Going Rogue is a sock pattern created by The Wolf and the Tree… and it is also one of my #MakeNine for 2019.
I first came across this pattern on Instagram… which is not an uncommon thing to happen to me, it is so worth following a great range of creative people on there as it shows you so many different patterns/fabrics/ideas that you otherwise may never find. I was completely thrown at first because in my head, socks are knitted, which of course predominantly they are but it had never crossed my mind that you could sew a pair and I was suitably intrigued.
The fabric that I then chose to make these from was also another moment of undeniable intrigue… because its UV reactive. In the house it looks like a standard leopard print, and then you get it out in the sun and all these colours appear as if like magic on the inside of the spots. I found it at myfabrics and was frankly far too fascinated not to buy it (how a lot of fabrics end up in my stash) but actually knew immediately it would make the coolest pair of socks. The fabric isn’t as stretchy as a lot of jersey’s I have, I’m not sure if this is due to whatever makes the UV reaction or if it is just a stiffer fibre construction but it still has around a 25% stretch and would work well for a lot of stretchy projects.
So after purchasing the pattern and downloading it I had the first challenge of a .pdf pattern and that is figuring out what you need to print… and that is where I became incredibly impressed with this pattern. It is so often that you have to print 20-30 pages only to find that you don’t even need half of them… not with this pattern though because it includes a grid which tells you which pages you need to print for your size and combination of chosen variables. This sounds really simple, but it is so rare to find this on a .pdf pattern and it makes things so much easier and more economic. So the pattern is made up of 36 pages, and I only had to print 11. The size charts on this pattern are also fabulous as it takes the length/width of your foot for one part, and the width of your leg for the remainder (and also comes in petite, regular and tall). This means that it is super personalisable to your size which is just brilliant (I have sewn a huge number of dress patterns that have less options and they should in theory require more fitting that a pair of socks). On top of this there are then many style options included, different lengths of socks and finish options.
So I chose to make the knee high sock, with the elastic band and top of toe seam. I printed the relevant pages, stuck them together, cut out my size and ended up with the 1 pattern piece I needed. The sewing is then really straight forward and all the various options have separate instructions for each bit, which is wonderfully clear.
I chose to sew the majority of the socks on my overlocker. Under the tips section of the instructions it gives lots of options of stretch stitches to use for sewing the seams so this is by no means the only option (in fact its actually the only place overlocking is mentioned, which surprised me because usually jersey patterns reference this a lot). So, I sew’d the top of toe seam, then around one corner of the toe and the entire length of the rest of the sock. I then overlocked the raw top edge ready for creating the casing for the elastic.
The elastic is actually the only part that confused me, as there is no reference anywhere to a suggested width or length to use. After spending a while making sure I wasn’t going mad I decided to message the shop and was so thrilled by not only their reply but the speed of it (literally an hour later)… and I’ll share with you the reply because I found it really helpful.
“I omitted that because quality/stretch of elastic as well as the sensitivity to tightness around the ankle varies greatly. This is a personal preference sort of thing. But usually 82-87% is a great range for elastic length. As for width, they have been made with 1/4’’ – 1/2’’ wide elastic.”
So what I did was placed the elastic around the top of my calf (approx where the sock would sit) and stretched till it was comfortable before then cutting this length off. For me this was about 35cm (which is around 87% of the top width for reference) so I sew’d these into 2 circles of elastic, placed at the top of the sock and sewed around using a lightning bolt stitch to create the casing for it.
Phenomenally, this is now a finished pair of socks. One of the quickest sewing projects I have ever embarked upon.
However… I wasn’t done. After trying the socks on I found they felt really quite peculiar. I believe this is because of the lower stretch of this jersey fabric, it was across the heel it felt tight and yet really wrinkly across the front of my ankle. So, knowing that the pattern has an optional heel I decided to see if that improved them for me. Now, according to the instructions this should be done before sewing up the sides but I couldn’t see any reason for it not working so took the bold step to slice into my socks to insert the heel section. It was a little fiddly but absolutely fine and worked really well.
With the optional heel in place I tried them on again and they felt a lot more sock like to me… I’m so much happier with them.
So there you go… 1 super quick pair of socks whipped up in under an hour. I’d thoroughly recommend giving them a go, it’s a really fun little project that doesn’t use much fabric… plus, you always need a good pair of socks!