Tuesday, January 6, 2015

DIY slipper socks follow-up

About three weeks ago, I was crowing about how I'd managed to get myself a much-needed pair of bedroom slippers for free by upcycling a couple of old pairs of socks. As I explained in this post, I simply put on one pair over the other, folded down the tops, stitched them into place, and then added some dots of hot glue to the bottom for traction. It seemed like a win-win situation.

After a couple of weeks of wear, however, I started to discover a few flaws in my design. First, the stitches I'd put in to hold the two socks together started to pop out. Oh well, that wasn't a big problem; the socks were still reasonably well secured. I'd just have to fold the tops back over and re-stitch them at some point.

Then the slippers started to get a bit dirty. Since they didn't have proper soles, all the unseen dust that we hadn't caught with the broom was accumulating directly on the outside of the socks. Oh, well, that wasn't a big problem there either; I'd just run them through the washer and dryer.

That turned out to be a big problem.

Actually, it was two problems, one big and one not-so-big. The not-so-big problem was that, when the drying cycle was done, the slippers weren't actually dry. They felt dry on the outside, but since they had two layers, the inner layer was still damp. OK, no big deal; they'd just have to hang on the rack to finish drying.

The bigger problem was that the hot glue on the soles of the slippers had melted during the drying cycle. Luckily, none of it seemed to have transferred to the other clothes, but it was smeared all over the dryer drum in these bluish streaks. (The color was presumably lint from the surface of the outer sock that had mixed with the glue.)

The good news is, Brian figured out how to get all the dried glue off the dryer drum. He just ran the dryer for a few minutes to heat it up and soften the glue, and then he scraped it off with a plastic paint scraper. (He didn't want to use anything sharper for fear of damaging the surface of the drum.) The dryer now betrays no telltale evidence of my little slipper slip-up.

The bad news is, it's back to the drawing board as far as this slipper design is concerned. If the thread doesn't hold and the hot glue melts away, then basically all I have is a couple of pairs of socks layered together. And they don't even layer all that well; since the outer sock tightened up in the dryer while the inner one stayed damp, the inner sock layer is now to big to fit snugly inside the outer one, and so they won't even fit smoothly together once they're dry.

So if I'm going to attempt this DIY slipper sock idea again with my other two pairs of fuzzy socks, I'll have to make some modifications to it. Maybe I should try stitching the soles of the socks together, as well as the tops. That will help the two socks stay together as a unit, and it might give the soles a bit more traction so I can skip the hot glue. Or maybe I should try and come up with some better sort of sole surface and stitch it over top of both layers.

Or I could just buy myself a pair of slippers. But that would be cheating.

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