Introduction: Sock-Cat Dog Toy
Earlier this month, I made my daughters each a sock creature, (a Sockoala that was supposed to be a sock teddy bear and Sock-Sloth). You can check out that Instructables here:
Well, the other night my youngest was looking for her Sock-Sloth, but couldn’t find it anywhere. We searched in all the standard places she would have left it: In bed, on the book shelf, in the bathroom, under the couch, etc. Nothing! Sock-Sloth was no where to be found.
A short time later, Sock-Sloth was finally discovered! It was lying in Dogzilla’s bed! My daughter was happy, I was relieved but Dogzilla was disappointed. At least, I think he was, he didn't exactly say he was disappointed.
I figured, if he liked it so much, well then, darn it, I will make him his own sock creature!
And this is how it went!
Step 1: Gather It Up!
Here is what I used:
- Socks – lots of them!
In order to make a pet-friendly version of a sock critter, I decided to stuff it with old socks instead of stuffing. If your dog is like Dogzilla, it will end up eviscerating the poor toy, and I think socks will be easier to clean up than tufts of stuffing. Luckily my washing machine seems to enjoy the taste of socks and will without error eat at least one from every load, so I had enough singles to use.
Step 2: Draw It Up!
- I found the largest, longest, thickest sock in the bunch.
- I laid it out flat.
- With the marker, I drew out my pattern. I decided on sock-cat for Dogzilla to enjoy, because I wanted to squash the stereotype that dogs HATE cats!
- At the toe end of the sock I drew out the head. With emphasis on the pointy cat ears. The neck was the toe of the sock and the ears were more inside the sock.
- At the opening of the sock, I marked off about three inches, perpendicular to the opening. This was used to make a tail.
- The remaining space between the tip of the ears and tail part was used for the body and legs. I eyeballed the remaining space between the head and the tail, and divided it into three equal sections. Again, make lines parallel to the line you made for the tail.
- Finally, I made a line perpendicular across the first and the last sections, evenly bisecting the parts. This defined the four legs and the body.
Step 3: Cut It Up!
Using the lines as my guide, I:
- Cut off the head.
- Cut off the tail.
- Cut the lines for the legs.
Now I had a flat, headless, tail-less form.
Next, I cut along the side of the tail part to make a rectangle.
Step 4: Stitch It Up!
- I turned all pieces inside out.
- With the needle and thread, I began stitching along outside cut edge of the head.
- I tied off the first stitch by looping the needle around the tail end of the thread three times and pulling tight.
- Next, I followed along the cut edge all the way around the ears and head until I reached the other side.
- Again, I tied off the thread with the same triple-loop technique.
- At the neck,I cut out a small section of the sock toe. This was the part I used to turn the head right side out and it also created a hole to stuff with.
- For the tail, I laid it out flat and folded it over long way.
- I followed the same stitching steps I used to make the head to make the tail.
- I made sure I left the end of the tail open to invert and stuff.
- For the body/legs section, I started at one of the back feet and began stitching all the way around to the other foot.
- I tied it off when I was done.
- For the front feet, I began by stitching from one foot, but stopped about halfway down the leg.
- I did the same for the other front foot.
- This left me an opening for inversion and stuffing.
- Finally, I turned it all the way right-side out and inspected my handiwork!
Step 5: Stuff It Up!
- I turned the critter inside out, but only the front legs. This made it easier for me to stuff and fill the legs.
- I took one of my many socks and stuffed one end down one leg. I made sure to get it all the way to the end of the foot. One sock filled one whole leg.
- I did the same with the other leg and foot.
- Then, I turned the rest of the form right-side out.
- This time, I filled the front legs with socks.
- I finished the torso by stuffing if the rest of the way with socks. I didn't worry about lumps because I don’t think Dogzilla cares about that.
- I stuffed the head and tail the same way, making sure to get all the way in the ears.
Step 6: Close It Up!
- I closed up the opening in the body. I recommend a stitch right in the middle where the legs meet. I tied that tight. It kept the seams together now that the legs are full and made it easier to finish stitching it up.
- I proceed down the leg to where my other stitch ended.
- I returned back to the middle adding another line of stitches over what I already did. This helped me clean up the outside seam.
- I kept stitching back up the remaining leg just like the first front leg.
- I finished by returning to the middle again and then tied it off.
- The last part I tied off was the opening to the tail so I had a single piece.
Step 7: Head and Tail It Up!
- With Flat-Cat laid out, I set the head on the shoulders.
- I stitched the open hole of the neck to the body all the way around.
- Next, I squeeze the head and body down to get a good view of what needs to be stitched together. I just had to be careful not to pop out my stitches.
- On the underside of the neck, I used the seam as a strong part to sew
- I completed Flat-Cat by attaching the tail by just lying it against the back and stitching the seam to the body. I went over it a couple times, because this will be the first part Dogzilla was going to rip off.
Step 8: FINISH IT UP!
At this point I was done with Flat-Cat!
I did not decorate Flat-Cat with a face, whiskers or anything like that. Dogzilla doesn’t mind. He loves Flat-Cat just fine.