this next week at KIS!

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  56. Love this! Any thing can be remade or reused and that is Awesome for anyone savvy.

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  57. This is genius idea! Thank you so much

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  58. LOVE, LOVE!!! I love Target's knee high socks!! :) but I don't have a sewing machine... and can barely sew a button.

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  59. ahhhhh, this idea is perfect for us!!! My daughter is in ballet so she is always blowing through tights and I love for her to wear tights to church, perfect idea!!! Target here I come!!!!!! I've got to put this under my I want to do this links on my blog!!! love it!!!!

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  60. Nike, this quote made me smile. "the wheels started turning … and I wondered … and I raced home to dig out that stash of blown out tights"
    That is so me, i start thinking and then pop an idea and watch out because I am all on it. You are fun and this post is so practical. Thanks

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  61. These are amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing (and explaining why you didn't use the sewing machine in some places!). {Made it here from the CSI Project}

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  62. Really clever! You are so right about the flimsy-ness & price on tights too. After 1-2 wearings, my daughter's tights are trashed. This is so much better!

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  63. so clever and easy, I pinned it on my pintrest:

    http://pinterest.com/melissaallswnup/my-girl-and-her-knobby-knees/

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  64. This is the best idea ever!!!!! Way better than those baby legs from women's knee highs.

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  65. Such a great tutorial! I shared it with my readers here:
    http://dollarstoremom.com/2011/05/make-girls-tights/

    thanks so much!

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  66. Thanks for sharing your idea. I've have been looking for a month for a pair of tights a certain shade of purple to match a dress I bought at a consignment sale and now I know to just see if I can find socks to match and make my own. Such a wonderful idea!!!

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  67. OK if I had a GENIUS award I would be giving it to you for this! This would have saved me big bucks when my daughter was little. Well done!

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  68. genius!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  69. excellent idea! If your serger is making a rippled seam, the differential feed needs to be adjusted. If the seam bothers your daughter, put the seam on the outside of the sock. One of my children was very finicky about seams and itchy clothes. I always bought his socks a size too big and used the serger to make a new toe seam on the outside of the sock. No lumps, no bumps, no ripples.... and one very happy child.

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  70. Wow! Now I can make tights for me that are not too tight. Thanks so much!

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  71. I can't believe I just saw these! Adorable!! It makes me wish I had a girl to make these for!! :) Thanks for sharing!! xo, Reannah

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  72. Being new to sewing, I hand-stitched these the first time and messed 'em all up! they wouldn't stretch to fit her legs! Does the zigzag make 'em stretch a little around the thigh?

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  73. I absolutely love this idea and your blog - please write some more! I've mentioned your blog on mine here:

    http://resolvingcrazy.blogspot.com/2012/01/inspiring-mommas.html

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  74. I Love your Pippi-Longstockings girls!

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  75. this website has altitudinous calibre, affordable legwear for the women who wants the designs of their dreams. these products are soft to deteriorate along with the creation exciting designs in leotards.
    cheap garment

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  76. This is the MOST awesome recycle and do0over I've ever heard about! YOU ROCK!!! Pippi Longstockings would be proud to know you! hahaha

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  77. Okay- want to do this and just went digging thru daughter's drawer and thought of a great idea- besides to used up tights you can use leggings that have gotten too short too! Then they are heavy on the top as well as the bottom for cold days! (sorry if someone else already mentioned this... I have not read all the comments) YAY!

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  78. Okay, this is amazing!! I cannot believe the stuff you come up with!!

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  79. OMGoodness...how clever you are! Thanks for sharing this tutorial!

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  80. tights are sexy on anyone at any age----ooooooyessssss

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  81. It has been some time since I visited website with such high quality information On Socks Stockings Tights.Thank you so much for providing such helpful information. This is really informative and I will for sure refer my friends the same. Thanks.

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  82. WOW!!!!! LOVE IT, will be doing this for sure!!!! Just found you searching for roadtrip inspiration for my 3....1500 mile trip one way in the near future! :) Anyway, I will be making these for sure, and you've found a new follower! :) Great idea and instructions! THANK YOU!
    Jennifer
    http://stoppraylisten.blogspot.com

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  83. Sure seems like a lot of work to make your own tights. Thanks for showing us how it's done!
    -Janet

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  84. greate idea.. bus its too funky made sone decents.....




    socks for baby | baby socks for sale

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  85. Seriously great idea! I might have to check out target since I don't have any great socks...



    socks for baby | baby socks for sale

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Thanks so much for the comment love! I do cartwheels when I read each one. Well, I imagine my pre-pregnancy self doing cartwheels, but you get the idea ...