New socks always look so nice hanging on the racks in the store--the bright colors and perfectly matched pairs always tempt me to buy more than I need. The story changes, however, once those pairs of perfection make it home--especially with kid-sized socks. Almost instantly, lonely socks start collecting in forlorn piles waiting to be reunited with their perfect match. Who knows where all of those socks go, but often they turn up again. I wanted to create a permanent spot to corral the "present" socks while they wait for the "absent" socks to return.
The tutorial below shows you how to make your own sock-collecting bag. For a fun twist,when you're finished embroidering, your hoop isn't done working. Later it returns as part of the framework for hanging the bag.
- 10" embroidery hoop
- Medium weight cotton fabric 33.5" x 15.5"
- 1 yard fold over elastic
- Embroidery floss
- LOST embroidery design or one of your own
TRANSFER DESIGN AND EMBROIDER
Transfer the embroidery design to the center (horizontally) of your fabric. Place it a little lower than the vertical center (closer to the bottom edge than the top).
Embroider your design.
SEW SIDE SEAMS & BOTTOM EDGE
With right sides facing, sew the side edges together, using a 3/8" seam. Then sew the bottom edges together using a 1/4" seam. Depending on your fabric, you may want to finish the seams with a serger, overlock stitch, or use pinking shears.
HEMS & TIES
Sew a 1/2" hem around the top edge of the bag. Again, because my fabric frayed quite a bit, I serged the edges. You could also use pinking shears or turn the raw edge under 1/4" before sewing your 1/2" hem.
Cut the yard of fold over elastic in half. Sew one piece to the wrong side of the bag at the side (center back) seam and the other to the center front (above the embroidery design). Be sure these seams are strong--they will hold most of the weight of the bag.
HANG BAG & BEGIN COLLECTING SOCKS
"Hoop" the finished bag, so that the hem extends above the edge of the embroidery hoop and tighten well. Make sure to keep the elastic ties free.
Hang the bag in a handy spot like the laundry room or a closet by tying the elastic ties over a closet rod or hanger.
Start collecting socks who are missing their perfect match; don't forget to check the bag whenever you do laundry and pair up socks from time to time.
What do you do with socks without mates?