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Ladies Spats: A HOW TO!

I recently made a pair of woman's knee high spats. I wanted to share pictures and sewing instructions with my fellow female steamies.   ENJOY!

Salutations! I wanted to share with you a project I recently completely and a quick HOW TO. For the longest time I have wanted a pair of white knee hi woman’s Victorian spats but sadly could not find the right kind anywhere. So after looking a numerous pictures online and failing to find an online HOW TO I decided to make my own.  They were such a piece of cake to make that I felt it only necessary to share my creation with others so they can do the same.


Please note; I am not a professional seamstress but I do have a fairly good grasp on sewing and construction. So if you got a machine, and can master a straight stitch, you can do it too! :)


Also, I encourage people to do as they wish, be creative and have as much fun as I had making them.



White spool of thread

White cotton (I’m gonna guess I had about 1.5yds)

Iron on interfacing (Very important for stiffness)

Scrap cotton fabric for mock up (I used old Halloween fabric)

2 separating white zippers in 18” (can be cut down for length)

Black cotton (used 3 strips of fabric approx 2” wide x 18” long)

18 1/2” wide black flat round buttons

1.5 “ wide elastic (approx 6 inches long)


Total sewing time: Approx 3 hours.


First I started with left over holiday wrapping paper and a knee high boot. I put on my boot and sat on the floor, tracing the outline of my leg. Then I measured the circumference of my ankle, calf, and arch, and then divided it by half. For example, my ankle was 11 inches circumference with the boot on so naturally a pattern half would be 5.5” plus and extra inch for seam allowance.  On my paper traced outline, I drew on the additional inches making the ankle approx 6.5” wide.


Once I had a spat half draw out with all the added seam allowances, I determined where I wanted to added my inseam zipper and my outseam faux button closure.  I had both going perfectly straight down the side of my leg. Then I cut it out. Basically this outline of my boot is going to be the ENTIRE pattern. SWEET!


Next I took my scrap cotton, and cut out a mock up of the pattern. THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. This is how you are going to be able to determine a perfect fit. I loosely sewed together to two front pieces, the outside piece with the black faux fold strip in it and the inseam with the zipper in it. Now the mock up doesn’t have to be a perfectly sewn piece. Basically you are doing this to get a perfect fit AND the use it as your final pattern piece.


Using a sharpie I started to mark on the mock up where I needed to pinch in the pattern, or reshape the arch.  Once you have all that figured out, you got yourself a FINAL PATTERN PIECE!


Next you are gonna take apart the mock up. BUT FIRST number each 1,2,3,4 so you will know which piece attaches to which. Next I cut out the pieces from my white cotton. You are going to cut 4 pieces each; 2 per section per leg. Then I cut 2 each on the iron on interfacing. Each of the 4 sections of the spat will be composed of cotton, interfacing, cotton.


For the sake of clarity, start with the right foot.


I started off assembly with the 2 front pieces of the right foot. Each of the sections I laid out as interfacing, cotton, cotton. Then hemmed the top and the bottom on the wrong side, then flipped it making it cotton, interfacing, cotton.  Next I sewed these two pieces together, cut notches in the seam allowance at the ankle to allow the seam to curve and pressed the seams open. You now will have a finished front piece.


Now that I have pieces 1 and 2 assembled, I attached piece 3 (the outer faux closure piece) Repeating the same steps of hemming the top and bottom first I then flipped it and sewed it to the outer front piece. But first I took the black 2” x 18” strip, folded it in half, pressed it , and sandwiched it between the front and side piece.  Stitch it all together. Once done you now have your finished and attached side piece with the faux black stripe closure on the side. LOOKING SHARP!


Next I attached the inner side piece, making sure the hem the top and the bottom just like before, then flipped it and attached it to the outer side piece.

Also don’t forget to press all your seams open!



Lastly I attached the inseam zipper. On my final piece my zipper length was 16”, but I used an 18” zipper and cut it down. It is very important to use a separating zipper so you can easily put on and remove your spat. You will line up the separating end at the bottom of your spat, then stitch you inseam front piece and your inseam side piece to the zipper. If your zipper is too long, simply cut it to the length you want and machine stitch back and forth across the top to seal off the zipper teeth so your zipper doesn’t fly off.


Next I added the elastic to the arch piece and finished the body of the spat. Now it’s time to embellish it. I placed the black half inch buttons approx 1.75” apart from each other. Hand stitched them on and TAH DAH! It’s finished.


As I said before, I encourage creativity. This is merely how I wanted mine to look. But you can change it up any way you like. Do them in olive, put the zipper on the side, add buckles, add grommets, change the length! It’s all up to you.




FINISHED and Looking GOOD!!!


( 43 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 12th, 2008 05:03 am (UTC)
WOW, these are the most amazing things! I can't wait to do it!

Also, I kind of love the mock up with the silly pattern...
Mar. 12th, 2008 05:12 am (UTC)

Marry me, you genious of geniouses?
Mar. 12th, 2008 05:14 am (UTC)
this is quite marvelous for those of us who don't have tall boots. i'll have to change the method of making the initial pattern a little...but that shouldn't be too difficult. thank you for sharing!
Jul. 16th, 2008 09:10 pm (UTC)
" If that's all the dead have to say, those of us who don't contact them aren't missing much. The story is also cluttered somewhat by irrelevant details and locations or leads that don't offer anything, certainly welcome in the realism department--but with the amount of text this game has, more of it for no reason is not a real treat.
Mar. 12th, 2008 05:24 am (UTC)
Nice! I'd toss ther zippers and make the buttons earn their keep :)
Mar. 12th, 2008 05:24 am (UTC)
I think the pattern for the mock-up would make a grand finished product.
Mar. 12th, 2008 06:19 am (UTC)
Mock Up Fabric
It would be really cute, but would also match my pillow cases!!! Yup, made them out of that fabric.
Mar. 12th, 2008 05:39 am (UTC)
hmm.. i dunno, could we impose seeing you wear them? :)
Mar. 12th, 2008 06:18 am (UTC)
wearing them?
Hmmm... Well hopefully i'll be wearing them this saturday! We shall see.
Re: wearing them? - apoundofflesh - Mar. 12th, 2008 07:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: wearing them? - meanpizzazz - Mar. 12th, 2008 07:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: wearing them? - apoundofflesh - Mar. 12th, 2008 07:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amberuseno - Jul. 16th, 2008 05:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kittymavex - Jul. 16th, 2008 07:08 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 12th, 2008 06:10 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! I've been checking out spat patterns, but none have turned out as well as yours!
Mar. 12th, 2008 06:22 am (UTC)
Spat Pattern
They really were ridiculously easy to make. i was shocked. And i think the pattern can easily be motified to work with flat and/or short boots.
Mar. 12th, 2008 06:35 am (UTC)
Holy gorgeous! Thank you so much for this tutorial. I tried making some spats myself, and it was surprisingly easy, but your tutorial is super great. I'm definitely going to reference it the next time I need to look snazzy. ;)
Mar. 12th, 2008 06:50 am (UTC)
Oh, very nice! Thank you for posting this. Your spats look awesome.

Mar. 12th, 2008 06:56 am (UTC)
OMGAWESOME. You, ma'am, win.
Mar. 12th, 2008 07:34 am (UTC)
I am supposing that one could easily do this without a boot, for those who don't have boots and want spats that will fit their calf. Just lay your foot down.
Color me tickled. I was trying to imagine how I was going to transpose measurements of my calf onto paper with some intricate geometry...DUH. I just need to contort myself to draw it on the paper directly! :)
Mar. 12th, 2008 10:51 am (UTC)
Very nifty!
Mar. 12th, 2008 12:22 pm (UTC)
Ach, those are incredible!!! I don't do heels that height (wish I did, I love that curl-around look at the sole) but your instructions are very detailed for those of us who know nothing about sewing. :D

I'm already looking into buying myself my first sewing machine (haven't sewed a stitch since 8th grade home economics) to make fun things like this. It looks so easy and I really want a pair (or 6 lol). But yeah, totally full of awesome. ;D
Mar. 12th, 2008 01:18 pm (UTC)
You win! I was just looking at spats yesterday and thinking, "Yeah, but how do you make 'em for girl boots?" And voila.
Mar. 12th, 2008 01:25 pm (UTC)
I love you. Seriously, I was just trying to figure out how to finance some new boots for a Victorian-esque costume I need two weeks from now, and using spats instead hadn't even occurred to me. Thank you D:.
Mar. 12th, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC)
OMG. Harold and Maude. *loves*
(no subject) - featherheadfop - Mar. 12th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Finances! - meanpizzazz - Mar. 12th, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
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( 43 comments — Leave a comment )

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