How to Make a Socktopuscomments (2) December 16th, 2009
by Rachael Dorr
excerpted from CraftStylish Gifts to Make, p. 67
I’ve always been a fan of making interesting projects out of everyday materials. Cardboard boxes can become houses or cars, egg cartons can become bright yellow daffodils, and scraps of fabric can quickly become a new wardrobe for a doll or teddy bear. Here, I’ll show you how to transform a handful of socks into a sweet, stuffed toy octopus. The Socktopus makes a perfect gift for any little one on your list; it is unique, safe for all ages, and doesn’t cost much to make.
One of my favorite tasks in this project is choosing the socks. I like to try different color combinations from the array of ladies’ trouser socks available. Beyond color, I often mix and match patterns and textures to vary the look and feel of my creation. Stripes, polka dots, and seasonal socks scream fun and are perfectly balanced by more staid solids and tiny-print fabrics. Once the socks have been chosen, a few cuts, a little sewing, and a couple of spare hours culminate in a complete—and completely adorable—Socktopus.
What You'll Need:
Cotton thread for sewing
Four Ladies’ trouser socks of the same size
Polyester fiberfill or cotton alternative (Michaels.com)
Optional: 2-inch diameter circle of felt
First, cut up four socks
Before you cut, wash the socks to make them nice and soft.
1. Turn one sock inside out. Cut it down the middle through both layers, leaving 1⁄3 of the length intact at the toe end. This sock will form the head and two legs.
2. Turn the other three socks inside out, and cut the toes off of them. Then, cut all of them in half lengthwise through both layers to form two strips from each sock.
Next, sew and assemble the head and legs
To sew the legs, you can hand stitch or use a sewing machine. If you choose to hand stitch,
use a backstitch.
1. Sew the legs on the sock that forms the head. Fold each strip in half lengthwise, and sew along the long edge and the short open edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Trim the threads, and tuck in any remaining fabric. Leave an opening at the bottom (by the "head") for stuffing.
2. Turn the sock right-side out, and stuff the legs with polyester fiberfill. Make sure that they are stuffed evenly. Then, stuff the head, and hand-sew the opening at the bottom closed.
3. Sew each of the remaining six legs closed. Leave one end open for stuffing, and sew with a 1⁄4-inch seam allowance. Then trim the threads, and tuck in any remaining fabric.
4. Turn each leg right-side out. Stuff each leg, and hand-sew the ends shut.
5. Attach the rest of the legs. Sew the legs to the base of the head.
Finally, adorn the Socktopus
If your socks have a very busy pattern, you might want to sew a felt oval to the head, as shown top right, before you embroider the face. Here, I embroidered the face directly on the sock.
1. Embroider the face. Use a straight stitch.
2. Finally, tie a ribbon around the neck of your socktapus. Make a bow, and it's finished.