Today, we will learn how to make socks. For the tutorial, I used the Cozy Critter Socks Pattern from Peek-a-Boo, and I love the options that it includes:
- 3 different lengths – ankle, crew, and knee-high
- 9 animal faces – fox, raccoon, panda, penguin, reindeer, bunny, kitty, puppy, and owl
For the tutorial’s sake, I stuck to a simple pair of socks with no animal face, but the pattern includes great instructions for adding the animal faces! And, if you’re looking for adult sizes, you’re in luck – the Cozy Toes Socks Pattern includes the same options but in adult sizes!
Let’s get to work!
How to Sew Socks
- Knit fabric with at least 30% 4-way stretch and 5% spandex (for good recovery)
- Sewing machine/serger (a sewing machine is recommended for most of the steps)
- For the animal face options: scraps of knit, fusible interfacing, buttons, and/or embroidery thread
Measuring for Socks
The Cozy Critters pattern includes sizes newborn-12 (foot lengths 3-9.75″) and includes measurements for foot length, height (for the knee-high socks), and calf size to help you get a perfect fit. The Cozy Toes pattern includes sizes XS-XXXL (foot lengths 8.5-12″) and has three different widths in each size (slim, regular, and plus). As someone with larger calves than average, I definitely appreciate this option!
For this tutorial, I made a pair of knee-high socks for my daughter, and her measurements put her in a size 4T.
Cutting Out Sock Pattern Pieces
First, cut out your pieces. Both patterns include letter-size pieces and A0 and projector files, so you can choose which method works best for you. There are three different pieces for the simple socks (for all heights) – front, back, and band. For a pair of socks, you’ll need two of each piece, so you’ll end up with six pieces total. (Your front and back pieces will look different from those pictured below if you chose the crew or ankle length socks.)
Sewing the Socks
For most of the steps, you’ll want to use a stretch stitch on your sewing machine and a 1/4″ seam allowance. This gives you the option to trim the seam allowance to 1/8″ after sewing to make the socks more comfortable. There are a few steps where I broke out my serger (and I’ll be sure to point those out), but a serger is not necessary.
First, you’re going to sew the heel dart. Fold the back piece right sides together (RST) where the arrow is pointing.
Align the heel dart opening and sew together. Use a sewing machine here. After sewing, trim the seam allowance.
Next, press the heel away from the toe.
Then, sew the toe ends of the front and back pieces together. Make sure you take a moment to find the correct end. Double check against your pattern piece if you need to make sure (it gets especially confusing with the knee-length socks).
Place the toe ends RST and sew. I used my serger here since trimming the seam allowance wasn’t necessary.
Press your seam allowance towards the front piece and topstitch.
Fold the sock RST together along the toe dart. Line up the top edges of the front and back pieces and slightly stretch the front piece so it fits the back piece. I like to pin/clip the toe dart and top edge and ease the front piece in. At the heel dart seam, I pinned/clipped the seam towards the back of the heel.
Sew together with a 1/4″ seam allowance until you get to the curve of the toe dart. Here, taper the seam allowance to 1/8″ to give a nice, rounded toe seam. Trim the seam allowance along the sides and down to the toe dart, where you tapered off.
Finally, add the bands. Fold the band RST together, and sew along the short edge (a serger is fine here since this seam will be enclosed).
When I use a serger to make a band, I like to snip my seam allowance right along the middle without cutting through the outer thread. I press the top and bottom seam allowances different ways, and then they nest together nicely when I fold the band wrong sides together to make a nice, smooth top edge.
Turn your sock right side out, and slide the band over the top of the sock. Position the band seam along a side seam or the back. Stretch the band to fit and sew. This is another spot where a serged seam is okay. Whatever stitch you use, make sure it’s nice and stretchy so you can get the sock over the ankle.
Press your seam allowance down towards the sock, and topstitch it with a nice, stretchy stich. I used a coverstitch, but a twin needle, zig-zag stitch, or stretch stitch work great, too.
Repeat the process for the other sock (or maybe you were sewing them both at the same time). And, voila, you have yourself a pair of awesome custom socks!
As soon as my daughter put this pair on, she let me know just how soft and comfy they were. She was an instant fan! I personally love styling the knee-high socks with skirts and dresses for my daughter, but I really want to sew up lots of crew and ankle socks for everyday wear, too!
Thank you so much for joining us today to learn how to make socks. If you enjoyed this tutorial, then you might enjoy some of these other posts: