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Welcome back! Last week we started our DIY gloves (which can be a handy replacement for body paint), and today we’ll finish them! If you’re just joining us, we recommend you read Part 1 to properly prep your gloves. Your tights should be positioned on your template, with a baste-stitch keeping them in place, before you move on to this tutorial.
Without further ado, lets get to it!
1. Machine Stitch
Get out your sewing machine, and sew along the baste stitch we did last week. Use thread that matches your tights, and sew at a small stitch (you’ll want to test different stitch lengths and tensions on some scrap tights, first).
It can be really tricky to get around the fingers without pulling on the tights and warping the fabric. We found that it worked best to start at the base of the fingers, and work to the tips. Sew a few stitches in between the fingers, then sew straight up the finger until you reach the tip. Back-stitch to seal it, cut the thread, and start at the next finger base. By having your stitches meet at the top of the fingers, you don’t have to try to do that full 180 degree curve, and it’ll be much easier to control your stitch.
2. Apply Fray Block
We found it’s easiest to apply the Fray Block before removing the gloves from the template. First, make sure to test your Fray Block on a section of the tights that won’t be visible, since you want to make sure it won’t discolor the fabric (if you used it in Part 1 when you cut the neck hole, you should know how it will behave on your tights).
Tie off any threads you can, snip them to manageable lengths, and apply Fray Block along the final seam. Once the Fray Block has dried completely, gently remove your template from your glove. If any of your stitches caught the cardboard, don’t panic; you should be able to gently ease the seams off of it, even if a little cardboard has to be sacrificed.
3. Remove baste stitch and adjust fit
Remove the contrasting baste stitch, using a seam-ripper. Go carefully and be gentle. Sometimes the baste stitch will be stuck in the finished seam, but if you’re careful, you should be able to get it all out. Just make sure you don’t cut your finished seam by accident!
Once the baste stitch is gone, take your fabric scissors, and trim carefully around the edge of your glove, leaving nearly a centimeter of seam allowance wherever possible. Be especially careful between the fingers. There should be a little space between each finger, but you likely won’t have room for more than a straight cut. The fray-block will help hold the fabric in place, but if holes develop in the seams, you can easily fix them with some hand sewing. If you make drastic changes (like significantly shortening the fingers), remember to re-apply Fray Block along the new seams.
Once you’ve made any obvious changes, turn it right-side out, and see how it fits your hand. If you need to adjust it any more, you can flip it inside out again. If the seams along your finger tips are a bit bumpy, don’t worry; they’ll be obscured when we add the nails.
Although we didn’t have a problem with this on our final product, if you find you’ve got excess fabric at the wrists, you can take it in just below the thumb. Put the glove on inside out, and have a friend pin back the excess fabric. Take it off and baste-stitch along the pin line, and then sew that sucker closed with your machine. Add Fray Block, and trim!
4. Apply nails
Put your gloves on right-side out, exactly how you’d wear them. Using a pen or chalk, put a dot at the center of your fingernails.
Now, to actually apply the nails, you’ll want to use a pen or smooth dowel that’s about the same diameter as your fingers. You can use your own hand, but be aware that you do not want to try and peel off a glove that’s been super-glued to your finger (we know this from personal experience). It’s much easier to use a prop.
Insert it in the finger, and put a bit of super glue on the nail. It doesn’t have to be covered; you just want enough to get it to stick to the fabric. Place it on the finger, lining it up with your mark as best as possible, but don’t worry too much; it’s more important that it sits straight and extends a bit over the edge of the glove, than that it exactly matches where your nail is. Your gloves should have enough give for you to wiggle them into place when you wear them.
Now, press the nail to the fabric, using the dowel to tap the fabric in place from the inside. Make sure not to keep the dowel still for too long, or the fabric will stick! You should only have to do this for a few seconds; super glue dries very quickly. Once it seems safely attached, you can remove the dowel, and move on to the next finger.
And that’s it! Try on your new gloves, and enjoy how eerie your arms look. Complete the illusion with some matching tights and body paint (we’ve heard good things about Ben Nye makeup).
Let us know if you end up using these for a costume—drop us a line, or share a picture on our Facebook page (and make sure to mention if you want us to share it with other people, or keep your pictures all to ourselves).
Today we bring you a tutorial for transforming tights into gloves, as a handy alternative to body paint. Often referred to as “armsocks” in the cosplay community, these gloves can be a real time-saver when you’re trying to depict supernatural skin tones. With your arms and legs easily matching, all you need to paint is your face, neck, and any of your chest or midriff not covered by your costume.
These gloves are not for the faint of heart, and we recommend you practice a few times on old pairs of tights, until you get the hang of things. We made a lot of sample pairs before taking to our final green pair, and it definitely smoothed the process along.
Since this tutorial ended up on the long side, we’ve broken it into two parts. This week, Part 1 will focus on prep; come back next week when we dig out our sewing machine for Part 2!
Fray Block or similar
Finger-sized pen or dowel
When picking your tights, you’re going to want something nylon, so that it won’t unravel when cut. We found that the Opaque Tights and the Color Tights were pretty much perfect (we used the Opaque Tights in lime for our gloves), but we practiced on some Leg Avenue Striped Tights, and they worked fine, too, so most opaque nylon tights should work. You mainly want something with a tube-style foot, otherwise you’re going to have to cut the whole foot off, and that’ll limit the length of your gloves.
1. Make hand template
In order to make gloves that fit your hands, you’ll want to start by making a template. Trace your hand onto a piece of paper, trying to keep your fingers relatively straight. You’re going to want to use this as a base, and trace the shape onto a piece of cardboard. Make sure to keep a little space between your fingers, even if that widens your template a little; you’re going to need enough room between each of your fingers so that you’ll be able to sew a few straight stitches, instead of the seams coming together at a point. This will be crucial later, since you’ll need room to snip the seams (otherwise you won’t be able to move your fingers).
2. Prep fake nails
You won’t need these until the very end, but it’s good to start them first, so you don’t get stalled later. If you need to file the nails down to a specific length, or paint them to match the tights (or to match another design), you want to do this before attaching them. Make sure to give them plenty of time to dry.
3. Make neck-hole
Before you get too far in this project, you want to make sure the tights will be the right length, and the only way to really do this is to try them on! But first, you’ll need a hole for your head. These gloves are meant to be worn over your head; almost like a sheer shrug. Starting at the crotch, use a sharp pair of scissors to cut a few inches up the center seam from the gusset. You won’t need to cut much; it should stretch pretty well. Be sure to apply Fray Block to the new raw edges before you try it on, so that you avoid causing any runs.
Slide the tights on your arms, and then lower them over your head. The cut gusset should be your new neckline, and the waist-band of the tights should sit below your chest. You can adjust the shape of the neckline based on your outfit, but it should naturally create a scoop-neck.
There should be plenty of give in the tights, and you want to be able to move well in these, so you shouldn’t feel constricted. If there’s lots of excess fabric at the ends, you can pin it off and start your gloves lower, but as long as there aren’t any unsightly wrinkles forming, you should be good to go.
4. Insert template
Turn your tights inside out, and cut off the toes. Insert your template gently, with the thumb to the inside of the leg. Be careful not to force the material too much. It should be taut, but you want it to sit smoothly across the template. Leave a little space between the top of the fingers and the raw edge, so you have some wiggle-room when you’re sewing. You’ll trim it down later, but you want some margin for error.
5. Baste-stitch around template
Using a contrasting thread, hand sew a wide baste stitch around the cardboard template. It may be tempting to skip this step, but we found that it not only made it much easier to follow the outline, it also kept the underside of the tights from being pulled or snagged by the sewing machine. Overall, this step will lead to a much cleaner finished product.
And that’s it for today! Move on to Part 2 to finish your gloves!
Since most of us Dreamers are sock fans, it’s probably not much of a surprise that we occasionally struggle with sock storage. It can be tempting to just throw all our socks into a pile and be done with it, but that can make socks hard to find, not to mention take up valuable floor space.
We’ve shared in the past some of the ways we Dreamers store our socks, and today we’re going to talk about organizing your sock drawer (or sock dresser, as the case may be), complete with a quick DIY.
If you’re going for a complete overhaul of your sock collection, it’s probably easiest to tackle them all at once, so you can start fresh. This will also give you a chance to go through and remove socks that need mending, socks that have outworn their usefulness (literally), and socks that could go on to a better home with a friend or a local thrift store. Seasonal socks can also be moved to longer-term storage, until their season rolls around again.
This is also a good chance to indulge in that tempting sock pile.
Once you’ve determined who will stay and who will go, it’s time to start folding. Our goal here is to 1) make them as compact as possible, 2) make it easy to see everything in your drawer, and 3) maintain the quality of your socks as long as possible. To this end, you want to make your socks into a nice folded square; one that is flat, and can be stood up next to its brethren in your drawer, making your morning grab for a sock that much quicker.
There are a few different techniques to folding socks. Perhaps the most common (and certainly the quickest) is to fold the top cuff of one sock over the other, to keep them connected. This may save time, but it doesn’t fulfill any of our folding goals: it takes up lots of space, will quickly lead to a chaotic drawer, and will stress the elastic band of the sock doing the binding. All in all, not an ideal technique.
These Holiday Striped Crews are having a stressful day.
The kilt is one of the most iconic symbols of Scotland, right up there with thistles, bagpipes, and haggis. Countless works of art and media depictions feature strong, proud warriors in full tartan splendor. The original kilt has its roots in the 16th century, but folks are still rocking this traditional garb–and not just in Scotland! Modern kilts run the gambit from classic tartan to a more utilitarian solid, and are found in many more fabrics than just wool. But what does one wear below the kilt?
Why, kilt socks, of course!
Traditional kilt socks are generally made of wool in undyed or natural colors, cuffed and gartered smartly below the knee. Sometimes they are rather plain, but often they are knit with beautiful bobbles and cabled designs. If you want a particularly thick cuff, shop in the Over the Knee or Thigh High sections so you’ll have more sock to work with. Top it all off by attaching a garter flash–a small piece of ribbon or fabric that coordinates with the kilt–to one of our Simply Adjustable Sock Garters for that perfect look.
Modern kilt enthusiasts shouldn’t feel constrained by tradition, however! There are patterns and colors enough to suit any casual, every-day kilt. Stripes and Argyles–a long-time partner of kilts already–are always fun. But what about Tie-Dye? Nerdy novelty? Socks with something to say? Loud socks work particularly well with utility kilts in solid colors.
Beyond the Knee
Though a thick cuff at the knee is traditional, the modern kilt-wearer has as many choices as those of us who wear skirts and shorts. For warmth and coverage, long socks, or even tights, are excellent ways to keep breezy thighs warm. If you’re new to thigh highs and find they slide down, we recommend the Industrial Suspender Clip Garter Belt. And no, garter belts are not just for ladies. That’s a silly stereotype that’ll have your socks ’round your ankles in no time. If long isn’t your thing, that’s okay, the standard midcalf length looks great paired with a kilt and maybe a set of Classic Sock Garters for that dashing look.
Are you inspired to ditch the trousers and don a kilt? Don’t be shy, you’ll look totally cool. In fact, we’d love to see and share photos of our be-kilted customers in Sock Dreams socks! You can post pictures on our Facebook, or submit them via tumblr. If you would rather email them, send them on over to email@example.com–just remember to let us know your preferred name, your pronouns, and if it is okay to share your photo on our social media sites.
Let’s face it. Snags happen. Socks can be particularly prone to this fiasco. They can catch on boot zippers, or stick on splintery furniture. They can get clawed by kittens, or entrapped by bike chains. Fortunately we in the sock business have found a useful tool to counteract this textile tragedy.
This genius little device may not look like much, but has the power to rescue your favorite stockings from certain ruin. The tiny hook can grab hold of that pesky loose thread and bring it through to the inside, restoring your socks to respectability. It is very inexpensive and can be found in the sewing tools aisle of your local craft or fabric store. Here is a step-by-step guide for how to use this handy helper to remove a snag.
Step 1: Place the sock over your hand so that you have access to the inside of the sock. Locate the snag.
Step 2: Move the snag repair tool inside the sock and find the back side of the snag.
Step 3: Insert the tool through the back side of the fabric so that it pokes through the front of the sock right next to the snag.
Step 4: Place the snag inside of the hook and close the latch.
Step 5: Pull the tool back through the inside of the sock, bringing the snag with you.
Step 6: Enjoy your restored sock! Yep. It’s that easy.
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