Oh my gosh! I cannot believe I didn't do this earlier today. I feel so bad! I'd like to have a guest spot every Friday, or as often as I have people willing to BE the guest spot. This will include a tutorial from them.
First up, we have Liz Rhamat. She makes the CUTEST sock monkeys ever! I found her on Flickr and she helped me make MY first sock monkey. I hope to make many more now that she's shown me how. She has taken the time to write a tutorial JUST for this blog, so I hope you all enjoy!
REMEMBER: Any of the photos can be enlarged by clicking on them!!
Tutorial: Making Your Very Own Sock Monkey
What you need:
- Pair of socks
- Sewing Needle
- Poly-fill Stuffing
- Tailor’s Chalk (Optional)
- Chopsticks (Optional)
- Sewing Machine (or you can choose to sew by hand)
Steps for Body and Legs:
1. Turn the socks inside out and lay out the socks as shown in Picture 1 below, with the heels facing up.
2. If you’re
a new to sewing, you may want to use running stitches or use pins to
guide where your final stitches should be. If you’re comfortable sewing,
you can skip this part and start sewing two rows through the centre
with some space in between. Stop before you reach the heel (refer to
Picture 2). Both sides should be of equal width and these will form
the legs and the top half will be the monkey’s body.
Please take note
that you should use matching coloured threads, or as close as possible
to the socks otherwise the stitching will show when you turn the socks
over. For this tutorial, I am using contrasting colour threads so that
you can follow easily from looking at the pictures.
3. Once you have securely tied the ends of the stitches, cut in between the two rows of stitches (refer to Picture 3 below).
You should stop cutting before you reach the heel but slightly above the end of the stitches (refer to Picture 4). This will come in very handy when you need to turn the sock the right side up as well as to stuff the sock LATER.
4. The next step would be to sew the “feet” on the monkeys. Sew straight down all the way, to almost at the end of the sock and then sew across (slightly curved for a nicer effect) for both legs as shown in Picture 5. You an also be creative and try different “feet” design if you like.
There is no hard and fast rule as to when you should sew the feet. Some prefer to do all the sewing before cutting but thanks to my short concentration span, I like taking breaks in between and switch from sewing, cutting and go back to sewing.
Once you have done both feet, you are ready to turn the sock inside out through the gap in between the legs and have the sock right side up (refer to Picture 6).
Steps for the Hands, Ears, Tail and Mouth
You’re half way through creating your sock monkey. The next part would
be to repeat steps 1 – 4 again for the other
sock. These will be your monkey’s
hands. Remember you need to stop a little before you reach the heel.
6. Once you have finished sewing the two rows of stitches, cut across as shown in Picture 7 below. Then cut between the two rows of stitches and you have your monkey’s hands!
7. With the top half of the sock, you will need to mark out where the ears, tail and mouth will be. Study Picture 8 and use a tailor’s chalk to draw the outline. You can then use some running stitches or pins to help hold the sock together.
8. The mouth is
where heel of the sock is. Sew a ‘V’-shaped pattern where the heel
is (refer to Picture 9 below). Remember to leave a gap or an opening
as you will need to turn the sock inside out LATER.
9. Next would be the tail. Go wild here as you have options. You can make the tail straight, curved etc. If you’re not too sure, go ahead and start with a straight tail. I’ve made mine with a little hook at the end (refer to Picture 10).
10. Next would be the ears. You can make them squarish, roundish, one big and the other small, go ahead and be creative. Stitch up anyway you want but just remember to leave one side open so that you can stuff the ears.
For me, I usually
stitch all three sides as seen above in Picture 11. Then what I do is
just cut a small opening (see Picture 12 below). That’s the lovely
thing about sewing sock monkeys, there is no right or wrong. You just
keep at it until you find THE way that fits you best!
11. Next, cut the different parts of the monkey (refer to Picture 13). Do remember that when you are cutting, do not cut too close to the stitches but leave a little space.
12. What you need to do next is turn the socks to the right side and get ready to do some major stuffing. And this would be where the chopstick will come in very handy. Use chopstick that tapers at one end as this will help you stuff any toy with tight corners.
with the body. Stuff the body until it feels firm. Don’t rush through
the stuffing stage as it’s not as easy as it seems. I have had bad
stuffing days where I had to remove the poly-fill stuffing and do it
several times before I was happy with the result. So do not be discouraged
if you don’t get it right the first time. When you’re stuffing the
legs, you might want to use smaller portion of the poly-fill instead
of huge chunks at a time.
When you are done, you will have to stitch the body. Pinch and tuck the raw edges together and slip stitch the opening (Picture 14 below). Sometimes, I make a point to stitch the opening twice to ensure that it doesn’t split open.
13. Next, stuff the hands and leave the openings as they are. Do not stitch them up just yet. Move on and do the ears next. For the ears, after you have stuffed them, use simple stitches to seal up the opening for the ears (Picture 15 below).
The mouth is a little tricky so do this slowly. Stuff the mouth and stitch up the opening (see picture 16 below).
Hold the mouth
in the same position as shown in Picture 17 below. Stretch it a little
and adjust it so that it looks like that in the picture.
Attach the mouth to the body of the monkey. You will need to pull and shape the mouth until you’re happy with how it looks. Picture 18 below shows how I like my monkey’s mouth to look. When I first did this, my two hands were just not enough and nowadays, I find using pins to hold the mouth in position while I tug a little or push the stuffing around to get that full look. Once the mouth is in place, use simple slip-stitch or any stitch that you prefer to firmly attach the mouth to the face of the monkey.
14. Hope you’re
feeling totally excited now that you can see your monkey taking shape.
Next would be to sew on the ears (Picture 19). Again, I find it useful
to use pins to position the ears before I sew them to the head.
15. Let’s attach
the hands next. Use pins to hold the hands in position, tuck the raw
edges in and stitch the hands to the body (refer to Picture 20). Where
should you position the hands is totally up to you.
16. And next would be the tail. Yes, like the hands, position and secure safely with some pins and stitch the tail to the back of the sock monkey as shown in Picture 21.
17. Well done, you have just made your very first sock monkey. Well, just need to add a few more things and then we’re done. So take a few minutes to sit back and admire your handy work. I usually get very excited at this stage and spend a few minutes just grinning real silly looking at my monkey. And many monkeys later, I still do this and love this part best. Picture 22 below is how my monkey looks like.
18. Next stage is heaps of fun as you get to be real creative. Let’s start with the lips of the monkey (or some say the mouth). I find using back-stitch handy (Picture 23) for this but once again, use what you find most comfortable. Any kind of stitch will work. I prefer to use red thread for this but it’s pretty much up to you.
19. Let’s give
20. For me, I prefer to use bits of felt for my sock monkey. And here’s how handsome he looks with his new pair of eyes (Picture 25).
I hope you have
found this tutorial useful. It takes a lot of patience to complete a
sock monkey but it’s really a lot of fun so if you get stuck along
the way, put it aside for some time and come back to it later. More
importantly, always remember there is no such thing as badly made sock
monkeys because they have always end up looking darn cute despite their
“imperfections”, that’s h
were taken when I made the sock monkey for the tutorial. I would appreciate
if you drop me an email or link to my blog at www.toysfromtheheart.blogspot
My name is Liz
and I am a crafter living in Singapore, a small little island in South-East
Asia. I taught myself how to sew these sock monkeys a couple years ago
by searching online for ideas and (many socks later) through trial and
Thank you SO much Liz for the tut!! And if you can, please support Liz in her etsy shop!
Liz's Blog: www.toysfromtheheart.blogspot
Liz's Etsy Shop: http://www.toysfromtheheart