Simone Rocha on How to Tie-Dye a Pair of Socks

Simone Rocha on How to Tie-Dye a Pair of Socks

Simone Rocha on How to Tie-Dye a Pair of Socks

Simone Rocha on How to Tie-Dye a Pair of Socks

As part of our Designer D.I.Y. series, Ms. Rocha shows how to make an old pair of socks pop in a crafty, colorful way.

At a time when everyone is isolated at home, nervous about spending money and without an occasion to dress up, what can we do to help you pass the time?

Styles has started a series of print-and-keep D.I.Y. wardrobe customization ideas, similar to the sewing patterns that glossy magazines used to provide. We want you to remember the joy of fashion and learn (or remember) how to make things at home. Some of fashion’s best-known creative talents will be on hand to guide you through the process.

Here, Simone Rocha, known for her voluminous statement-making dresses and romantic yet rebellious collections, has chosen to jazz up a pair of old socks with a fluoro-marbled tie-dye print, finished with personalized embroidery.

“I often collect old cotton aprons and bibs in flea markets, so in recent weeks I’ve been able to repurpose them as tokens for friends, collaborators and family during my down time,” Ms. Rocha said from her home in London. “I like to stitch names on pieces like this because we are in a time where everything human feels the most vulnerable, yet also the most important.”

“In the evenings it has been very therapeutic.”


STEP 1

Thoroughly wet your socks in the bucket. Wring dry.

STEP 2

How you use the elastic bands on the socks will shape the tie-dye effect. One option is to twist the socks tightly into long, ropelike strands, then wrap them up into shell-like coils before pleating around them with elastic bands.

“For a more random pattern, I used baking beans inside the sock and trapped the fabric with the elastic band it to create polka dots,” Ms. Rocha said. You will want to use three to four bands per sock.

STEP 3

Add the packet of Dylon dye and a generous cup of table salt to the bucket of warm water. Submerge the socks in the bucket for at least two hours. The longer you leave them, the deeper the color will be.

STEP 4

Remove the socks from the bucket. Remove the elastic band wraps and rinse the socks under cold water until it runs clear. Wash the socks on cold in the washing machine with a fabric fixative. Let them dry.

STEP 1

“For the embroidery pattern on the socks, I used a classic chain stitch to spell names, although initials would also work as a less laborious alternative,” Ms. Rocha said.

A chain stitch is where you pull the needle through the loop into the next stitch. Start with drawing out the name on one sock — the easiest place to stitch will be at the top above the ankle. Use a light pencil, like a 2B, so it doesn’t puncture the fabric and rubs off easily if you make a mistake.

STEP 2

Carefully thread the needle with your embroidery thread. The length of the thread should not be any longer than the length to your elbow when it’s doubled. (This stops it from knotting up.) Snip, then tie a little knot where the two loose bits of thread meet.

STEP 3

An embroidery hoop can be useful to keep your material taut when stitching into it. When sewing, be sure to start from the back, not the front.

STEP 4

Bring the needle up through the fabric at your starting point. Insert the needle again at the starting point and bring the tip up through the fabric a short distance away. Place the working thread behind the needle and pull the needle through the loop. Repeat.

Credit: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images (rocha)


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