Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sock Dog Tutorial

Remember Bernie and Barkley the sock dog brothers?
Meet Bertie, their cousin! She has been very generous to agree to let me show you how she was made.
You'll need:
  • One men's sock (the bigger the better!)
  • Stuffing
  • Ribbon for the collar
  • Needle and thread
  • Button for the nose (optional)
  • Sewing machine (optional)
So, here's what you're starting with. The heel of the sock will be the top of Bertie's head. There are really four parts to this process: ears, body, tail and legs. I'll organize this tutorial that way so you don't get too confused.Ears: Cut the toe of the sock off about 1.5 - 2 inches in a slight arch, the more of the toe you cut off, the floppier her ears will be.
Now comes the tricky part. If the toe of the sock were a bowl, cut down the center of the bowl.
Separate the two halves of the toe of the sock and fold them in half with the right sides of the sock facing each other. I'm pointing to what it looks like before it is folded in half. The one below my hand is what it looks like folded.
With your sewing machine, sew along the straight edge, leaving as small a seam allowance as possible. You'll finish by turning these inside out. The ears will not be stuffed, so you can set them aside until the body is done and you can sew them on.
Body: Now let's move on to Bertie's body. Turn the sock inside out and stitch along Bertie's mouth in a slight arch.
Before you start stuffing we need to cut out her tail and her four legs. This is what the entire sock looks like cut up. From the far left: her four feet, tail, body and two ears. The legs are cut in straight rectangles, the tail and body have a slight arch to them.
Stuff Bertie's body.
Each time you stuff a limb or her leg I would recommend pinning it like I did below before you stitch it on. The trick is to slightly tuck the edges in a bit and then whip stitch it closed.
Tail: Grab the portion of the sock that you cut for the tail. It should be a full loop, so cut one end of the loop, turn it so that the right sides of the sock are facing each other and stitch up the sides with your sewing machine like the picture below. Be sure to leave an opening so that you can stuff the tail. Turn the tail inside out and it will look like this, ready for stuffing. (Stuffing the tail isn't easy, I would recommend that you use a small amount of stuffing and stick it in with a chop stick little by little.)
Legs: With each of the four legs, you will sew along three of the sides of the rectangle, leaving one of the short ends open. Just like the other appendages, make sure the right sides of the sock are facing each other, sew, flip it inside out, stuff, pin to the body, and whip stitch it on.
You can finish with a button nose or some eyes and a collar. Share with your favorite wee one!