Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sock Mending 101

This is a sock mending method that works best for tube socks, but I also use it on my everyday crew socks.  I used to use a "patch" method, where a patch was sewn over the worn spot, which in my socks was the ball of the foot and the bottom of the heel.  I disliked this method as the patch was uncomfortable to my foot and, of course, one sock had to be sacrificed for the good of the rest of the sock community living in drawer 1.  (One sock is cut up into patches, then hand stitched to the worn areas of the other socks.)

The sock mending method I've been using for the past several years simply moves the worn spots to places that don't typically wear out on the sock.  To do this, I turn the sock inside out and flatten so the toe seam is smashed flat.  Then I pin the toe end of the sock front to back, about 2 inches from the toe end, to keep the sock fabric from shifting while sewing.  Using a sewing machine, about 1 to 1 1/2  inches from the end, I make a new toe seam, curving the edges down, like an upside-down smile (to follow the natural line of my foot).  I make a zig-zag stitch over the seam, to secure it.  I trim the excess fabric, leaving about 1/8-1/4 inch of fabric beyond the stitching.  After turning right side out, the sock's worn spots have now shifted enough so the ball and heel of my foot now have a cushy piece of sock to rest on.

Like I said, the best results are with tube socks that don't have a fitted heel.  I've done this with my son's tube socks.  For me, my crew socks do have a fitted heel, but I have grown used to the feeling of a bunched up section over the front of my ankle.  And the heel soon stretches to provide a new almost fitted feel.  These are my everyday, working-around-the-house-and-yard socks.  I don't mind that they're not perfect.  And I extend the wear of my socks nearly double.

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