I have been sewing a lot of sock monkeys recently. I thought I’d record my progress so you can see how easy they actually are.
What you need: socks, thread, embroidery thread, buttons, stuffing.
Note that traditionally sock monkeys were a poor persons toy, made from old socks. The best socks for traditional monkeys are the Rockford red heel socks.
These I have bought in the past but with US shipping to Australia, and they cost a lot per sock, about 20 bucks or so! – and now that I make billions of monkeys, I can’t afford them. You can see they have the red mouths and red bottoms from the heel, they are pretty cool. The first lot of sock monkeys I made were Red Heel monkeys.
I now get socks from Kmart, online, or cheapy shops that do kids socks. I buy them in bulk, usually in sets of 4-5. Kids socks are smaller and take less stuffing and that means they are cheaper and also more colourful.
I don’t sell sock monkeys. Nor does anyone get to choose their monkey or have a say so on whether they get one. The monkey chooses the owner. Some monkeys at work have been abandoned – TRUE! – but they get rehomed readily. I mostly get a request for monkeys. I try to match the monkey. There is one monkey I have made in this current batch that just shouted a particular co-worker’s name at me. So he gets that one.
I don’t want to spend too much on them, and I also think that the wonkier they are the better. If I sold them I’d have to make them better and get everything even. Ew. Yuckky.
You need to get get socks that have a woven-in heel (no heelless socks as the heel makes the bottom and the mouth. They make strange flat printed socks these days, these are no good. I’ve tried.). You have to make sure the socks are pull up socks with enough sock to cover at least over the ankle, not shorter, or crew socks that stick around the ankle. That bit of sock is the legs and the arms. If you get very short socks you will get stubby monkeys. If you get crew socks you will get legless and armless monkeys. I’m not really into sock slugs.
Patterns on socks are cool but you will find you have to cut through them and they will also be upside down in the finished monkey and you also cover bits up when you sew on the mouth, so don’t rely on patterns to make a monkey great. I like to get a contrasting heel but if you can’t you can make them from a very plain sock. I find stripes and small all over patterns work well, these ones tend to have contrasting heels too.
I turn the socks inside out, stack them in a row, and get my sewing machine up and ready, and then I have a bit of whine about the number of socks I’m going to be doing, and then I get a coffee and put something on youtube to watch. And I sew. I used to do them by hand but now I make so many I do it on the machine.
At this point feel free to enlist the help of someone to help you get through the pile, like I did in the photo below. As I have discovered, do not watch Mythbusters while on a sewing machine, or you will end up in the emergency ward having a snapped off needle surgically removed from your thumb.
ASK ME HOW I KNOW.
From this you get a pile of sock monkey fetuses. I try to sew up as many as possible (my sock stock) and then I can pull them from a giant pile and en-monkenate them. Patterns for the monkeys you can get on the Rochford site.
Apologies for the quality of the next photos, I am used to a camera not a smartphone camera and I don’t realise how crappy my photography is until I get it uploaded. Then it’s too late. Teknolegee is orsum.
I miss my nokia from 2007 but at least this phone HAS a camera.
Another thing i like to do is make a much better stronger sewn monkey for people who have babies. Sock monkeys are crack for babies. They freaking LOVE them. I suspect they like the texture and the arms they can grab easily. I double sew and make eyes from felt, for babies, and don’t add ribbon or anything that can hurt a baby.
So then what I do is I go outside and find this on my door step. Thank you mystery sock monkey car seat cover gift giver. It’s appalling and uncomfortable but it is now in my car.
Sock monkeys are also crack for people who work in the IT industry. Just saying.