Monday, March 20, 2017

Embroidering Socks

Over Christmas, I was asked to embroider some socks for the son of a friend of mine. It took me a while to puzzle out exactly how to embroider the top band. I am posting my process so that should I ever need to embroider socks again, I can look back to see exactly how I did it.

Determine the outside of the sock. In this case, my client wanted both socks of each pair to be embroidered on the outside of the sock and each sock in the pair had something different. I laid the socks out on a table to mark all the left socks on the outside and then all the right socks.

Mark the center of the sock to be embroidered. I used tailors chalk and marked a long cross so that I could align the marks with my hoop.  I used the smallest hoop I own.

Turn the sock inside out and slide the inner part of the hoop inside with the chalk lines on the bottom.  Align the chalk marks on the sock with the markings on the hoop. I had to eyeball the top chalk line with the mark on the hoop. This was the hardest part of the whole process as the sock wants to slide over the curved parts of the hoop

See the picture in step 6 for a visual aid on how to position the sock in the hoop.

Loosen the screw on the outer hoop and carefully press the inner hoop into the outer hoop, keeping the chalk marks aligned with the hoop marks.  Tighten.

Thread a large ball point hand sewing needle with at least two feet of contrasting thread. Knot if you prefer but there is no real need.

Starting at one edge of the sock, pull the top layer of the sock away from the hooped layer and baste it to the hoop. Basting the sock to the hoop will keep the other side of the sock clear of the embroidery area and remove the temptation to just hold the sock open with your fingers.

Baste the sock so the outer layer is completely clear of the area to be embroidered. 

Now embroider the sock.

Completed embroidery.

With the embroidery complete, remove the basting stitches and extra stabilizer.

Completed sock.

While this process looks like a lot of extra steps, it really didn't take that long. I embroidered 8 socks in less than a day and for a change, it all went to according to plan with no frog stitching and all fingers intact.

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