Gosh… I am supposed to sew something for the Earth Month this April, but I can’t wait to sew a family of the sock monkey, Marcho. My hands simply took over my head and see what I did after a few days and nights of sewing…
A houseful of sock monkey!!!!
Do you love them?
I have seen a lot of sock monkey photos hanging around friends’ photo albums in many photo sharing websites, so envy. These sock monkeys are so cute and so adorable that I would want to hug one, I bet my kids would love to have them to accompany too when mommy is busy with works. Therefore, I went out to shop for some socks thinking that maybe 4 to 5 pairs should be enough, I ended up with 20 pairs of colorful socks, simply can’t resist for not buying ;-). I made a few prototypes and showed them to my parents, siblings and their families during dinner. Now, everyone wants one from me…. ha ha ha… Seeing their positive responses, I am certain that you will want one too … After doing a few types of research and findings, here is my version of the sock monkey. Though it may look a bit different from the popular vintage sock monkey of Red-Heel that comes with a red lip it is surely as lovely.
With different sizes of socks, I made the sock monkey out of a family, from the baby, toddlers, teens to adults. The picture below shows the family photo of the sock monkey, from daddy, mommy, sister, brother, triplet toddlers, and a baby. Not forgetting a brown sock monkey, the photographer who took this family photo that can do yoga. The sister (in purple stripes) who has magnets on her limbs are good in exercise and can be hung on any metal surface.
The Marcho Sock Monkey Family
The siblings are indeed loving each other, not only they are huggable to humans, but they also hug each other, like this one.
[Update: August 15, 2014] I have just published an amigurumi pattern to crochet the twin brother of the sock monkey, crochet amigurumi monkey, aren’t they look identical?
The bigger sock monkey is hugging smaller sock monkey, so sweet!
Adult sock monkey with the baby sock monkey
A lucky baby Sock Monkey under the shelter and care from the adult.
What are they watching?
How To Sew
Sewing Pattern: Download pattern here. It contains the eyes, ears, and pattern for drawing the sock.
Make: 1 (adult size)
1. Sock (crew length), 1 pair (I used striped sock so that it is easy to get the alignment right.) Buy Socks (with button eye kits), Here.
2. White felt
3. Button eye 7/16″ [11.5mm], black, 2 (for toddler monkey, use 3/8″ button)
4. Embroidery Floss, yellow
5. Poly-fill stuffing material
6. Batting, or thick aquarium filter pad (you can get it from a pet shop)
7. Letter size paper, 1
1. Sewing machine
2. Sewing needle (prefer long) and pins
4. Erasable fabric marker
Seam Allowance: approx. 1/8 – 1/4″
Note: for different sizes of sock monkeys, use different sizes of socks.
Since the sock is stretched after stuffed, thick sock yields better quality than a thin sock.
Prepare all the materials needed as described above.
Cut the eye from white felt by following the download pattern above. Mark the button eye position.
If your socks have folded cuff, remove the stitches carefully and don’t accidentally cut the sock. Flatten the fold to have a longer length.
Draw pattern on the sock with an erasable fabric marker. Since not all socks are the same, I can’t make a standard pattern for you to trace.
If you haven’t had the pattern, download it here and print it out.
1. Align the stripes on both layers, pin.
2. Sew the socks (black lines) with a sewing machine, best if you have walking foot so both layers walk together. You may hand sewn too.
3. Cut as per pattern.
4. Cut all pieces out.
1. Insert the thumb into the leg till the feet end. “Pinch” the feet end with your thumb and index finger.
2. Push the index finger into the sock while thumb withdrawing from the sock to turn the sock right side out.
3. When the feet surface to the opening, pull the whole leg right side out.
4. Repeat the same to the other leg.
1. Sew slip/ladder stitch on the opening about 1/8″ from the raw edge. Let the thread loose and don’t pull it yet.
2. After finish slip stitch the opening, pull the thread to close the opening.
3. With the needle still on the sock, wrap 2 to 3 rounds of thread on it, pull the needle through while pressing the wrapping thread with your finger.
4. Insert the needle somewhere nearby and come out from the other side. Pull the thread and cut it close to the sock. The thread will be hidden in the sock neatly. Always do this when you sew.
Stuff the arm with poly stuffing material until about 1/2″ from the opening.
Roll the monkey arm with your hands to make the stuffing even and nice. You can do this now and/or after sewing up the opening.
1. Stuffed monkey arms waiting to be sewn.
2. Run stitches about 1/4″ from the raw edge.
3. Pull the thread to gather a bit, push the raw edge into the arm.
4. Tighten up the opening by pulling the thread fully, make a few stitches across, knot and cut thread.
1. Stuff the ear with a small amount of poly-fill. Fold the raw edges in and slip stitch.
2. Pull the thread to close the opening. Knot.
3. Fold the ear vertically and slip stitch the opening seam line.
4. The finished ear looks like this.
Fold the batting three times and sew the end to the seam line of the tail end (wrong side).
Whip stitch the folded batting in place until the other end.
Sew the batting again to tail seam allowance about 1/4″ below the raw edge.
(Note: I used this method since stuffing with poly-fill to a long narrow tail is difficult and uneven.)
1. The batting and the tail before turning.
2. Insert a finger into the sock and pull the tail right side out, portion by portion. Only turn the sock not the batting.
3. Repeat (2) until you reach the end. Continue with the turning by inserting the batting into the tail until it fully gets into it.
4. Adjust the batting so that it looks neat. Fold the raw edge in and stitch it up just like the arms method.
Body, arms, ears, tail, mouth, felt eye and button eyes are all set to be assembled into a sock monkey.
Divide the body into halve, with the top half being the face of the monkey where eyes and mouth are sewed to.
Face, Ears & Tail
Position the felt eye with the center point align to the middle of the face portion. Pin it and sew with a blanket stitch.
You may want to decorate the felt eye with a line of running stitch with 6 strands of embroidery floss before sewing it on the face.
Sew the button eyes to the marked positions of the felt.
To make the eyes attach to the face closely, insert your needle as deep as possible into the face, turn and come out to another point of the same eye. Pull the thread tightly so that the eye attach closely to the face.
1. Mark the mouth on the face with an erasable fabric marker. The shape is rounded corner rectangular, with bottom align to the face’s border and top covers a little on the felt eye.
2. Fold and baste the raw edge of the mouth, then pin it in place. Slip stitch around until you are about 1″ away from the starting point.
3. Stuff the mouth fully. Continue to slip stitch to the starting point to complete the mouth.
4. Embroidery branch stitches across the middle of the mouth. Tips: look out for the toe seam line of the sock, this is where the middle is.
1. Sew ears on the side of the face with slip stitch around (front and back of the ear).
2. The front of the ear is aligned to the sideline of the monkey.
3. The position of the tail.
4. Sew it with slip stitch around too.
Sew the arm on the marked position with slip stitch around. Knot the thread and insert the needle to the other side of the arm position. Pull the thread so that arm “squeezes” into the body, knot to secure the shape.
Sew another arm with a slip stitch.
If you think that the arms are not “sunken” enough, pass the needle to the other side, pull the thread to get the result you want, knot the thread securely.
Provided you stuff you monkey very dense, sometimes, you may find the monkey head is a little tall and pointy, this is normal due to the shape of the adult sock. I found that kid’s and toddler’s sock don’t have this problem.
If you are happy with it, then it is OK. But, if you want to make the monkey head round like the one I made, the following step will be helpful.
1. The original pointy head due to the toe compartment of the sock.
2. Pinch the top of the head to judge how much you want to sew to make it rounder. Mark the space with an erasable marker. Gradually decrease the width from the center towards the front and the back.
3. Join both lines with a slip stitch.
4. Here is it, a rounder head for the monkey.