Introduction: Secret Socks (Never Be Without Socks Again!)
I hate having cold feet in wintertime--or anytime! Moreover, I hate when I have cold feet and don't have, can't find, or am out of the house without...a pair of socks!
I've been thinking about a solution to this problem for some time now. I wanted socks that would be hidden underneath pants (without bulk) when not in use, and were easy to undo and put on when needed.
After creating many of my own ideas for the design of such a solution, I googled "sock pants" looking for inspiration. The only thing I found eventually was something on the market called Feejays. Feejays are sweatpants with feet attached to them.
Cons of Feejays:
- They are only on one type of pants: sweatpants (however, I wanted a sock that could be sewn onto ANY type of pants)
- They are expensive
- The "socks"--more like thick mittens for your feet--when rolled up, are bulky and very noticeable
Nevertheless, they did offer me inspiration for the how to make the socks wrap around the feet with something they call "an escape hatch for your feet."
With this idea in mind (and after developing my take on it), I moved forward with my version: SECRET SOCKS!
- Socks (MUST BE Crew socks or longer, coming up to the mid-calf at least)
- Sewing Machine
- Thread matching your socks
- OPTIONAL: Thread matching your pants (unless it is the same as the thread for your socks)
- Pants you want to Secret Sock-ify (the best pants to use for this project are pants that are only as wide as the widest your socks can stretch to in the leg of the socks, such as: sweatpants, skinny jeans, boot-cut jeans, etc)
- Fabric Scissors
- Measuring Tape
- OPTIONAL: Marking pen (if you have lighter colored socks)
Step 1: Slip on the Socks
Slip on both socks.
Step 2: Find Your Arches
Find where the arches in each of your feet start and end.
Mark the arches start and end points with pins.
Then put your feet together to match the arches marks.
Step 3: Lay Out the Socks
Lay out the socks with the heels and pins facing up.
Step 4: Fold in Half & Snip
Now fold the sock in half and make a small, tip-of-the-scissors snip in the middle of the pins.
Step 5: Lay Out Flat & Cut
Lay out the socks flat again.
Using the starter snip you made, cut out a rectangle on the BOTTOM OF THE FOOT ONLY, in the size dictated by the pin marks.
Be sure to stop when you reach the sides of the sock (so you don't have holes on top of the sock later).
Step 6: Measure the Cutout
Measure the width of the cutout.
Mine was 1.5 inches.
Step 7: Add Seam Allowance
Add 1/2 inch on each side for seam allowance.
My total now was 2.5 inches.
Step 8: Hem the Raw Edge
Before I went any further, I hemmed the raw edge of the toe-side (only) on the rectangular cutout on the bottom of the sock. I hemmed it about 1/4" or smaller (using a stretch stitch/small zigzag stitch), just enough to keep the raw edge from unraveling later. It may curl after being hemmed but this is OK.
I DID NOT back stitch at all. The zigzag stitches hold themselves in place.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure for EVERY TIME you sew the socks, you STRETCH THE FABRICTO ITS FULLEST STRETCH as you sew, so it maintains its elasticity. Do NOT stretch it when you are adding in the pins before sewing. ONLY stretch the fabric as you sew.
Step 9: Measure & Cut Top
At the top of the sock (the leg) where the elastic is, mark the seam allowance total from step 7 (mine was 2.5 inches) and cut off the top piece at this mark.
Step 10: Cut the Top Part in Half
For the top part you cut off, cut this in half by cutting along the top then bottom lines.
You should have two rectangles the width of the sock when you're done.
Step 11: Add the Top to the Bottom Cutout
Turn the sock wrong-side-out.
In the rectangular gap you made previously, add the top cut part (the part with elastic) with the wrong-side facing out.
To add this piece in properly, and get all the seams on the INSIDE of the sock, make sure to follow these rules:
- The elastic part of the top cut piece needs to be on the side facing the toe
- The elastic part of the top cut piece needs to be UNDER the hemmed edge of the toe-side (so that the entire elastic piece is unseen, plus maybe 1/8" if you have it). Once you achieve this, PIN IT IN PLACE.
- The raw cut edge of the top cut piece needs to be ON TOP of the raw edge of the heel-side. This will require slightly stretching it to pin it in place.
Use the pictures to help see where exactly each part of each piece should line up.
You will be sewing the horizontal side seam from one pin (on the left) to the the other pin (on the right).
Step 12: Sew
Sew this side seam using a "stretch stitch."
My machine (a Brother SQ9285) has an automatic setting for a stretch stitch at number 04 (which uses a length for the stitch of 2.5 and a width for the stitch of 1.0).
Be sure to stretch the fabric to the fullest stretch as you sew.
Also, make sure to start your stitches a little before and end them a little after the pin marks.
NOTE: I did NOT back stitch at all. The zigzag stitches hold themselves in place.
Step 13: Repeat for Second Side Seam
Repeat the last two steps for the second side seam (this should be the bottom horizontal seam between the two pins). Make sure to keep the elastic UNDER the hemmed toe-side seam, and the raw edge of the top piece ON TOP of the raw-edged heel side. (Use previous pictures for clarity.)
When finished it will look like this. There will be a gap on either side of the middle piece, and the top and bottom horizontal seams of the middle piece will be sewn.
Step 14: Attach It to the Heel Side
You will be attaching the middle piece to the HEEL side of the sock along the vertical (or perpendicular) line.
Pin the seam together to prepare it for sewing (and flatten the sock in half so you can sew only this seam). Use the pictures for clarity.
Step 15: Sew
I maintained the same settings from before to sew this seam.
I also started from the MIDDLE and worked my way out to either end (overlapping the middle stitches when you start in the middle to go the other direction).
NOTE: I did NOT back stitch at all. The zigzag stitches hold themselves in place, especially when overlapping the middle stitches.
The completed sock will look like the second picture when turned right-side out.
Step 16: Test It!
Put your completed sock on and test that it functions and fits the way it should.
You should be able to pull the elastic over the gap to cover the other side. A small bit of your foot coming out in the gap is OK (this can be fixed, if you don't like it, in a later Optional step). For my purposes, this little inconvenience didn't present any issues as the toe and heel of the foot need to be covered the most to maintain warmth from the sock. However, again, this can be fixed in an upcoming Optional step if it bothers you.
Also, make sure it comes off and goes on well, and that it rolls up and rolls down nicely. Also make sure there are no holes in-between the stitches. Fix them if there are.
Step 17: Repeat!
Repeat all of these steps on the second sock.
Step 18: OPTIONAL: a Second Flap
To make a second flap that fully encloses your foot in the Secret Socks (with no minor gaps of your foot showing), use the second half of the top cut piece you took off the top of the sock (the part with elastic). Add this in a similar way you added the first flap (the one that's on the outside of the sock), except follow these rules:
- Face the elastic of this flap towards the HEEL side of the sock.
- Have this flap in its entirety stay exactly as it is when sewing (it doesn't need to go under anything like the first flap did...it will be sewn down the way it sits now on top of everything).
- First sew down the side seams along the side seams you made with the first flap.
- Then sew the vertical (perpendicular) seam the way you did the first flap, except this time on the toe side where the hemmed edge and raw edge meet
Step 19: Put on the Socks and Pants
Slip on the socks as they are now, and put on the pants (that you want to Secret Sock-ify) over them.
Ironically, I chose sweatpants because those were the first ones we needed to Secret Sock-ify. However, you can use whatever pants you want! (You can see the other pants we have since Secret Sockified in a future step.)
NOTE: I would first perfect the basic fundamentals of making the socks. Once this is perfected (on socks you don't mind messing up while you learn), then sew them into pants you don't mind messing up. Once you perfect those pants, the sky is the limit! These socks can then be made very quickly and easily (because it's super easy once you understand the learning curve) and you can sew them into ALL your pants! Never be without socks again!
Step 20: Note Where They Sit
Note where the socks sit under the pants when the top part (that covers the leg) is fully extended upwards.
These ones sat about 1.5 inches up under the pants.
Step 21: Add the First Sock to Your Machine
This may sound funny, but this WORKS! It also takes all the stress out of adding an elastic fabric to a non-elastic fabric. Win!
Turn your first sock to be attached to the pants inside-out, and stretch it over your machine arm (I had to reduce my machine arm by taking off the sliding extra section of it).
The first part of the sock to slide over the machine arm should be the opening of the toe side of the sock. That leaves the raw-edged leg-opening side of the sock available to sew to the pant leg.
I used the bottom of the sock as reference because the fabric had a line going down the middle of the bottom where the pattern meets.
Step 22: Add the Pants to the Machine
Turn your pants inside-out.
Add the bottom of the pant leg to the machine arm ON THE SAME SIDE (meaning, the bottom of the sock needs to be sewn to the back of the pants -- the butt side -- and the top of the sock needs to match up with the front of the pants).
Step 23: Stretch and Sew
Stretch the sock edge (that will be sewn to the pant leg) OVER the pant leg to the extent that you noted when you first put the pants on over the socks (our length was 1.5 inches).
Then sew ON THE BOTTOM HEM of the pants. You can feel this by touch. You can feel the bottom hem of the pants underneath the stretched sock. My finger in the first picture is indication where this is that I will be sewing (1.5 inches away from the stretched sock edge).
I sewed this on my number 08 setting which is an overcasting stitch at 2.5 stitch length and 5.0 stitch width.
NOTE: You have to kind of man-handle the fabrics to get them to move around the arm when sewing. Push the front of the layers toward the machine's foot to keep them moving forward WHILE you're pulling these layers through from the other side. When it feels like the layers won't move anymore (or it's getting harder to move them forward), shift the fabric of the layers (both the sock and the pant leg) around from underneath the bottom of the arm so you can have more to work with to keep it going.
Step 24: One Leg Completed
The completed first leg.
Step 25: Repeat
Repeat these steps for attaching the second sock to the second pant leg.
The second picture shows the finished Secret Socks.
Step 26: ON, OFF
Here is how to take them off or put them on.
OFF: Pull the toe off first. Then, pull off the heel. Then roll them up under your pant leg.
ON: Reverse the order of "Off" by first unrolling the sock from under your pant leg. Then pull the heel and toe down over your foot. Adjust until everything sits right.
Step 27: COMPLETION!
Now your feet (like me and my family's) will stay warm and cozy whenever and wherever socks are needed...and you never have to worry about losing your socks again!
Grab a hot cocoa and enjoy your awesome new Secret Socks!
Step 28: Other Pants
Sweatpants are not the only type of pants to get Secret Sockified!
I Secret Sockified dress pants and skinny jeans, too!
As long as the pants are no wider at the base of the leg than the widest the sock's leg can stretch, you can add socks to ANY pants!
Bed pants, skinny jeans, leggings, dress pants, bootcut pants, and more! Show us your creations below...
Step 29: Alternative Ideas
- If you are using super skinny jeans or even leggings for this project (and the socks won't fit rolled up under your pants), here is a consideration for you: maybe plan on rolling the socks up as a cute cuff on the OUTSIDE of your pants? So they look like a stand-out style, but function as a Secret Sock --however, the "secret" part in this option is more like with a "secret purpose."
- If you would like to mix and match different Secret Socks with different pants (or even just have different secret socks for variety with one pair of pants), consider the following options...
- Sew on snaps: you can sew on snaps (with minimal stitches) around the inside of the pant leg (at the hem) and around the sock (where the sock meets the hem) and have other socks and pants done up the same way. That way you can alternate different socks with different pants (or multiples with the same pants). Plus, you can remove the socks for washing on their own (if you don't have a sock-eating machine like I do) without having to wash the pants, too. Plus the snaps are metal so they can be washed in a washing machine. (TIP: Use at least 8 on each pant leg and sock, to make sure the sock fully stretches to the pant leg.)
- Velcro: you could potentially do the same idea of snaps but with sewed-on Velcro (however the socks might become more easily detached after so many times of washing the Velcro and it losing it's Velcro-ness)
- Buttons and Elastics: you can potentially do the same idea of snaps/Velcro but with buttons and elastics. However, this might be more bulky, and it might not be as tight of a connection between the socks and pants (therefore, also adding more issues).
First Prize in the
Warm and Fuzzy Challenge