The weather in Virginia in May is surreal – we have nights with frost, afternoons of hailstorms, and days where the weather hits 90 before 10am. Trying to sew for the seasons is a hit-or-miss proposition, and for the most part I’ve given up. In general, I’m now in the swing of summer sewing, but the CSC month of “accessories and extras” convinced me to pull out a winter pattern that’s been lurking in my stash for the last year: socks.
Jalie 2448 – Women’s Thermal Socks
Baby, Girls, and Women (up to US shoe size 12)
What size did you make?
I wear a women’s size US 8W, so I went with the corresponding size “T” for the sole and ankle, grading out to a “V” at the calf. More on this later…
What are your measurements, height, and body type?
Show Size: US Women’s 8W
Calf circumference: 18”
Just-below-knee circumference: 16”
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
This is a VERY simple pattern, with just three pieces (the sole, the front shin and the back calf), and sews up in less than half an hour. However, the sizing is a little tricky – the patter directs you to choose your size SOLELY based on your shoe size. (See what I did there? SOLELY?! Ha ha! But I digress…)
Now, if you are like me, average knee sock and knee-high boots just won’t do – they are too snug around the calf. In fact, I generally can’t even wear the usual “wide calf” boots because there are too tight. I knew going in that I was going to have to give myself some extra space above the ankle.
I had no idea how much I was going to need (since there are no additional measurements given), so I just eyeballed it and graded up two sizes to the “V” above the ankle. This adjustment took about 2 minutes total.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
Jalie instructions assume that you are an intermediate sewist – the directions are sparse, but complete. If you are a beginning sewist, take your time and you should be fine. And if you speak French (or want to), enjoy the bilingual instructions!
Sewing the socks is a bit fiddly – the instructions say to use your sewing machine (not your serger) because of the precision sewing needed around the joining of the three pieces at the ankle. You have to stop and start several times to get the seams aligned correctly, and you may need several passes to get it right the first time. But once you have the hang of it, these will fly off your sewing machine.
Note #1: the instructions say to use a “short, wide zig zag” but don’t specific the exact settings for your sewing machine. I used a 2mm stitch length and a 3.5mm zig zag and it seemed to work well. Your results may vary, but I’d start there.
Note #2: My sewing machine was giving me fits the night I sewed these up – it kept skipping stitches and breaking the thread. Eventually, I changed the needle and everything was once again right with the world, but the quality of my sewing in these photos (skipped stitches, pulled seams, etc.) is more reflective of my fight with the machine than the result of the pattern.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
This pattern is meant for stretch fleece, or other thermal fabrics with a 40% stretch factor. I used a leftover rayon ponte with a similar weight and stretch. I wish I had graded up one more size in the calf (to a “W”), because they are still a bit snug – but, overall, I was surprised at how comfy they are! In particular, there is plenty of room in the toe box — I hate the feeling when my toes are crowded, so these socks were a pleasant surprise!
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
I might sew these up in a stretch fleece for bumming around the house on weekends. They are perfect for lounging around and staring at your fabric stash…
Or in a thermal fleece with a silk lining for winter hiking or skiing. I can even see sewing up a version (maybe grading down one size) in a cotton lycra for fall and winter months under jeans and long dresses.
I can see playing around with color-blocking and adding a cute band at the top, rather than the original “fold over and sew” method.
I suspect that you could create some really adorable boot socks with a lace top-band peeking out over the boot. I think you could probably also extend the leg up another 3-5 inches for an “above the knee” look (but consider adding clear elastic to the inside to keep them from sliding down over your knee).
And of course, you could shorten them to ankle socks too.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up?
This pattern is GREAT for using up fabric remnants – it needs about 1/3 of a yard and can be made from almost any kind of knit that has the required 40% stretch.
Size Range: 4 (I wish the sizing included calf measurements)
Construction Process: 4
Final Fit: 4
Overall Rating: 4