Posts tagged ‘sock monkey’

January 18, 2013

Craft group update

Well we’ve be very busy in sewing/craft group recently sharing lots of ideas and skills, sewing and more. Here is a little round up…

Flower arranging
We had a great evening before Christmas making festive door hangings utilising Kate’s expertise on the subject. Using a potato(!), wire, festive off cuts and decorative accents we each made an arrangement that can be hung on the door.

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This was a really fun evening and I think we were all happy with the results we got.

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Sewing skills
We have a new member of the group, Sally, who worked as a seamstress and is keen to pass on her knowledge, yes please!! We’ve had a couple of sessions looking at clothes alterations and how to do piping on a cushion cover. It’s really nice to learn new techniques with good instruction. We are hoping that there will be more to come.

Sock monkeys
I recently came across Craft Hope on Facebook. They (based in America) seek to spread love and encouragement to those facing difficult times, through crafted gifts. I think this is a great idea, to know that someone has put in the time and effort to make something unique for you might be small in the face of the big issues in the world but it must be encouraging. It’s great that people are also willing to organise the collecting and distribution of these gifts and amazing how much response they get to their projects.

So the most recent project was to create soft toys for children affected by hurricane Sandy. I thought it would be good for us to get involved so we had a sock monkey making session. I’ve made many sock monkeys in the past (tutorial here) so led people thought the process. They are fairly easy and each one is unique with lots of character.

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Our little clan of sock monkeys

They might not be the best of the lot that craft hope receive but I think they look fab. They are on their way to The States now.

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Hopefully there will be many more evenings of making, sharing ideas and techniques and chatting over coffee and a needle and thread to come in 2013 x

April 21, 2012

Sock Monkey Tutorial

A few years ago someone taught me how to¬†make¬†sock¬†monkeys so that we could do it as an activity on a summer youth camp. ¬†Since then I’ve done them with various groups and friends and they always go down well so I thought¬†I’d¬†have a go at my first tutorial. ¬†Here goes…

Disclaimer/excuses: I started writing this post a while ago waited until the weekend so that I could take nice photos in the daylight, but it was such a dull day when I took them that I still needed the flash so the images are less than perfect. ¬†Also I had a few monkeys at various stages of completion so I have used them to demonstrate the steps and therefore the colour/pattern changes. ¬†Hopefully it isn’t too confusing.

Materials/Equipment:

  • 1 pair of ladies ankle socks (patterns are good but they need to be able to work upside down, so spots and stripes but not hearts)
  • Toy stuffing
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle and coordinating thread

Step 1: Cut 1st sock

Put one sock aside and lay the other out as shown.

Cut 1: Cut along the full length of the top of the sock approximately 2cm from the edge. ¬†(Ensure that you don’t cut through the heel part.) ¬†This is the tail piece.

Cut 1: The Tail

Cut 2: Cut the heel piece out approximately 0.5cm from where it changes colour.  This is the snout.

Cut 2: The Snout

Cut 3: Cut the the ankle section in half lengthways to make two arms.

Cut 3: The Arms

Cut 4: With the remaining foot section cut off the toe and cut the remaining piece in half widthways.  These will be the ears.  The toe can be discarded.

Cut 4: The Ears

Put all of these pieces to one side being careful not to lose any.

Step 2: Cut 2nd sock

Take the second sock and arrange it so that it lays flat with the heel on the top.

Ensure top and bottom layers are even

Starting at the opening cut up the centre of the sock finishing approximately 2cm from the heel.

Stop 2cm from the heel

These are the legs.

Step 3: Turn inside out

Take each piece of sock and turn them inside out or put right sides together and pin ready to sew.

Tail, arms and ears pinned

Legs pinned

Step 4: Sew limbs and ears

Take both arm pieces and the tail.  Machine sew (or hand sew using back stitch) along the long edge and one short edge, rounding the corners (for second arm sew both long edges).  Reverse to secure stitches at either end.

Trim corners after sewing

Take the ear pieces and sew a ‘u’ shape in each piece to form the ear. Trim edges to follow stitches.

I roughly try to line up the stitching with the pattern

Sew each leg separately.  Begin roughly 1cm from the top to allow a gap for turning.

Pins indicate the start of stitching

Step 5: Turn out and stuff

Trim all corners and turn right side out.

Starting to look more like a monkey!!

Next stuff the body with the toy stuffing until it is firm but not stretched. ¬†Ensure that there is enough stuffing at the top of the legs so they’re not too floppy. ¬†Using slip stitch, sew up the gap between the legs.

Slip stitch across the opening a couple of times to close the gap securely

Use a little bit of stuffing at a time to stuff the limbs.  Using a pencil push the stuffing to the end.

All pieces stuffed and ready to attach!

Step 6: Attach Limbs

The tail, arms, and ears all then need to be attached using slip stitch. ¬†I like to tuck the ends in as I go round to make it neater but it doesn’t really matter. ¬†I tend to hold the part in position and sew round using fairly large stitches to begin with and then go round once or twice more with smaller stitched to firmly attach in the following places…

Tail in the centre at the bottom of the back. This helps him/her to sit up!

One arm on each side about half way up the body. Ears just below the toe section of the head.

The snout then needs to be attached.  To do this first pin it in place in the centre at the front so that the edges come just below the ears.

Then begin to sew from one corner tucking the raw edges in as you go.  If you have it use the colour change on the sock as a guide.

Again use slip stitch and remove the pins as you work round

When you have sewn three quarters of the way round stop and stuff the snout.  Then continue stitching until complete.

Insert stuffing

Step 7: Add Eyes

Finally add eyes using one or two buttons, special toy eyes or felt if you’re worried about small parts. ¬†And your sock monkey is complete!…

You can make boy monkeys, girl monkeys and even baby monkeys using children’s socks. ¬†These are very cute!

Baby monkey

So there we are, a step by step guide to making a sock monkey.  I hope it is useful.  If you have any questions or need clarification on anything just let me know.

Happy sock monkey making!!

December 17, 2011

Craft Stall

It’s been far too long since my last post, I forgot how busy things get in the lead up to Christmas (well that’s my excuse anyway!). ¬† The big news in my crafting world recently is that, together with a couple of others from sewing group, I had my first experience of selling some of my makes ¬†at a Christmas fair. ¬†We each made what we could in the time available and, when we pooled our goods we had a table full which looked pretty good.

Craft Stall

 

My stuff is mostly on the right side of the picture. ¬†I made sock monkeys,¬†Christmas¬†scented hearts, lavender scented hearts, baby blankets, tote bags, button hearts and some brooches. ¬†This was complemented by Ayla’s bunting, needle cases and tea cup candles, and Susie’s vintage plate stands, fridge magnet pegs, notice boards and more candles, all of which were lovely. ¬†The display was quite simple with a white tablecloth and some bunting and use of a cake stand to give it some height. ¬†It all had a nice vintage feel too it and it all looked very pretty which attracted people over to have a look.

Originally we were going to have a table at a craft fair but unfortunately that fell through so we managed to book a space at a school Christmas fair instead. ¬†As we expected this meant that our products weren’t really targeted at the right audience. ¬†The kids were there to spend their 50p and the parents weren’t really planning to spend much so the larger, more expensive things didn’t go.

Christmas hearts and sock monkeys

 

Our aim was to each sell at least one thing and cover the ¬£10 for the table and we did that in the first 20 mins or so which was a relief! ¬†After the two hours we had each sold a few things, mainly the smaller things but also a cake stand so we were happy. ¬†Overall it was a really useful experience. ¬†Although people weren’t looking to spend much the feedback we had on our products was all really positive. ¬†We also met some lovely ladies on the stalls next door who had much more experience than us and we were able to exchange ideas and tips on making and selling. ¬†We are definitely up for doing it again, perhaps at ¬†craft fair next time.

I’m afraid making has been rather slow since the stall, not much of a home made Christmas this year. ¬†But I am always very excited to put up my tree which has some home made bits on it.

I'm loving red and white at Christmas at the moment

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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