FAILED Sock Bear




My daughters and I were looking through a toy catalog the other day. We came across a traditional sock monkey. Both girls thought it was soooooo adorable and requested one… each.

The older of the two looks up at me and says, “Daddy, you can do anything. Can you make me a sock monkey?” Then immediately the younger chimed in, “Me too! But can you make me a sock teddy bear instead of a sock monkey?”

Being the kind of daddy who is wrapped around his little girls’ fingers, I responded with an emphatic “Sure!” Keep in mind, I know next to nothing about sewing. But I wanted to try... for them.

We looked through together to find one to make.

Then off we went!

BUT… it didn’t quite turn out as I had hoped, though she cherishes her sock creature all the same.

I documented it for posterity! This is my Instructable.

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Step 1: Materials

So, before we can endeavor on this experiment to create a new stuffed friend, we need to gather a few things.

  • A large, thick, adult-sized tube sock
  • Fluffy stuffing
  • Sharp scissors
  • Black marker
  • Threads of various colors
  • Needle

Step 2: Draw Out Your Template

Examine the sock inside and out to determine which will be the outside of the bear.

Turn the sock inside out.

Lay out the sock so the toe seam lays flat. If your sock has a defined heel, this will serve as the bear bottom.

With the marker draw out a head at the toe of the sock. The neck will be at the very toe. Make cute little round bear ears.

Draw a vertical line about a quarter the way from the sock opening. My sock had a black cuff, so I would use that for a little sweater vest on the bear. So it would be a quarter from the seam where the cuff joins the sock. This will be for the cute little arms.

Draw a horizontal line from the cuff to about half way down the sock. This makes the cute little bear legs and separates both cute little arms.

Step 3: Start Cutting Your Fabric

With the scissors, cut off the cuff, if you have one.

Cut along the lines making sure the sock is flat and you cut through both layers identically.

Cut about 1 inch off the neck end of the head. This will be where you do the stuffing.

Make it just large enough to turn the head inside out, but not too large it requires extra sewing.

Trim off the shoulder points.

Cut about an inch from the bottom of the cuff. This part will be used to make a snout patch on the face. Cut a small oval from this material. Just large enough to cover about half the face.

With the rest of the cuff, cut out little arm holes to make a cute little vest. About 1 inch near the top should do it.

Step 4: Begin the Sewing

With the needle and thread begin stitching together the outside seam of the head. Begin at one side at the ear by tying the thread together and then sewing all around to the other side.

Tie off the string at the other end by looping the thread three times around the needle and pulling both ends tight.

The only opening on the head now is the little spot at the neck.

Trim off the extra thread.

Do the same with each arm. Do not stitch all the way around; you want to leave one end open to turn right side out and stuff.

Again, stitch up the legs the same way. With the legs, go ahead and stitch it all together. You will turn it right side out and stuff from the neck.

Stitch up the both shoulders separately, leaving about 2 inches for a neck to invert and stuff.

Step 5: Turn It Right Side Out

Carefully, so you do not pop a seam, turn all four pieces right side out.

Examine all the seams to make sure they are tight and held.

If there are any weak spots, turn it inside out again, and add a stitch or two to the weak spot.

Step 6: Add the Snout

With the little oval from step 2, lay it on the face of your bear. Carefully stitch the patch to the head, taking care not to stitch all the way through to the back of the head.

Step 7: Stuff It!

Add the stuffing to each part.

Frequently check to make sure there are no lumps and it is as firm or soft as you want.

Step 8: Close the Openings.

Again, with the thread, sew closed the openings to all the parts.

Tie them off tightly with the same tie technique described in Step 4.

Step 9: Attach the Head and Arms

With the thread, sew the cute little head to the neck of the cute little body. Try to keep the stitch as close to the seams as possible to make a smooth, clean neck line.

Follow all the way around the cute little neck.

For the cute little arms, you will attach the seam end that was opened to stuff to the seam on the shoulders.

Lay the arm across the cute little belly, lining up the arm seam and the shoulder.

Stitch them together. This will make a cute little floppy arm.

Repeat for the other side.

Now you have a cute little bare bear.

With thread of another color, sew cute little eyes. This was done by just sewing back and forth over a small area to fill in the eyes.

Step 10: Dress It!

Now add the cute little sweater vest to the cute little creature.

Ta-Da!!! You know have a cute little sock bear.

My daughter said it looks like a cute little koala bear, so I am going with that. She loves it, "Daddy, you are my hero forever! I will treasure it always!" I am happy with that.

I don't think I will ever go pro with my sewing skills, but with some practice, I may get pretty good.

What do you think?

Epic fail for a first attempt, or pretty okay for a first attempt?

Thanks for checking it out! Happy constructing!

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    65 Discussions


    9 months ago

    Even though this post was created three years ago, it is awesome and amazing in the best I've ever seen. Just for the attempt. What I would give to have an animal or creature made from my father like this who passed away. I have so many wonderful memories yet something physically made by him would still be cherished. With all of the perfect imperfections.

    1 reply

    Reply 9 months ago

    Thank you!
    My father is my greatest inspiration for everything I create. He was a great woodworking hobbyist. I do still have some of the things he made with his own hands, and just like you, I treasure them as much as the memories themselves. We always had a good laugh about some of the things that were almost, but not quite, perfect. :)

    That Redhead

    1 year ago

    This is priceless! I love it!!!!! Not a fail at all! Your kids love it, theerfore you are a magic maker! Bravo!

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    I am glad you found it amusing!
    Thank you very much for checking it out.


    3 years ago

    Great job, JokerDAS! Your darling little girls have entered you in the King of the World Contest, right?

    When I was a pre-schooler my widowed grandmother married a man who had never produced offspring (first and only marriage for him). He used to entertain me with tall tales that he probably made up as he went along. One was about the "sidehill-camootus." It had two short legs and two long ones, and could only eat by walking around and around a very tall mountain with the short legs on the trail and the long legs scrambling for solid footing way below! I gathered sufficient scraps and made one for our first baby, who has grown into a mature, hard-working, loving, remarkable man. Moral: Always be ready to improvise, as you have so honorably illustrated with your sock creatures!

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    :) I love and adore all three of my kids, and it does my heart good to know I am doing my best for them. As long as I am king of THEIR worlds, I know I am getting it right!

    That is a great story! Thank you for sharing that with me! It would be awesome if you had a picture of your hand-made "sidehill-camootus" and could share it! It is very inspirational to know that the little things made from the heart today can have such an impact on our children in the future! Just as it did for your first child!

    Thank you very much!!


    3 years ago

    You made it with love. That is what makes it perfect!

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    :) Thank you. Right you are! My girls' happiness IS all the matters!


    3 years ago

    Great failures can lead to great success !

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    I agree! That is all in the learning process!


    3 years ago


    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    LOL! Thank you! I had a great time attempting to make them. :)


    3 years ago

    I think it's great that you tackled such a project!! Pretty darn good for a first attempt, I'd say...especially when your girls are so thrilled with the bears. It's the process and the time spent that matters!

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks, drgrandma! I thought it would a fun project to try with them!