No Time For Pity: Mr. T Sock Monkey

Last year I was asked if I could possibly make something “awesome” for a friend.  I had to put the idea aside because I wasn’t sure just how plausible it was going to be.  I mean the idea to make a Mr. T sock monkey isn’t new, but what few pictures I did find led me to believe that there needed to be a better, more detailed version.

Challenge Accepted.

This isn’t a how-to, but I will tell you how I managed each detail so if you’d like to attempt a Mr. T you can do it with no pity involved.

Supplies:

– 2 brown socks.  I used a heavy duty outdoor plain sock (these are harder to come by than you might imagine but scour those outdoorsy stores and you’ll eventually find a pair you like)

– 1 black medium weight sock for hair, goatee, sideburns and mohawk

– 1 cut off sleeve of a small child sized red shirt

– Jewelry of your choosing, plus feathers and added bling for the chains

– Overalls and black shoes (doll clothing works well for this project)

– Stuffing

– Felt: white, brown, black (for eyes)

– Light pink embroidery thread for nose and mouth

You’ll start with making your basic sock monkey body. YouTube has a plethora of them and most of them are decent and easy enough to follow.  I used this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZqYzqe4Cxc

A brief note on using thick, outdoor socks: it can be a real pain to sew multiple layers. Hand sewing certain parts (like the ears and tail) is easier than fighting the layers thru your machine.

Once your monkey body is complete the fun starts. Dress that monkey, fool!  The basic order I would suggest is to start with your eyes first that way you can center the mohawk better.  Then do the outside of the goatee, sew on the nostrils and mouth (I used a chalk pencil to sketch them on first to make sure I liked the placement) and then you can estimate where to place the mustache section.

The “hair” details are clever.  Take a thicker black sock and turn it inside out for the texture.  I cut the pieces to the width I thought looked best.  Sometimes eyeballing a measurement isn’t the worst thing in the world.  Using pins, I carefully whipstitched on each piece referencing a picture of Mr. T to make it as accurate as possible.  The nice thing about using a sock for hair is that it can be stretched and it hides your stitches really, really well.

Mr. T’s shirt came from a cut off sleeve to a kid’s t-shirt.  Yep, that easy!  The seam to the sleeve is on the backside so it’ll be hidden once the overalls are in place.

The overalls were the toughest and luckiest find by far.  I found them at IKEA on a stuffed bear, but doll overalls would work just as well.  I also found some mini converse shoes (also doll sized but not pictured).  For the bling I used 2 different sized chains and shortened them to the size I wanted.  It was alot of fun trying to find extra jewelry for the necklaces and as long as your favorite craft store has a nice jewelry section you should be able to find lots of inspiration!  Go crazy!

The final result, as you can see, is pretty hilarious and the recipient was seriously stoked when he finally received it as a “surprise” Christmas gift.

Remember, details make any project amazing!

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Fiona’s Christmas Stocking

It’s finally done!
I started this Lil’ Twister pattern last January, as in 2012.  I seem to start all my new quilting/sewing projects in January and then they fall to the wayside as the busier Spring months take hold and we flock to the outside to soak in the sun.
Fiona's Stocking all done!
I truly meant to get it finished in time for hanging up this past Christmas, but I was intimidated by how all the layers were put together.  It wasn’t hard, but I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it.  I finally just hunkered down and read over the directions about 5 times and finally it clicked!
Straight line quilted
quilted side effect
Fi’s stocking is heavily and painstakingly quilted front (above pictures) and back.  You can see in the second picture the neat effect my chosen quilting pattern had on the batting.  You won’t see any of it though as that batting is now sandwhiched in between layers on the interior of the stocking.
The quilting on the back was done as a large diamond pattern.
Overall this is a really fun pattern to try out.  You will need the Lil Twister tool (which I believe came with my pattern originally, I talk about it here), a bit of yardage for your binding at the top or cuff and your hanging loop and at least 2 charms packs.  The instructions say you’ll only need 1 charm pack but if you need to have more of a mix up between your lights and darks you’ll definitely want to have 2 on hand.
twisterpattern
Happy sewing!