How To Make a Sock Monkey
I have created a great number of Sock Monkeys over the years and have never made two the same! Each has it's own personality and you never know how it's going to look until the final stitch is made. You can use the classic grey with red and white stripe socks or use any non-traditional pair to create a funky monkey.
The first sock will be used to make the body, legs, and head.
The second sock will be used to make the arms, tail, face, and ears.
This project should take around 2 hours.
To make the primary stitches you can either use a sewing machine or sew by hand. If you're using a machine, use the walking foot.
When you begin to assemble the Monkey, you must sew by hand.
- Turn both socks inside out.
- Lay one sock with the heel facing flat up. You may have to flatten the sock against its natural crease to make this happen.
- Lay the second sock so the white of the heal is even on both sides
- Mark the sew seams on both socksas shown in the stitching diagram. Erasable fabric marker works best for drawing, but a pencil will get the job done. Make sure before you sew and cut that your line is indeed on the halfway mark - a monkey with one fat leg and one skinny leg is not a happy monkey.
- On sock number one, seam (A) is made 1/2 inch (1 cm) apart to allow for cutting, starting one inch from the white heel and up of the top (where your foot would go in). This will become the split in the Monkey’s legs.
- The arms on sock number two will also have a 1/2 inch (1 cm) seam apart to allow for cutting.
- With the socks still folded flat, sew all seams. Try to maintain a gentle arc at the top of the socks as these parts will become the ends of the arms and legs.
Time to cut
- Begin cutting between the sewn seams.Keep all of these sections open-ended. Make sure they're turned inside-out as you work! If they're not, all your seams will be very, very rough.
- There should be a small opening at the centre of the legs as well the arms and tail will have one end not sewn closed.
For now, do nothing with the muzzle (formerly the heel). That parts saved for later.
Time to stuff Monkey
- Flip all sewn pieces right-side out and evenly stuff them.
- You should now have a body with legs, two arms, two ears, a tail, and an unsown, unstuffed muzzle.
- I like to use the mattress stitch from this point on.
- Sew the seam of the body where you stuffed it closed.
- I always perform a 'pull test' on all seams at this point to make sure they are strong and re-stitch any that don't pass the test.
- Attach the tail to the rump, folding the raw edge in towards the stuffing. Position it carefully and slip stitch it all the way around.
- You have the choice of making a neck at this point. If so desired, create a pinch approximately 3-4 inches (7.5-10 cm) from the top of the head and sew in place.
- Attach the arms to either side of the body, folding the raw edges in towards the stuffing. You may want them a little higher than your natural inclination says; this will give your sock a more monkey-like posture.
Assemble the face
- Trim away the edges of the heel piece if necessary. Since this will form the muzzle, try to make sure the piece of fabric is uniform in colour. Note that, since the outermost edges will be covered, you do not have to make them perfect.
- Fold the bottom of the muzzle under and sew it to the bottom of the monkey's chin. Make sure no raw edges are visible along the bottom, but leave the top open for now.
- Lightly add stuffing to make the muzzle puff out.
- Fold the raw edge under and stitch the top edge to the face. The muzzle should take up a large amount of the area for the head -- don't worry about needing space for the rest of his features.
- Give your monkey a mouth! Along the heel line of the muzzle (which should be dead center) branch stitch in a contrasting colour of thread.
- If you'd like nostrils, simply embroider two small rectangles above the mouth about 1" (2.5 cm) apart.
- Fold the raw edges of each ear to the inside and stitch them closed. Stitch the completed ears to the sides of the head. They should be in line with where the eyes will be, just above the muzzle. Make sure they stick out from the front!
- Add eyes. You can either use buttons or embroider the eyes. The size you need depends on the size of your monkey. If you're giving it to a young child, avoid the buttons entirely. Embellish as you see fit with bows, ribbons or clothes.
Congratulations, you've just created your very own Sock Monkey! You are now part of a crafting tradition that started in the early 1900's.
Here are a few I've created over the years.