Friday, 20 March 2015

Sock Owls

My little sister, her best friend and my niece all love owls, they all love socks and they all have birthdays in October. My sister had shared a link to this site on Facebook so I could not resist trying it. A friend had made me a sock monkey in the past which is amazing so it was something I was tempted to have a go at and was inspired by the variety of creations.

I stocked up on nice thick socks intending to make a few different animals for a lot of different recipients. The tutorial is really well put together with a lot of photos and step by step instructions. In fact it is so well laid out that it makes them look simple, although they felt far from simple when putting them together. There is a lot of judgement in the shaping and placing of features, and there is no way of making a standard pattern as each sock will be a slightly different shape and/or size so it is logical that you translate the shapes onto your own sock. The other thing I found out is that "sock fabric" has a mind of its own. It stretches where it wants to stretch; if you use thick socks, as I did, the weave on the inside makes it hard to get the machine foot over without it snagging. Some of my owls had stripes so I used a lot of pins to match the stripes at the seam.

One of the nicest features of the design is the small weighted bag inside, made out of the end of the plain sock. This allowed the owls to "sit up" and not fall over. After a couple of attempts I got the eyebrow/ears in. At first I was too hesitant to use a  big section of the head fabric to make the ears, but I would say the main thing with this tutorial is to get stuck in and just be confident following the design. I found the wings easy to do and attach as long as the pattern was well matched on the seam. The eyes were also easy to attach but the beak was very very tricky. I used some orange t shirt fabric as I could not find any orange socks (I have since found lots of orange socks!). It took a lot of fiddling to get one side on and then a lot of stuffing and tucking to get the other side on. As the picture shows some of the beaks are more central than others, though I think this just adds to the personality! I love the way that the expressions develop while you are occupied with actually getting the beak on. You look up and all of a sudden they are done!

I was pleased with the result and everybody seemed pleased/amused by it. I would recommend the tutorial and it was good fun to make. I got quicker as I went through all three and even the beaks got easier. It is definitely correctly tagged as an "Intermediate tutorial" but worth the perseverance in the end.

My little sock owls - Craft Passion design.

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