Two years ago, I remixed craftknowitall's sock monkey tutorial into my very own Sock Sloth. Since then, I've been really busy with university and finishing up my degree, and I haven't really experimented much more with other sock creations. Until now.
This year, I wanted something to make out of those weird little ankle socks that seem to have taken over the sock industry. Gone are the days of mid-calf sockery - now, we must live with only our feet covered, with the rest of our legs exposed. I don't mind that too much, but it certainly means that my sock creatures are forced to have shorter limbs.
I decided to create a sock pug, intended as a gift for my pug-mom friend (pictured here with her majestic pug-child, Smudge) as nothing is a cooler gift than a recreation of a beloved pet. I love the way this little plushie turned out, and I think he would make a wonderful pet for any pug-lover (or anyone who wishes they had a pug, but can't have one). He's pretty quick and easy to make, and even a beginner could make this, since (as I mentioned) it's pretty much just a remix of the basic sock monkey, which is a classic among beginner sewers and loved by adults and kids alike.
All instructions are in the video, but if you prefer good ol' words-and-pictures, just keep reading!
Step 1: Supplies
To make your sock-pug, you will need:
- a pair of socks (I used a pair in a pale yellow colour, as it was the most pug-coloured I could find)
- black felt
- a pair of plastic safety eyes
- thread in black and the colour of your socks
- basic sewing supplies (such as pins, needles and scissors) and a sewing machine if you feel comfortable with one (though this could just as easily be hand sewn!)
Step 2: Making the Face: the Muzzle
Start by putting something inside the sock to see how the end looks when it's stuffed. This can be your hands, or stuffing, or anything you have lying around - I used another pair of socks. This will give you an idea of the space the face will occupy.
Using the face-space for reference, create two slightly muzzle-shaped pieces - that is, a rounded triangle sort of thing. Make one ever-so-slightly smaller than the other, and cut another triangular piece out of the bottom of it to make it look more like a muzzle. Finally, cut another tiny rounded triangle shape for a nose.
Use black thread to stitch the smaller muzzle piece to the larger one, and to add squishy-face details - this is a pug, and the face-rolls should show that!
While stitching these face details, stitch on the nose piece.
Next, cut two half-circle sort of shapes (as seen in the photo) that are just larger than your safety eyes. Make the holes for the eyes in the centre, and ensure that the stems of the safety eyes fit. Stitch the bottom of these to the back of the muzzle, and set this face piece aside for now.
Step 3: Making the Face: Adding Wrinkles
Using the felt face piece as a reference against the face area, decide where you will need to add wrinkles to the face. Stitch a few wrinkles between the eyes, being VERY careful not to catch whatever is keeping your sock face area stuffed for now in your stitches, as you'll need to take this out. Stitching these mid-face wrinkles before attaching the felt muzzle piece means that these wrinkles won't affect the space that the muzzle will be stitched onto. I also pinned the face on and stitched some wrinkles around the eyes.
NOTE: Ensure that your pug's butt - the heel of the sock - is facing upwards, and the opening of the sock - which will become your pug's legs - is facing downwards. Otherwise, you could end up with a very upside-down pug.
Step 4: Making the Face: Attaching the Muzzle
After removing whatever you have used to temporarily stuff the face, use a simple backstitch with black cotton to stitch the muzzle onto the face area. Once you've stitched down the muzzle, make holes through the sock to match those in the felt eye area, and insert the safety eyes, adding the backs on the other side of the sock.
Step 5: Making the Back Legs
Now we move to the more traditional sock monkey-esque bit of this project. After completing the face, turn the whole sock inside out. Lie the sock flat, not on its side, so that the heel is lying flat against the top of the sock. Use a tailor's pen (or whatever you've got lying around that won't ruin the sock) to mark out two short leg shapes, with a gap of about 1cm or less between them. These should end just below the heel begins - the heel of the sock will form your pug's butt.
Using a sewing machine (or stitching by hand, if you'd prefer) sew along these leg shapes. Do NOT sew the gap between them. Once you've sewn along these lines, cut away the excess fabric around the seams. There should now be a gap between the two legs.
Step 6: Turning and Stuffing
Turn the pug right-side out through the hole between the legs. Next, stuff the pug with some stuffing and keep going until it's as firm as you'd like. When the pug is suitably stuffed, stitch the stuffing hole closed.
Step 7: Making the Front Legs
Using the other sock of your pair, draw two more legs, just as you did before. Sew them and cut away the excess fabric again, but this time, cut along the top, too. This should leave you with two completely detached legs. Stuff these and then stitch them on to the pugs body. To avoid the raw edge of the sock showing, insert your needle just above the raw edge for each stitch, turning it inside the leg as you sew it.
Step 8: Adding a Tail
Cut a small strip from the raw edge of the spare sock. I found that the raw edge curled, so I simply cut a piece of this curled fabric and stitched it together in a little cinnamon-bun shape. I then stitched this to my pug's butt.
Step 9: Making the Ears
Cut two little weird triangular pieces of black felt and stitch them onto the top of your pug's head. I cut ones slightly longer than I wanted them to be and folded them over to make them look more like ears. And now, your pug is complete!