Tuesday, 10 May 2011

How Tuesday: Lost Socks Keeper

I'm convinced that there is a vortex at the back of my dryer that steals only one sock out of each pair. I have lonely matchless socks all over the laundry room. But no more! I made myself this handy lost socks keeper.

And you can make one too!

Materials Needed:
- about 1/2 meter of cotton for outside
- about 1/2 meter of cotton for inside
- scraps of felt for lost socks design
- embroidery thread and needle
- matching thread
- hangar
- some pattern paper or the back of some wrapping paper for pattern drafting
- chalk or tailor's pen
- glue stick

Time Needed:
- this one took me awhile because of all the hand embroidery. Maybe 3 hours.

Skill Needed:
- Medium
- some machine sewing
- some hand embroidery
- drafting a pattern

Step One:
First we start by drafting a pattern. Take the hangar that you will use in your finished design. Use the shape of your hangar to design your pattern piece. Make sure you take into account seam allowances. Trace around the top of your hangar. Make the bottom part of the pattern by lengthening the sides and rounding off the bottom. It can be any size you desire. Mine ended up being 15 inches across and 15 inches (not including the top of the hangar) in length. Draw a rounded oval near the top of your piece to use as the opening in which to place your lost socks.

Your pattern should look something like this:

Step Two:
Cut out two outside pieces and two inside pieces from your cotton using your pattern piece. Use some chalk to mark where your oval is on one of the front pieces. Mark both the right and wrong side of the fabric.

Cut out "Lost Socks" from your scraps of felt. (If you really have trouble free-handing it, you might want to use the chalk to sketch out your letters before you cut). You can also draw a little sock and cut it out of white felt. I cut the heel and toe piece out of blue and sewed them on top.

Instead of using fusible webbing which ends up messy and annoying, I used a glue stick to hold all my pieces in place. Rub a little glue on the backs of each piece and place them where you would like them to go on the front of your cotton piece. This will give you a bit of a hold that you can sew through.

Step Three:
Hand embroider around the edges of your letters and your Lost Sock using embroidery thread and a needle. I used all my left over embroidery thread so it came out in several different colours.

Step Four:
Place the front piece that you finished embroidering, right sides together with one of the inside pieces. Stitch around the chalk mark that you made on the back of the front piece. Trim and clip edges. Turn right side out and press.

Step Five:
Place the two remaining pieces (ones you haven't sewn on yet) wrong sides together. Layer them with your sewn and pressed piece right sides together. You should be able to see the right side of your back piece through the hole in your front piece. Sew around the edges, leaving a hole at the top for your hanger to fit through. Trim seams and clip corners.

Step Six:
Turn right side out. There should be some unfinished fabric at the top of your sock keeper where the hangar will poke through. Turn this fabric under and zig zag across it to make it look nice.

Step Seven (optional):
You may wish to embroider around the edge of the hole just for an added special touch. It looks nice and matches the embroidery you have on the Lost Socks part.

Step Eight:
Place your hangar inside and find a special spot near the evil sock vortex for the next time a sock comes up pairless. I ended up using a different hangar than that one pictured above. I didn't like the look of the bottom part of the hangar going across where I sewed in the hole. So I found a hangar without a bottom piece to make it look nicer. And it's an old hangar we got with some baby clothes, so it won't hold enough to be used in our house. Perfect for this project!

As always you may use this pattern in whatever way you choose. Make it for your family, for your friends' chaotic laundry room. Make it for a gift or to sell - whatever floats your boat! If you make The Lost Socks Keeper, I would love to see the results. Email me a photo (link in my profile), or share the photo in the Tawny Bee Flickr Group, or write about it (I always love free reviews!) and link your post in the comments below.


And if you'd rather not draft up this pattern and spend all that time hand stitching Lost Socks across the bottom, then please visit the Tawny Bee Etsy shop where you can purchase this one (or one similar once I get making a few more). :)


Sharing my latest tutorial with these awesome people:
Tuesday Tell All - My Craftie Life
Too Cute Tuesday - Funky Polkadot Giraffe
Anything Related - All Thingz Related
Link Party Number 53 - Tea Rose Home
Hoo's Got Talent? - Night Owl Crafting
Link Partay #25 - Lil' Luna
Link Up Lounge - Deals and Dishes
Friday Favs - Nap Time Crafters
Fantabulous Friday! - Momma's Kinda Crafty
Who Made What Weekends - Naturally Me Creations
Feature Yourself Friday - Fingerprints on the Fridge
Blog Hop For May - FaveCrafts


JStacie said...

Great Idea! This is a lot cuter than my dollar store basket that I use. I may have to add this to my list o' things to do!

~The Bargain Babe from *Zucchini Summer Blog* said...

This is adorable! I especially love the little sock appliqu├ęd to the bag. :D

Unknown said...

oh man! the lost socks idea is so great. really simple and perfect for all those missing socks.

new follower!

Mary Lou said...

This is such a great idea! Maybe I'll actually finds some mates for lost ones if I keep them together. Or will they reproduce like wire hangers? :}

Jayna Rae said...

Cute idea. This is way better than letting them pile up in the bottom of the laundry basket, waiting for their twin to come home.

Naturally Me Creations said...

Haha....what is it with these socks?! So weird. Cute idea! :)

Tnx for sharing at Who Made What? Weekends!

Hknisley said...

What a great idea! Nice work!

AmyH said...

Very clever idea! I'm featuring you tomorrow as a Friday Fav at naptimecrafters.blogspot.com

DangAndBlast! said...

I found one of my socks just barely peeking out from under the spinner post in the middle of the washing machine one day... it was hard to pull it out... I have an awful feeling that that's where the socks that never get found (whose mates have been sitting in my old shoebox of lonely socks for years) go... sucked out into the water system... I've lost some of my very favorite socks :(

Steph120765 said...

This would also be great for clothes pins! Just applique 'clothes pins' instead. I will make this for my socks this week but I think I will applique 'LOST SOLES' instead.
Thanks for sharing such a cute idea!

Anonymous said...

This is great! I was recently thinking that I needed a clothes pin bag, but where would I find one. I can make that! Thanks for the encouragement!

Daily Craft said...

Great project! I just wanted to let you know that we featured this project on our Facebook page with over 17,000 fans. We’d love it if you’d use our Featured Blogger button, available at: http://www.dailycraft.com/thank-you-for-crafting/. Our audience loved the project and we look forward to sharing more from you. Please let us know if you have any questions or projects you’d love us to feature! Thanks!

Tawny said...

Thank you so much for the feature! I'm a fan of your on Facebook as well. :D

reneegrrrrrrrr said...

This is ever so cute!
I finally started pinning my pairs together before they go in the washer. However; it didn't solve the missing sock syndrome. I end up pinning the mateless socks together. Now I'll have ONE place for all the singles to wait for their mates to return.
Thanks for sharing the tutorial!