How did you embroider that design on your sock?

Bridget McPhillips

I love to be creative and find new ways to use my embroidery machine to facilitate my creativity.

What am I talking about?  Embroidering on socks!

Why on Earth would you want to embroider on socks?

Well, for one thing it is fun.

What can you do with embroidered socks?

You can wear them or share them, of course!

Yes, socks make great gifts. 

Everyone wears socks, so it is a really useful gift.  Socks provide comfort, warmth and protection.  Add some embroidery to the socks and now you have a way to carry a little bit of joy with you throughout each day.  Embroidering on socks is an easy way to carry a little reminder with you about what you love or might rather be doing! 

Secondly, unlike clothing, sock sizing is really pretty simple. Socks come in sizing defined as a range of shoe sizes. For example, a small adult sock will fit a US Women's Shoe size 6-9. It works the same way for kids and babies.

So now you are thinking, what type of occasion would you gift a pair of socks?

Happy birthday socks

Congratulations socks

You are awesome socks

Cheer up socks

Keep going socks

Happy holiday socks

I'd rather be fishing socks

What about new baby gifts, new mom gifts, bride socks, bride's maids socks, groom's men, teachers...

Do you see where I am going with this?  I think you get the idea.

You can make any socks to celebrate any occasion or simply make socks to spread joy!  The bonus is it is fun and easy to do.

So back to the question, how do you get that awesome design or phrase on the sock?  Yes I said phrase!  Add text to socks too, not just images!

I am going to share the process of embroidering on a sock using a single needle flatbed embroidery machine using a tool called Sock Easy.

Look for a second post soon, which will share the process for hooping and embroidering on a sock using a multi-needle embroidery machine.

Let's get started.

What is Sock Easy?

Sock Easy embroidery hooping aid in two sizesSock Easy side view

Sock Easy is a hooping aid, not actually an embroidery hoop. This hooping aid allows you to get the area of the sock you want to embellish in the hoop where you can embroider on it.  It also keeps the rest of the sock out of the way while the design is stitched out.

Where do I get one?

I bought mine on Amazon.

Link to Sock Easy on Amazon

What do I do with it?

At the end of my post I have included a link to a YouTube video that shows how to get different types of socks onto the hooping aid. 

Before we get to that, I want to share a few tricks and tips I have developed while using this tool.

To use this device you need an embroidery machine, an embroidery hoop, sticky back stabilizer, a small embroidery design and a pair of socks.

A quick word on the size of the embroidery design. 

The design will need to be small.  These designs are sometimes referred to as mini embroidery designs.  I use designs that are about 37mm x 59mm.

I love embroidering on socks, mittens, knit hats, and slippers so much that I have started digitizing designs exactly for this purpose.  I am starting to offer these designs in my store if you would like to take a look.

The Tumbled Stone Sock Hoop Machine Embroidery Designs

So now you have found the perfect design.

The next step step in the process is to hoop a piece of the sticky back stabilizer into your hoop with the sticky side up (the sticky side is still covered with a smooth paper) and the stabilizer side facing down. 

Hooped Sticky backed stbilizer for PE770

DO NOT remove the paper covering the sticky side of the stabilizer until you have the stabilizer hooped. 

Scoring stabilizer in an embroidery hoop with a pin

Once you have the stabilizer hooped, use a pin to score the paper covering the sticky side of the stabilizer.  I do this by dragging a pin around the inside of the hoop and in an “X” across the center of the hoop.  Use the point of the pin to gently pull the paper up along one of the lines you just scored and tear it away.  Now the sticky backing is exposed. 

Use pin to pull covering off of sticky stabilizerSticky stabilizer exposed inside embroidery hoop

At this point I begin by attaching the hooped stabilizer to my machine without the Sock Easy.  Next, load the design to be embroidered.  While the hoop is attached, use the editing function that moves the hoop around to show the area that the design will be stitch within the hoop. This allows you to mark the stabilizer where the design will be stitched and where you will need to place the Sock Easy.  I have found that by doing this first, you will eliminate any problems with the needle running into the Sock Easy.

Next you will need to mark the place on the sock where the design will be stitched out.  You can mark the sock with a pin, but be sure to remove the pin before you start embroidering. You can also use a water soluble fabric pen to do the marking. All of this is covered in detail in the video at the end of this post.

Once the sock is marked, you put the sock onto the Sock Easy.  Again this is covered in detail in the video.

Place  the Sock Easy, with the sock on it, onto the sticky stabilizer in the place you have already marked. The image I used below has obviously already been stitched, but it will let you see the hooping aid with a sock on it, stuck to the stabilizer in the embroidery hoop.

Sock in Sock Easy and stuck to sticky stabilizer

Finally, attach the hoop to your machine and now you are ready to embellish away!

Embroidering on a sock using Brother PE770Finished sock embroidered on PE770

Once the machine is finished embroidering, you remove the Sock Easy and the sock by tearing it off of the stabilizer.

I have been embroidering on socks for a while now and just wanted to share a few additional things I have discovered and have implemented to get great results on my embroidered sock projects.

I use a water soluble topper. This allows your stitches to stay on top of the sock and not sink into the knit.

I use 75/11 ballpoint needle. 

I use poly and cotton embroidery thread.

Instead of re-creating the wheel, I have inserted a YouTube video from the creator of this great little tool.  She walks you though putting different socks onto the tool.

You can watch the video here:

Using the Sock Easy Hooping Tool

Stay tuned! Next up I will be sharing a post and tutorial for the multi-needle machine sock embroidery hoop! 

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