Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Made It: A Crazy Cat

Hello! I'm probably like many crafters out there when something around the house gets worn out and is beyond repair. This may mean the item gets tossed, but on the other hand it may mean I'll hold onto it with the intent to use it in a craft project sometime. 

Such was the case with a pair of knee socks our daughter wore out a few years back - they had a cute striped pattern and a few crocheted flowers attached to each sock. Definite crafting potential! 

Never got around to making anything with the socks, though, until I purchased Stray Sock Sewing: Making One of a Kind Creatures from Socks (authored by Daniel) at a local Goodwill recently. I'd seen this at a bookstore and had liked it, so of course I was happy to find it at a thrift store! (I didn't forget Daniel's last name; he doesn't give one).

The book is really pretty basic. About half of the volume is pics of various sock creatures, posed very appealingly. The photos may be filler, but they do make you want to craft some sock creatures of your own. 

Next Daniel gives several lessons on supplies, sewing tips, embroidery and so on. Lastly, there are directions for eight projects. I wanted to make a cat, but not the one shown in the project instructions, so I just read up on the tips and went from there. I should add that Daniel apparently sews his sock creatures by hand, but I used a sewing machine to create my cat's ears. 

Here's how my Crazy Cat turned out:

Even though I'd cut the sock down a bit (this eliminated the worn-out toe area), my cat still is nine inches tall and needed a fair amount of stuffing. That's what happens when you use a stretchy material like socks!

As I'd said, I formed ears by sewing their shapes with my sewing machine. The bottom was sewn together by hand once I'd stuffed the sock. 

Then came the fun part, the embellishing. You can see two crocheted flowers on the bottom part of the figure; they were already there. I cut another crocheted flower from the other sock in the pair, along with a bit of that sock itself. I sewed this embellishment onto the doll with a vintage button. 

I embroidered the nose, mouth, whiskers and wavy line with black pearl cotton. It was a bit tricky stitching on such stretchy material but I made it work. 

I experimented a bit with how to add character with the eyes. Finally cut two fabric circles out of a funky old vest (bought at a garage sale from a woman who liked to use funky old clothes in arts and crafts projects - you see, I'm not the only one who saves stuff like that). These circles were attached to the face with more vintage buttons.

For a final embellishment, I cut a heart from the same funky vest and glued it to one ear. 

This is a simply-shaped sock creature, I'll admit that. The book shows more complicate creatures, such as those with attached heads and limbs, or those with hand-sewing done to create the suggestion of arms. Mine is basically a tube with sewn-in ears. I still like how it turned out, though - not bad for a first effort! 

If you'd like to learn more about the book I referenced, look HERE.


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