DIY Fashion: Reinventing Hosiery

Craft & Design Yarncraft

I’ve always loved wearing unique hosiery. Until just last year, this meant that I was forever chastised by my fellow designers who said “bare-legged is better” and that “hosiery is for grannies and pin-up girls.”
But check it out — now hosiery is in! Everywhere I turn, I see colorful hosiery paired with boots, pumps, and peep toes. Hosiery is not just pantyhose: it’s tights, stockings, leggings, knee socks, ankle socks, trouser socks, leg warmers, peds — all of the neat leg accessories that are perfect for a girl like me who loves to wear skirts. Sometimes I wear them with shorts too.

It all started with bright tights in different colors all over the runways and on hip TV shows like my favorite, Gossip Girl. For Spring 2009, designers filled the runways with textured tights. Couture designer Christian Lacroix sent models down the runway in spotted and lace textured tights. Betsey Johnson sent her models down the runway in ankle socks, knee highs, and over-the-knee socks (note that they are all in textured lace). Burberry pairs their monotone gray socks with a peep toe.
So, how can we translate this trend into something fun that we can make and wear? You probably aren’t planning on wearing couture down the red carpet anytime soon, and your style might not be as funky as Betsey’s or as conservative as Burberry. But that’s OK! We’ll be channeling Prada for inspiration. Walking down the street in NYC’s Soho district, I spied these super cute peds in the window at Prada. One of the details that makes them super cute is the bows.
By just by adding a scrap of ribbon, we can transform ordinary peds into super cute hosiery! Wear them with open toe, strappy, and sling back heels this spring and summer. Choose cute peds and ankle socks at your favorite store. Look for ones with patterns, lace, stripes, polka dots, or keep it plain with a solid color. You can choose a variety of ribbons with varying thickness, pattern, and color to complement your socks.


Pair of ankle socks or peds (I am using lace peds from Uniqlo)
1yd of ribbon to match
Sewing thread to match ribbon
Sewing machine


Step 1: Tie a practice bow in the ribbon, and play with the bow size so that it will be proportionate to the sock/ped.
Step 2: Cut the ribbon, leaving some extra length.
Step 3: Sew the ribbon to the socks/peds by sewing the center of the ribbon to the back center of the sock using a 1/2" straight stitch. Stitch the ribbon on lengthwise, because when the bow is tied, it will be horizontal. Don’t forget to backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitches to secure everything in place. (Note: Stitches in white for demonstration purposes.)
Step 4: Tie the bow and cut off the excess ribbon.
About the Author:
Diana Eng is a NYC based fashion designer, Project Runway alumni, co-founder of NYC Resistor and the author of Fashion Geek: Clothes, Accessories, Tech. Visit her at her blog, Fashion Nerd.

28 thoughts on “DIY Fashion: Reinventing Hosiery

  1. Swellanor says:

    I love these looks! And I’m betting a ribbon bow at the heel might help my slinky socks stay up- often when I walk they get scrunched down into my shoes. Thanks!

  2. Diana Eng says:

    Swellanor, that is a great idea, I have the same problem, my peds and ankle socks always slide down. Sometimes I think I should try the sock-tachi (sock glue) that Japanese school girls use to keep their oversized knee socks up.

  3. mlle says:

    such a great idea! i love this look!

  4. estherchong35 says:

    this is so simple and so adorable! i can’t wait to try making myself a pair of these hosiery. also, the stripped socks are so cute!! i’ve never actually worn socks with heels but im really excited to test out this new fashion accessory! thanks diana for this awesome idea!

  5. Erica says:

    Great idea, except that I seem to recall that many of the models in that Prada show tripped, and the main culprit seemed to be the slippery socks. Maybe with a less-insane shoe, though, it could be alright.

  6. Diana Eng says:

    Erica, that is too funny. The Prada socks are also really intense because they are gathered in at the top (as opposed to normal socks which naturally come in at the top). I wonder if all that extra fabric made them more slippery.

  7. Gorgeous Things says:

    That is such a cute idea!

  8. D says:

    This is great! Is there a link we can click on in the future to see your other articles?

  9. Lisa says:

    Weren’t these the Prada socks and heels combo that made a ton of models fall over on the runway? lol

  10. I Love Cookie Party says:

    I have some of those little socks and a TON of bows. Thanks for the great idea!

  11. pamela_lauren says:

    These are so cute. I love the personalized touch. The beauty blog I write for also has some great DIY fashion and beauty tips.

  12. pantyhose and nylons says:

    That’s so sweet! too bad one can’t customize pantyhose patterns with the same ease…

  13. pantyhose and nylons says:

    That’s soo sweet…too bad one can’t customize pantyhose patterns with the same ease…

  14. taguerebecca says:

    order an for gift to take huge discount

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Fashion + Technology Diana was a contestant on Project Runway season 2, graduated from RISD, and currently lives in New York City.

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