Well this project might be my new favorite. I know. I know. I always have a new favorite…but that’s probably a good problem, right? I love pushing myself creatively, but I also love making something we would maybe otherwise buy. A mobile, coat hooks, snack bags, and now fleece socks for Harlow’s rainboots!
If you know anything about Pittsburgh, you know it rains a lot. It can be gorgeous and sunny, too, but I always joke that it’s why we pay Pittsburgh prices. If we had weather like San Diego? We’d be paying for it too! Well, it’s also been raining a good bit here in Boston…and we don’t pay Pittsburgh prices…so……. Anyways….I digress.
Rainboots. A must around these parts, but they always seem to eat the little socks Harlow wears when she takes them off. I knew I could buy a pair of fleece socks, but we decided to have fun making and customizing a pair together instead!
The PDF patterns for the actual sock is available at the end of this post, but to alter the pattern to fit your selected boots, you’ll need a few measurements of your own as well.
The first measurement we will need is the sole of the boot. The biggest thing here is the length — then determine how the boot fits/how wide you want the fleece sole piece to be cut. I used the outline of the boot as my sole piece — including seam allowances.
You can take the length of your sole measurement and modify my pattern. Using the .JPG available below, you will want to resize the sole to the correct length — depending on how much you are resizing it, you may need to change the aspect ratio or the width will be off. Be sure to modify all of the pieces at the same time — especially the “foot” and “sole” pieces.
The next modification you’ll have to make is for the leg of the boot. The best way to do this is simply place your boot on the pattern piece — the ankle of your boot should hit at the bottom of the pattern piece. Extend the piece with more height or change the width, etc. Just make sure it’s about 1/4″ taller than your boot leg and the opening is about 1/4″ wider as well.
When you’ve created your leg boot piece, you’ll need to alter the cuff of boot piece to match the opening width. I promise this will make sense as you do it. :) You can also change the height of the cuff piece if you want more or less folded over!
After you’ve created your pattern pieces, cut everything out of the fleece. Be sure to cut the pieces on the fold that need to be — the foot, leg of boot and cuff of boot.
If you are just creating the fleece boot, you can skip to the construction section of the project, but if you are embroidering the cuff like I did, then keep reading here! As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m still very new to embroidery, so between learning about all of the thread and stabilizers and designs and whatever else, I’m also figuring out what works for me. I’ve decided I’m approaching it like quilting: there is not just one “right” way of doing things.
Moving on! Goodness, I’m a bit rambl-y today — sorry!
Because we are embroidering on fleece, I’ve chosen to use 2 layers of a medium weight stabilizer and a layer of water soluble stabilizer on top. I love the water soluble product for materials like minky, fleece and velvet — it keeps the design from sinking into the fabric. A quick rinse and it’s gone.
Hooping — getting your sandwich taut within the embroidery ring — can be a little intimidating at first. Try to hoop your fabric as centered and straight as you can. I find loosening the outer ring, pulling the layers tight and then tightening the rings seems to work best for me.
After I’ve hooped my fabric, I use the plastic guide to line up where I want the embroidery image to go. I’ve purchased this image (Hallie the Hippo from Doc McStuffins) from iBroidery — there are thousands of images and text available.
Align your embroidery pattern using the PE770 screen. I always check the perimeter of the design — as shown in the video — so I can see exactly where it will stitch. When you are ready to begin, just follow the color instructions on your machine. This design took 20 passes to complete.
I always recommend watching the thread throughout the entire process. One catch of the thread can mess up an entire color, so you want to be sure it’s loosely feeding the thread, as the tension on the machine takes care of the rest.
When the design has been embroidered, you can begin the construction of the socks!
I used a serger for mine, but a zig-zag stitch would work great too. You don’t need to worry about the fleece fraying, but the zig-zag stitch will allow for stretch. First, mark the middle of your boot leg and foot pieces.
Using pins, line up the top of the foot piece with the bottom opening of the boot leg piece, as shown below.
Serge in place.
Next, pin the cuff piece to the boot leg piece as shown below.
Sew in place. Be sure to check the direction of your embroidery design, so it’s right side out and up when folded over the boot.
For this next part, you will be pinning the back of the sock and also pinning the sole to the foot piece. I like to do this in tandem, so you can remove any excess from the top of the foot piece. (No matter how many times I measure, I always end up with a little excess on this piece.)
Pin the back seam down to the top of the foot piece. Pin the sole to the foot piece, starting at the center of the toe.
When you get to the back, pin in place and cut the excess fabric either with a scissor prior to sewing or with your serger.
If serging, be sure to tack your threads in as shown above! After you’ve sewn down the back seam, sew around the sole.
And you’re done!
I can’t wait to see what you create!