Monday, May 11, 2009

Monkey in the Mail

I put a monkey in the mail last week.  I sure hope that's legal.  At least I beat the postage price increase! (Side note: Dear, USPS: Please just make stamps 50 cents and then leave us alone for a year or two.  You change the rate so often we have no idea whether we are using the correct stamps from day to day.  Thanks.)

My cousin (on the quilting side of the family) is having a baby and between her mom and sisters I know that this child will not be lacking quilts, especially since this will be the first grandchild in their family.  So I took this opportunity to branch out and experiment with 3 dimensional sewing.  My nephew adores the sock monkey his "Gama" made, so that's where this project starts.  With the blue-eyed boy and his monkey!

Instructions: I used a hodge-podge of sock monkey tutorials from the web.  No need to cover the basic sock-monkey assembly tactics in this blog... just google it.

#1 - Socks!  Cute ones purchased in a 2-set coordinating pack.  Since there is a directional pattern of the hearts, I had to make some changes to the basic monkey pattern... Source: Fred Meyer (a store in the Northwest US... it's a grocery store/gardening center/clothing store... but not in a Walmart kind of way.  My mom would take me there in my 90s grunge phase and tell me that she would abandon me in the giant store if I didn't surrender by dirty, worn-out converse chuck taylor high tops and leave the store in a new pair.)

#2 - Stuffin' (Poly-filling... available at any craft or fabric store.) If you are a quilter you can use scraps of leftover batting.  I almost bought black and pink socks for this project, but I was afraid that as the sock stretched the white stuffing would show, and post-construction I certainly think that would have been the case.

#3 - Felt.  I picked up a sheet each of red, white, and black.  Many of the sock monkeys roaming the internet have button eyes, but buttons may not be appropriate for use on toys of young children as they can be a choking hazard.  The red is for the mouth, but if using a red-heel traditional monkey sock, it's not necessary.

Here's a picture of the monkey in progress.  Before it had ears and a bum I thought the sock monkey might turn out to be a sock sealion!  But don't lose hope, he/she turned out pretty cute. (do sock monkeys have genders?)

Here are some photos of the finished monkey:

His arms are a little short for a sock monkey, but that's because these are women's socks and the arms come from the foot which was shorter than in a man's sock.  

This project made me a fan of sewing sock creatures.  Sock material is really easy to work with, and since some of the components had to be hand sewn, it's nice that the hand stitches blend into the sock knitting.  In other words... you don't need to be anywhere near perfect at hand stitching.

Of the 4 original socks, I have one grey sock left.  Stay posted... you never know what I'll come up with to do with a stray funky sock!

1 comment:

  1. I believe a sock monkey assumes the gender of their owner.