Let me start off by showing you this wonderful tutorial for machine-sewing armsocks. It takes much less time and looks much much cleaner than the traditional method of sewing armsocks by hand! I have used this method 4 times now, and it works beautifully. (Note: Please read through the full tutorial there before reading the rest of this post)
This tutorial left me with many questions. The main one being: Where do I find tights to match my makeup? I didn’t want to bother with a UK seller, where I believe the tights in this tutorial are from (but don’t quote me on that). I would prefer a Chinese seller because they’re often cheaper. SInce I was recently entrusted with making several pairs of armsocks for others, I wanted something that worked well but wasn’t overly expensive. After much searching and ordering from several different sellers, I have found that by far these tights on eBay in #17 Gray are the most satisfactory. One pair of tights is only $5! Because there are so many different shades of grey out there, the color I use for my troll makeup is Ben Nye Character Base in CB-8 Ghoul Grey, bought at my local costume shop for only $6, and it matches these tights excellently, as seen above.
The first revision I did with this tutorial is a simple running stitch instead of using fabric chalk to “find” the cardboard cutout inside. I completely avoided doing the chalk impression of the cardboard cutout, because as you can imagine, drawing on stretchy fabric is infuriating. The other benefit of using the running stitch is that it will hold down the fabric and keep it from shifting too much while you’re sewing it down with the close machine stitch. Again, it’s because the fabric is stretchy and therefore harder to control. Note: Please use a small needle to tack down your tights around the cardboard. It will be less likely to make the tights run.
Next, instead of using clear nail polish, which can poke against the skin and feel rough, I recommend using Fray Check instead. It looks like this.
You can find it pretty much anywhere that sells fabric, including Wal-Mart, and it only costs about $5. If you don’t know what Fray Check is, it’s a liquid that keeps fabrics from fraying, and is extremely useful if you come to a point where your tights begin to run (for example, if there are horizontal lines where the weaving is starting to come undone. This is not a big issue with these tights, as long as you’re careful and you use small needles). The fabric of these tights absorbs Fray Check well, and I recommend doing it on the stitching itself and maybe 1cm around it when the machine sewing has been done and the fabric trimmed (trim it closely to prevent bumps, but not so closely that the stitching will come undone).
While sewing my tights, I noticed that I was getting very itty bitty zigzags and misplacement of the needle in my stitches. As long as they are very small, DO NOT go back and try to fix them with your machine! You may end up catching the fabric and making matters much worse! I left them alone and finished up the armsocks, and wouldn’t you know it, you couldn’t even tell! If anything, after finishing the armsocks if you notice any issues, THEN go back with a small hand-sewing needle and get them a little more even.
Another thing to note: DO NOT use battery-powered pill shavers on armsocks! I wouldn’t even recommend a razor. The one time I attempted this, it took a small chunk of fabric with it! Just ignore it.
Lastly, it’s not so much a revision as it is something that should be noted, but use a small needle on your machine! It will be much less likely to pull the stretchy fabric (also note: I have noticed that Ball Point needles pull the fabric, so avoid those), and will give you a straighter line as a result.
Everything else in the tutorial seems to work well. The hot glue works just fine for gluing the nails on (I was lucky and got to use a low heat glue gun), they fit well. Etc etc.
EXTRA: If you noticed the stitching in the first picture of this post, DO NOT FRET. It is not very noticeable except for in extreme close-ups. Here are my pictures to prove it:
Nitpicky stuff: I would recommend pulling the fabric out from underneath your wrist and pinning it before you do the wrist stitch. I prefer having the wrist stitch under my wrist instead of on the side, because it’s much less noticeable (if you look closely at that last picture you can see my wrist stitch at the base of my palm). If you don’t have another set of hands to help you gently pull the fabric so you can pin it properly, use your toes to grab it! That’s what I did.
If you guys have any other questions regarding armsock construction that I did not answer here, please feel free to send me an ask!