Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cloth hose dilema

I need to make, among other things, several pairs of cloth hose for myself.  I have one pair which I purchased that fit pretty well, but the foot is not 100% accurate.  I don't know if I care about this or not, the design seems pretty easy to deal with and more of the extant examples I've looked at have some really odd, fiddly things going on in the heel or ankle.  I'm sure there's a reason for this, and that once I got a pattern sorted it would all make sense, but this brings me to the problem...

Patterning.  Specifically, patterning something that really needs to be done while on the body.  From what I've been able to find so far, to get hose to fit well, you really have to fit them carefully on the foot and leg for which they are being made.  Since they will be on my leg, this is going to be tricky.  Coordinating with someone who has the skills to do this for me is going to be very tricky.

So, do I give up on well-fitted hose and go with a commercial pattern,doing what I can on my own and accepting a certain amount of bagginess?  Or copy the pair I have and accept a known amount of bagginess?  Copying the instep piece is going to be a little tricky without taking the whole thing apart but not any worse than starting from scratch.  It really would be nice to have a good pattern, I need several pairs and the pattern will serve me well for a long time once I get it sorted out.


  1. I am going through this same dilemma now as well! The first time I tried doing the fitting on myself, I ended up with the ankles being WAY too small because the muslin slipped down without me noticing. I was just thinking this morning that I might put on a pair of old knit, knee-high socks, wrap them in duct tape and cut them off in the pattern I need. I hesitate to do that method, though, since it's obviously not period!

  2. Someone else suggested doing a duct tape form as well to get started, and she's a big stickler for authenticity so I wouldn't worry much. I'm not sure I care about making the pattern in a 100% period way, as long as I end up with a period pattern when I'm done.