2 class periods of 45 minutes each
- Thinking & Reasoning
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
This lesson can be assessed using the following point breakdown: