Sock It to Me: Recycle Socks Into New Garments

Don't throw them away. If you're good with a sewing needle you can recycle socks into hats, mittens, and scarves. Here's how.

| January/February 1983

  • recycle socks - two children wearing scarf and hat
    Would you ever guess some of the clothing items these kids are wearing are made from recycled socks?
    By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
  • recycle socks - assorted garments that use recycled socks
    Mittens, a hat, scarf, and turtleneck shirt are some of the items you can make. Note the ear flaps on the blue stocking cap.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
  • recycle socks - finished baby bootee
    Fold under the raw edges of the material and stitch the strip to the inside of the sock, overlapping the fabric where its ends meet. The resulting band folds down to form a cuff.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
  • recycle socks - baby bootee
    Begin by cutting a sock just below the ribbing, forming a curved toe. Keep in mind that you'll need to perform each step twice to make a pair of bootees.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
  • recycle socks - completed mitten
    While the mitt is still inside out, weave in an elastic thread at the wrist and knot it. After you turn it right-side out again, add designs if you like.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
  • recycle socks - turtleneck shirt, front
    Turn the garment wrong side out and sew up the shoulder seams. Fold the 3" sock sections you've reserved for the cuffs in half, and attach them to the ends of the arms.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
  • recycle socks - mitten
    Starting from the cut end of the sock, make a slit to accommodate the thumb
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
  • recycle socks - thumb of mitten
    To fabricate the thumb, cut a hook-like section of an appropriate length and width from the leftover sock material.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
  • recycle socks - turtleneck shirt, back
    To add an opening at the back of the pullover, slit the turtleneck down the back and cut a couple of inches on down into the shirt.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
  • recycle socks - scarf
    Cut the heel and toe from each sock, leaving a tubular section. Turn one of these arch portions wrong side out and pull it over a right-side-out one. If decoration is desired, you can embroider the end squares.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
  • recycle socks - stocking cap
    Gather the top of the hat in an X-pattern and fasten a yarn pom-pom in place.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff

  • recycle socks - two children wearing scarf and hat
  • recycle socks - assorted garments that use recycled socks
  • recycle socks - finished baby bootee
  • recycle socks - baby bootee
  • recycle socks - completed mitten
  • recycle socks - turtleneck shirt, front
  • recycle socks - mitten
  • recycle socks - thumb of mitten
  • recycle socks - turtleneck shirt, back
  • recycle socks - scarf
  • recycle socks - stocking cap

Suppose a friend called to inform you of a surprise baby shower; or your mate suggested an impromptu visit to your sister's family; or the youngsters came in from playing in the snow, rummaged through their bureaus, and informed you that there wasn't a dry mitten in the house. Would you worry because you're too short on funds to buy a gift for the shower, or to purchase a small token of affection for your nieces and nephews? Do you perhaps lack the knitting skill necessary to keep your family supplied with low-cost mittens?

Well, I used to feel a pang of panic in such situations, but now I just confidently head for my darning basket. Then, an hour or two later, I'll have a passel of newly stitched clothing to offer as gifts or to supplement my own children's wardrobes. I’ve learned, you see, how to recycle socks.

Bootee Basics

To stitch up a pair of infant foot-warmers (which would be a welcome gift at just about any baby shower), you'll need a pair of adult-sized crew-neck socks, a scrap of material, and a bit of ribbon or yarn. Begin by cutting a sock just below the ribbing, forming a curved toe (Keep in mind you'll need to perform each step twice to make a matched pair of bootees).

Next, cut a strip of fabric that's 1" wide and long enough to form a border around the top of the ribbing (be sure to allow for some overlap when you measure it). Then fold under the raw edges of the material and stitch the strip to the inside of the sock, overlapping the fabric where its ends meet. The resulting band folds down to form a cuff (as shown in Fig. 2).



With that done, trace the outline of the bootee's toe, add a seam allowance to this curve, and cut a half-circle of fabric to match. With the right side of the scrap facing out, stitch the half-round (folding its raw edges under as you go) to the upper layer of sock material.

Now, cut another 1"-wide strip of fabric that's long enough to encase the toe of the bootee, and secure it in place, being sure to stitch through all the thicknesses of the cloth and the sock. (This forms a "bumper" at the tip of the shoe.)






Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: February, 16-17 2019
Belton, TX

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard
Free Product Information Classifieds

}