Upcycle old activewear into Barbie leggings and crop top – free sewing pattern

by Claire

Upcycling is all about giving old unwanted and discarded clothes some love and turning them into something new. Use this free leggings and crop top sewing pattern to transform your old gym wear into a new yoga or gym outfit for your Barbie or Sindy doll. The girls had great fun learning yoga in their new outfits – check out the gallery at the end for inspiration!

What you need:

  • Old activewear – I used a pair of adult leggings, a girls crop top and a pair of shorts to make the outfits shown.
  • 2 x small snap fasteners or hook and loop tape.
  • Matching thread.
  • Legging and crop top FREE pattern – click the download button below

Tips before you start sewing

If you’ve watched the Great British Sewing Bee, you’ll know what I mean when I say ‘try and incorporate some of the original features into your new outfit’. Play around, placing your pattern on different areas of your fabric to see if you can use any logos, stripes etc as features on your outfit. When upcycling your fabric won’t be as uniform as new fabric – test out how stretchy it is, as you may need to adjust the pattern to compensate. If you want to add extra interest (like on the pink leggings) you can sew strips of contrast fabric on top of the leggings. You can also cut the leggings pattern on a diagonal, add a small seam allowance to the top and bottom of the cut pieces. Then cut pieces in different colours and join the pieces before you start.


Cut your pattern pieces – two front and two back pieces. The pattern includes a Curvy Made to Move size.

Pin each front and back piece right sides together, then stitch the side seams.

Pin and stitch the centre front seam.

Hem the top of the leggings. If you think they may be too loose, you can form a casing and thread elastic through.

Hem the bottom of each leg. If your fabric doesn’t fray you can skip this step.

Pin and stitch the centre back seam.

Pin and stitch the inner leg seam. Turn right side out to finish.

Crop top

Start by cutting out the pieces. The pattern includes a Curvy Top and Top ‘B’ which is all in one piece – so you won’t need to join the waistband to the top. The collar is the same size for all tops.

For Top A, stitch the top to the waistband.

Fold the waistband down, so the raw edge faces towards the waistband and press with fingers.

Topstitch along the top of the waistband. For Top ‘B’ and the Curvy Top, skip this step.

Hem the sides of the top. For Top ‘B’ and the Curvy Top, your hem will go all the way from the back to the neck.

Stitch a row of gathering stitches, by hand, at the neck and pull to gather.

Fold the neckband in half lengthways, place the top just off centre in between the folds and stitch. If your fabric doesn’t fray, you can keep the bulk down by leaving the raw edges at the bottom of the neckband. If it frays, then tuck the raw edges up before you stitch.

Hem the bottom edge of the waistband.

Attach fasteners to the neckband and waistband. You can use snaps or hook and loop tape. I tried both and think I preferred the hook and loop tape.

If you like this free leggings and crop top pattern, please share on Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook – so others can make them too!

Namaste and happy sewing! Don’t forget to share your creations using the #galaxiadolls on Instagram and follow @galaxiadolls for more updates.

Claire x

I like sharing my sewing patterns for free, but if you want to say thank you then please buy me a coffee!

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