Saturday, 21 November 2015

A Christmas Surprise for You...

A nifty idea, just in time for you to make for Christmas!

Remember the Roll Up Pillowcase? ...
How about a Roll Up Christmas Sock?!

First, you need a pattern for the sock part.  I originally made a full size sock instead of a pillowcase, but that had a lot of waste fabric ( I used 1/2m of fabric!) and was a bit bigger than I needed (above).  So, instead, using a Fat Quarter, I started to work on a sock that would look right using one FQ for the main sock and 2 other FQ's as accent colours. Scraps for the accent colours would work, too.

The 1st one was a bit too narrow in the opening and the heel looked funny.  The next was much better, but I still wasn't happy with the heel and so on.  Finally, I arrived at the finished product...

I think it's functional and pretty! It finishes 17.5 inches long plus about 2 inches for the hanger. The top is almost 7 inches wide and the width of the toe to the side is around 10 inches. All the seams were stitched using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Since the sock seams are all enclosed when done, there is no need to line the sock. 

Are you ready to make one? Off we go!

For a printed pattern, please email directly to  Please put 'Roll up Sock' in the subject line.  I am working on getting the files to open here, but so far, the quickest way is to email me.  The pattern is not fancy and is 2 pages.  You will need to tape the pattern pieces together- do not try to match the lines- just tape the edges of the papers together.  A 1/4 inch seam line is factored into the pattern. 

For a Christmas Sock - the toe tips down a bit, it's not just stuck out sideways.  Also, when you are sketching one out, keep the curves large- you will have to sew them.  Christmas socks tend to curve up and around at heel.  Another useful hint: cut to the outside of your pattern so you can use it again. 

If you don't print a pattern... you can make the pattern with parchment paper and a pencil. You will need a piece about 16 or 17 inches long and trimmed to the width of the folded FQ, about 11 inches.  The sock pattern is about 7 & 1/2 inch at the top and it is 10 & 5/8 inch on the widest part of the toe.  The length is 15 & 3/8 inch. 

If you look at the picture, you will see where the curves are in relation to the squares, so you can follow and make your own pattern. You can also draw a pattern off your favourite sock.  

Fold your FQ (fat quarter) so the selvedge  is on the top and place the pattern so the fold line is on the fold of fabric.  Remember, we do not cut the fold line.

Once you are happy with the placement, pin and then cut around the pattern. It's okay if you are into the salvedge as it will end up in the seam.   

Next, for the trim/band colour cut a 2&1/2 inch wide strip that is 15 inches long or the width of a FQ if you want.  The cuff is cut 8 inches wide and the width of a FQ. The extra here will be used to make the hanger.

Fold these 2 pieces of fabric in half lengthwise and press. (different sock)

Open out the 8 inch piece (cuff) and lay right side up.  Next place the main sock opened up, also face up, and match the raw edges together. As a hint, if you have a directional fabric, place the fabric so the directional print is upside down if you are pinning it the way in the picture.  If you learned to pin with the raw edges away, there is no need to turn the fabric upside down.  Next, the small trim piece gets laid on, keeping all the raw edges together.   

Flip the toes of the sock in and roll the sock up toward the raw edges. This keeps the toes out of the way, as now is a good time to trim the band to the actual sock top width. 

Bring the cuff over and pin into place. This will give a 3.5 inch finished band. 

Pin, starting in the centre and work outward.  Sew a 1/4 inch seam along the pinned edge, remembering to backstitch the edges.

Turn the finished tube, bringing the inside out and the magic begins!  The seam is enclosed.  

Press the back of seam; then, flip over to press the front of the seam and trim, finishing with a nice sharp top edge on the cuff. Any wonky edges can be trimmed up straight here.

 ( Remember not to press on your cutting mat! )

Press the sock with wrong sides together; yes, right sides will be facing you.  Pin, matching the cuff seams and continue with a few pins down around the sock.  

Taking a deep breath, gently lower your presser foot and sew the seam.  If there is a lot of bulk under the pressure foot or its not behaving how you would like, start sewing about an 1/2 inch down the cuff, or so, and then reverse and sew back down the seam (the sock should backstitched at the beginning & this is just another way to do that). 

The seam you are sewing is a gentle curve, sew slow and ease the fabric around when sewing. Try to keep it a 1/4 inch seam.  After you have it sewn, trim the 1/4 inch seam back a bit.  I actually trimmed it back to about 1/8th inch. Sometimes, in sewing the curves, they get a bit wide.  It's up to you to decide if  you want to remove the seam and try again.  Sewing slowly is the best advice!   

Inside your finished Roll Up Sock- no raw edges.  See how the seam follows the curve of the heel and finishes a bit on the actual fold of the fabric.  
Turn the sock and push the seam edges out with a stick (wooden spoon/paint stir stick), or a proper sewing tool,  or the flat of your scissors (my fav until I get in a rush and poke a hole through the seam- oops!) and press the seam flat.  This 'pressed' seam should show the curve of the sock. Normally, you don't need pins at this stage but I needed to put a pin in at the heel so when I got the heel, I remembered to gently sew the curve up and off the fold of fabric to give a nicer look. You are making a french seam, so all your seams in the sock are enclosed and you get a nice finished product.   Sew along the pressed seam, again working slowly and paying attention to the heel.

You are almost done.  Next, turn the sock right side out and again using something to push the seam out from inside, carefully press the seam. This is the finished sock but we need to attach a hanger.

Remember, that piece of the cuff that was set aside? It's about 8 inches long by 3 or 4 inches? Press the short ends in about 1/2 inch and fold/press this piece in half lengthways.  Using the centre press line as a guide, press each side into the centre and press in 1/2 again.  No raw edges should be showing.  Sounds very complicated- but its not. Stitch the ends and along the open finished edge.  This will make the hanger for the sock.

Fold the hanger in 1/2 and pin in place at the side edges of the sock. I liked putting the sewing lines to the back of the sock and positioned the ends about an inch down on either side of the side fold and stitched around the hanger from the inside.  That finishes your sock!  

If you wished,  you could make button holes in the cuff and put buttons on the end of the tabs giving another design element to your sock! Or, use jumbo ric-rack or a cool ribbon for the accent band. 

So there is our Christmas Magic for you!  

Please feel free to send pictures to Mrs P's - we'd love to see them.  
{We will be posting some pics here, so if you do not want yours posted, please let us know and we will not post them.}

Surprises can be the best part of Christmas!

Thank you to Karen (Neary) who allowed me to sit for another hour (or two) at her table and for offering her encouragement and enthusiasm!