First a quick history lesson. How did the sock monster evolve? It evolved from it’s cousin the sock monkey. The sock monkey originated in the USA during the Great Depression when money was scarce. Crafty mums would make their children stuffed animals out of the materials around the home. Old socks were perfect to create the body of the monkey.
Sock monsters are a modern evolution of the sock monkey, and let’s be honest, sock monsters are far more interesting.
So, if you have any old (clean) socks lying around that you’d think would make a good monster, then great!
We use new socks for our monsters and kits, because, well if we used our old socks.....we don’t need to explain that one, anyway our feet would get cold.
Before you embark on your first sock monster here are a few tips and techniques to get you started:
Choosing the perfect sock
Whether you’re using new socks, or looking through your old ones, look out for bright colours. Stripes work really well. If you can’t find bright stripey ones, or if you prefer a sock monster in more muted colours, then look for thick socks that have a some sort of texture. Avoid very dark socks, because toy stuffing is generally white and will show through once stuffed.
Drawing guides before sewing
Sometimes you may need to draw shapes on your sock as a guide for sewing. A felt tip pen generally works best (choose a colour slightly darker than your sock). Always draw on the wrong side of the sock and press as lightly as you can so the marks don’t show through. For very light coloured socks use a fabric pencil instead.
Cutting your sock
Whenever you need to cut the sock it’s best to use a pair of small sharp scissors. If you are cutting off excess material after sewing be careful not to cut too close to your stitches, leave about a 5mm seam allowance.
You can buy toy stuffing at most craft supply shops. When stuffing your monster, it’s best to use small pieces at a time making sure you fill up appendages (legs, arms etc) first. Use the tip of your finger (or the wrong end of a pencil) to get the stuffing into the ends. As socks are stretchy they can hold a lot of stuffing, so just stop adding when your monster looks about right to you. If the monster you are making has lips then make sure you get plenty of stuffing in the heel to give nice plump lips.
All the sock monsters in the Make Me Roar range can be hand sewn. When selecting a thread to sew with, choose a colour that is similar to your sock, so your stitches won’t show up as much. The main stitch that is used to make sock monsters is the back stitch (shown below).
The back stitch
This is the stitch you’ll be using most. It is used when sewing through 2 layers of sock to create shapes such and arms and legs.
Push your needle in through the sock just in front of the last stitch (point A) then pass your needle behind and then up at point C a short distance from point B. Keep working your stitches backwards and forwards like this.
Make sure you start and end your stitches on a folded edge (point D). Don’t worry if you can’t quite get the technique, just as long as you keep your stitches small you will get a good seam.
Sewing on buttons
Buttons make great eyes for sock monsters. They are usually attached once the monster has already been stuffed. Thread a needle and tie a knot in the end of the thread. Insert the needle into the sock monster where you want it’s eye and straight out again close to where you went in. Thread the needle through one of the holes in the button. Then thread it back through the other hole picking up some of the sock fabric behind making a small stitch. Pull the thread tight and repeat a few time until the button feels secure.