Monday, March 7, 2016

Sock Pocket Couture for Fashion-Forward Adults

Sock pockets in action

For an introduction to the concept of sock pockets see the previous post, An "Aha" Sewing Moment: Sock Pockets. In that post I pointed out that sock pockets solve two problems: lost socks and lack of pockets. In the course of adapting the concept to couture for savvy adults who don't give a crap if they look like victims of static cling, I have tackled a third problem: socks with worn heels. We all have them — favorite socks that have become so worn at the back of the heel from shoes rubbing that they become an embarrassment in the security line at the airport. And yet we don't want to throw them away. Voila — sock pockets!

How-to details

As explained in the last sock pocket post, when using an adult sock you will want to stitch horizontally across the sock somewhere that makes sense in terms of creating a functional pocket. See the gray sock above for an example. If you don't do this, whatever you put in the pocket will work its way down into the toe and be impossible to get back out.

The new innovation is illustrated by the red sock above. This was a sock with a badly worn heel. The sock was cut off at the ankle, inserted into the large pocket on the shirt, and then the cut bottom of the sock was stitched horizontally inside the shirt pocket (only to the back of the shirt pocket, leaving the original pocket free and fully functional) to create the sock pocket bottom. With this shirt, this also solved the problem of large, floppy, non-functional pockets. Before, if you tried to stash a pair of glasses in the original pocket they would fall to one side, get snagged, and be a hassle to remove. Now, with the addition of a snug sock pocket, the glasses are easily accessible while the original large pocket remains free to store other things.

How-to details

Following the procedure outlined above, here a sock with a worn heel has been cut at the ankle and then again at the arch of the foot. The worn heel section was discarded. The top section of the sock is used to create a snug pocket-within-a-pocket, while the toe of the sock forms another little pocket. See close-up photos below.

Sock pocket inside original pocket

Pocket from toe of sock

Sock pocket inside of original pocket

Sunday, March 6, 2016

An "Aha" Sewing Moment: Sock Pockets

We all have a sock drawer that includes several lone socks. The missing halves of these pairs entered the laundering process and went on a walkabout, joining the mysterious pilgrimage of lost socks. We keep the lonely remaining sock because we hope in vain that the other half will somehow find its way back to us, even though that has never happened.

An artful solution to lost socks

This sewing/mending/upcycle solution addresses two common problems: lost socks and lack of pockets. Combine the two and you have sock pockets. 

Sock pockets in action

The children's shirts shown here were purchased for a few dollars each from a thrift store and were the focus of this proof-of-concept stage. In the next post I will move the sock pocket concept into adult couture. The two children's shirts shown here do utilize lone sole-survivors from my sock drawer but also include a few children's socks I picked up dirt cheap in Chinatown because I have no four-year-olds running around my house and was too impatient to launch into this project to track a child down and rummage through his or her sock drawer.

How-to close-up

With the genuine orphan sock above, I realized that anything put in the opening of the pocket would fall down into the toe and become inaccessible unless I created a pocket bottom by stitching across the base of the ribbing, as shown above.

Detail of sock pocket

For the much smaller children's socks no added pocket bottom was necessary. As a bonus, I realized the small flexible cuff on the child's sock serves as an added security measure to keep contents securely inside.


I stitched the blue sock above so that half of the sock extends below the hem of the shirt, adding to that "just tumbled out of the laundry" look.

Shirt back

The socks on the back of the shirt aren't meant to be functional pockets (experience has taught me that it is extremely uncomfortable to sit back against a full pocket). Instead they add to that tumbled, lost sock, static cling look that I am going for here.

A second proof-of-concept children's shirt is shown below.

Shirt front: sock pockets loaded with toys, shells, and drawing pens


Detail: Perfect for beach combing

Detail how-to

Shirt back

Stay tuned for the adult version of the sock pocket in action. Meanwhile, here are snapshots of girls in sock shirts below.

Front view

Back view

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