The sock monkey doll had been popular for decades, ever since the Rockford Co. began creating their classic "red heel" socks. But you can create a sock monkey from any pair of socks; socks with a contrasting colour heel or ankle (or both) will make the most appealing monkey dolls. No paper pattern is needed, just a marking pen and a clear idea about where to cut and stitch.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 1 pair of socks
- Marking pen
- Straight pins
- Jar lid or thread spool (for tracing ears)
- Sewing machine or needle and thread
- Buttons for eyes (optional)
Lay one sock flat on a table with the toe pointing away from you. The ankle portion will become the monkey doll's two legs, the heel will be his rump and the foot part of the sock will be his body with the sock's toe as the top of his head. Temporarily stuff the sock with fiberfill and sit it up, if you need to, to help you visualise where to divide the legs.
Turn the sock inside out. Flatten it from top to bottom, with the heel in the middle (so the sole of the sock is facing up). Draw a line to indicate where you will divide the legs, from the sock's ankle opening to about 1 inches above the curve of the heel. Use straight pins in the middle of each leg to keep it flat for sewing. Sew a seam about 1/4 inches on either side of this line and cut along the line to separate the legs.
Lay the second sock flat in the more traditional way, so the side of the sock is facing up. This sock will be used to make the monkey's snout, arms, tail and ears. Draw a line dividing the sock in half down its entire length, from the ankle opening to just before the toe. Now draw a line across the sock's cuff, about 1 inch above the heel. Cut off the cuff along this second line. The ankle cuff will be divided in half and sewn into two tubes to make the arms. It will already have a line down the middle (the top of the long line) to show you where to sew between the two arms.
Mark the monkey's snout. For this wedge-shaped pattern piece, draw a triangle with the point at that long centre line and the triangle's sides extending to about 1/2 inch on either side of the rounded heel. The toe of the second sock will be cut off and discarded, or can be made into a cap for the monkey doll to wear.
Make ears by tracing semi-circles from any appropriate size round object, such as a jar lid or thread spool, on the bottom half (the sole) of the sock, between the heel (which has been marked for a snout) and the toe. The remainder of the sock (the part that would cover the top of the ankle) will make the tube for the monkey's tail.
Finish your sock monkey doll, after it has been sewn and stuffed, by drawing a faint pencil line across the snout, which you will cover with an embroidery stitch to create the mouth. The monkey will look most realistic if that line is about 1/4 to 1/3 up from the bottom of the snout. Mark the position of the eyes with straight pins; experiment to get the best placement. Try the eyes close together and close to the snout, or wider apart and farther from the snout. You will attach buttons or embroider eyes with satin stitch. Once the eyes are marked, experiment with ear placement. In general, the ears look best if they're next to the eyes instead of next to the snout. Turn raw edges of ears under as you hand stitch them onto the head; make ears smaller by turning under a wider margin of fabric.
Tips and warnings
- Now that you have a pattern that will work on any pair of socks, see "How to Make a Sock Monkey" for tips on machine stitching, stuffing and assembling your doll.
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