This is an easy project for someone with minimal sewing skills. And it's super cute and cozy for chilly trick or treating!
Step 1: Find Some Socks.
Start with a package of 6 pairs of work socks. I used 4 pairs for a toddler sized 18-24 months. You may need more or less depending on the size of your kiddo.
Step 2: Find a Comfy Sleeper.
I started with a sleeper that fits him well. This will prevent the scratchy socks from irritating his skin. Also, I can take the costume off the sleeper after Halloween and use it again. It was important that I use something with a snap crotch, so I could do a diaper change with no hassle.
Step 3: Find Some Inspiration!
I started with a printout as well as a mini sock monkey, so I knew what I was kind of aiming for.
Step 4: Do a Rough Layout.
Lay the socks out roughly where you want them. I wanted to use the red stripe on the cuffs, as it would be four less hems to sew. The width of the socks were just right for his arms and legs, no need to add or take fabric away.
Step 5: Start Cutting!
Cut off the sock toes and the inside seam of the legs. Don't throw anything away! You'll use it to stuff the tail later.
Step 6: Fill in the Holes.
Fill the gaps in with pieces of sock. I tried to keep the body to mostly the ribbed part of the sock. I thought it would be forgiving when it came to hiding the seams. It was! The ribbed part is also stretchier than the rest of the sock.
Step 7: Cut Armholes.
Slice from the top down on the shoulder where the sleeve will join on. This is the armhole, and in the next few steps, you'll sew on the sleeve...
Step 8: Sew Shoulder Seam.
Turn body part inside out and sew the shoulder seam. Both sides.
Step 9: Sew on Sleeves.
Turn the top of the body inside-out, then tuck the sock 'sleeve' (right side out) into the arm hole and put one pin at the shoulder just so you don't go askew. I'm not a big fan of pins, but it's always good to use one here and there. Sew around the armhole, do this on both sides, then turn right side out and enjoy your work. It's starting to come together!
Step 10: Sew the Rest of the Top Half of Body Together.
Fill in the gaps and sew it all together. This stuff is pretty forgiving, but you don't want to stretch it too much when you sew or it will pucker a bit.
Step 11: Put the Lower Half Together.
Fill in the gaps on the bottom and sew the rest of the body together. Leave the gaping hole at the crotch and down the legs.
Step 12: Sew Top & Bottom Together.
Turn the top half inside out and with 'right' sides together, sew the top half to the bottom half.
Step 13: Fix the Collar.
Tidy up the collar area and shoulder seams. Mine were gaping and too big, so I took them in a bit. I still kept the collar big enough for him to put his head through. Once you sew around it, it's not as stretchy, so don't go overboard here, or you'll be taking your stitches out. :(
Step 14: Do a Dry Run to See How You're Looking.
Find a willing participant and give it a test run.
Step 15: Extra Fabric Needed on Crotch!
I added a little gusset on the crotch, as it wasn't going to cover all of it. The bum was a little short too, but I didn't bother adding to it. Most sock monkeys have a red bum from the heel of the socks being red. I skimped out and didn't buy the authentic socks, so no red bum. You could always applique on a red patch, but I'm lazy and HATE applique. Besides, the tail steals the show from behind anyway.
Step 16: Make a Tail.
I used the foot of the sock, sewed a long seam and made sure it wasn't going to hang on the floor when the costume was worn. Stuff the tail with your scraps. Make sure it's stuffed good and solid, because it will likely take a beating!
Step 17: Sew on the Tail.
I sewed it on by hand. You could use a machine.
Step 18: Attach the Legs to the Sleeper.
I basted (large, handsewn stitch) the sock legs to the sleeper legs, because I didn't want this costume to be permanent. After Halloween I want to be able to use the sleeper again. So the sleeper is just sitting inside the costume, but now anchored at the legs by the basting stitch. Be sure to leave the snaps available to be snapped, don't baste over them (like I did the first time).
Step 19: Make an Eared Hat.
I made a simple tube with two and a half socks, then chopped the top off and secured it with an elastic band. I made ears out of the toes of two socks and machine stitched them on the side.
Step 20: Try It On!
Try it on your little one and oooh and ahhh over how darn cute they are!
Step 21: Cute Tail.
The back view! The vest and bow tie were simple but you could dress your monkey however you want.