Sometimes a sock just isn’t exactly as cool as you envision it could be. But if it’s the right kind of fabric all you need are scissors, a steady hand and imagination. A couple weeks ago I showed you a couple super quick do it yourself modifications for t-shirts. The tight knit of t-shirt fabric means hemming is optional, which makes it a great craft for non-sewers. Of our 800+ styles, we have several options that are of that same t-shirt fabric, or other styles of knit that work just as well if you feel like getting sassy with a pair of scissors. The options are as endless as your imagination, but here are a few ideas to inspire you.

The "Shredded" Look

The bane of square parent types, shredded looks are fun to rock no matter the weather, because they layer fantastically with contrasting colours and textures. The simplest style is straight up slashes. Fishnet may be the classic choice, but t-shirt knit socks like the Lemonade Stockings or the EG Smith Solid Over The Knee Stockings work even better. Remember! Measure twice and cut once. Cut areas of fabric will shrink as they curl, so it’s best to cut less and see how it looks—you can always cut more later. Put on the socks and use a contrasting colour of chalk or washable marker (or eye pencil!) to mark the beginning and end points of your slashes. Use a mirror or a friend for feedback if you have one handy. Ready, set, cut!

Braiding and Weaving

Plain old slashes are a  look that works for punk-rock couture, or zombies (it is that time of year!).  But, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can “braid” the cut strips for a style that is definitely something you can’t find off the rack. A nice and clear YouTube tutorial is here, if you’ve ever “finger crocheted” the technique will be familiar. Cut even strips of slashes and, starting from the top or the bottom, pull the next strand of fabric through, creating a loop by pulling it behind and then over. Repeat this down the line, finishing either by knotting like in the video linked, or threading a ribbon through the last two loops (which I prefer, it’s way fancier). Keep in mind this will make the sock fit a little more snugly.   I've been finding that a lot of t-shirt surgery techniques, like what you can find at the T-Shirt Surgery Livejournal community, can be applied to socks.

With scissors, the right socks and determination it’s fun to create your own interpretation of your favourite fashion looks.  After the jump are a couple of styles we get asked about that are easy to whip up at home.

"Sock Braces"

If you have gorgeous curvy calves there’s a daring look that walked Alexander Wang’s Spring 2010 runway that is made for you. Blogger Jazzi McG has already made a great tutorial for the look, but here’s a quick reference.

With the socks on mark out a “U” shape on the back. A heavyweight nylon trouser sock like the Opaque Solid Trouser Sock looks slick with this mod, I just cut down a pair of Lemonade Stockings to be cuffed knee highs. Take off the socks and lie flat to cut. You can choose to leave the cuff uncut if you don’t want to sew, or you can sew a strip of 1 inch wide elastic in its place for look accuracy.

Self-Garter Tights

The inventive self-garter tights seen in the third Resident Evil film are surprisingly easy to make (and a look we get asked about a lot!). For costume accuracy the Foot Traffic Combed Cotton Tights in Heather Mocha are a good bet, but of course you can rock any colour you like. This look takes a little more than just cutting.

As before, put on the tights so you can line everything up with how they fit and how high up the leg you want the self-garter to be. Mark the center point of your thigh at the height you want the “garter” to be. Take off the tights and lay them flat and even. Now make two marks to either side of the center-point. You want the total width of the uncut area to be about 1.5 inches, 3/4 inches on each side of the center point. Using the marks you’ve just made as a guide, cut a shallow wedge (about a quarter of an inch wide) from the sides in. Set the pieces you’ve cut out aside.

Now, take those bits you cut out and tie them around the center, both back and front. Wrap them around several times, it bulks up the “knot”. I find it’s easier to do this when they’re on, as you can judge things a little better. Trim any extra ends. I like that you get a little more length in the leg with this mod.

This is just the tip of the DIY possibilities when it comes to socks. Have you been creative with a pair?  I know there's a couple of gorgeous sock styles I've seen in around (including one from the 1920s!) that I want to DIY.  What's your creative sock inspiration?