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Polar Fleece Socks

Life Skills:

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Employability

Curriculum Tie:

Time Frame:
2 class periods that run 45 minutes each.

Group Size:


This activity gives students an opportunity to work with a synthetic fabric (polar fleece) and a simple pattern to create a pair of comfy socks.

Main Curriculum Tie:
Apparel Design and Production I
Strand 5 Standard 1

Explain and be able to demonstrate the following construction terms: basting stitch, back stitch, pivot, trimming, reinforce stitch, top stitch, right sides together.

Basting stitch: Set the machine for the longest stitch possible; no backstitching; baste within the seam allowance, close to but not on the seamline.
Back stitch: Stitching a short distance to reinforce stitching in a seam. If available, you may use your machine's "fix" function to lock the stitches at the beginning and end of the seam.
Pivot: Stitch to the corner marking. Leave the needle in the fabric and lift the presser foot. Pivot the fabric. Lower the presser foot and continue stitching.
Trimming: Trimming means to cut off part of the seam allowance to reduce bulk. Trim away 3/8 of an inch of fabric along the full length of the seam. This will leave a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Corners of garment pieces are trimmed by cutting diagonally across the corner. Be careful not to cut through the stitching.
Reinforce stitch: Smaller length stitching that make a seam stronger (12-14) stitches per inch). Reinforcement stitching is used in places like crotches and corners. A second row of stitching to make a seam stronger. This type of reinforcement stitching is used in places like armholes.
Top stitch: Topstitching is a row of evenly spaced straight stitches visible on the right side of a garment, typically aligned parallel to an edge or a seam. Two functions are to anchor layers of fabric together, and to accent an edge as a finishing detail.
Right sides together (RST): Fabrics are placed right sides together when sewing a seam allowance.

Career Connections:

  • Seamstress

You will need the following materials to complete this activity:

  • a copy of the pattern for each student according to the size of his/her foot
  • a copy of the instruction sheet for each student
  • example socks--in a step-by-step sort of progression
  • finished socks in a variety of lengths
  • white paper
  • rulers
  • STUDENTS will need to provide a 1/3 of a yard of polar fleece fabric


    Background For Teachers:
    You may want to have sewn a pair or two of these socks beforehand in order to understand where students may have troubles and also to use as examples of the finished product.

    Student Prior Knowledge:
    Students should be familiar with using their sewing machines. This lesson is a basic introduction on how to follow a simple pattern and its markings; any introduction to that may be helpful.

    Intended Learning Outcomes:
    This activity teaches students basic skills in following a pattern and its simple markings. Students may also learn simple pattern alteration techniques if they choose to extend the length of their socks.

    Instructional Procedures:

    • Tell students at least a week in advance that they will need to bring a 1/3 yard of polar fleece and matching thread in order to complete this project.
    • Have students select a pattern according to the size of their feet.
    • Using paper scissors, have students cut out their pattern pieces. At this point, students may alter their patterns to create length at the calf, if they so desire. As they alter, make sure that students add width (I have them add at least 1 inch of width as they extend the length. Also, if they add too much length it won't fit over the heel, so I try to limit them to 5-6 inches of added height.)
    • When the patterns have been cut out and the alterations made, tell students that they will need to use the "double fold to the center" technique in order to cut out all the required pieces. The reason for this is that you must have the stretch of the fabric going the width of the sock so the socks will fit properly.
    • As you place and pin the pattern pieces (as a class), go through all the pertinent information that they should be paying attention to (grainline, cut 2, place on fold, etc...).
    • Have students cut out their pieces from the fabric after you have checked to make sure that the pieces are placed correctly. Always warn students not to cut anything before they get it checked off by the instructor.
    • Give students the rest of the time to work on the socks at their own pace, matching them as they go to make sure they are using their time effectively. Point out that they should follow their directions first, then refer to the example socks for help, and if they still need additional help, they should come to you for assistance.
    • Have example socks at all various points of completion set out for students to look at as they work...follow the attached instruction sheet for natural breaks in the sewing process as an indicator as to when you should create an example. This way, students can work at their own pace and hopefully figure out the process on their own.
    • Once students complete their socks, have them pin their instruction sheet to both the socks (making sure their name is written on the instruction sheet) and hand it in for correction.

      You may want to plan a fun day in which all students wear their socks to school. This helps to promote your program to the rest of the school when your students explain that they made the socks by themselves in their sewing class.

      Assessment Plan:
      This lesson can be assessed using the following point breakdown:

      • 20 points for completion (is everything done that they needed to do?)
      • 20 points for correctness (did they follow all of the given directions, does it look like it should, etc...)
      • 10 points for neatness (seams trimmed, threads trimmed and cleaned off, etc...)

        Thank you to Jan Moyes for providing the pattern while I was a student in one of her classes taught at USU.


        Created Date :
        Mar 18 2005 10:55 AM

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