Okay, so I must admit, I got off to a bit of a bad start on my 12 months of Christmas. But, never fear! I am totally caught up. Not only do I have January's project completed (finally), but I have February's project done as well. I'll wait to share the 2nd project for a couple of days so that we can parcel the creativity out a bit. But, here is January's project in all it's stuffed cuteness...
I found this cute little sock dog project in one of Martha Stewart's Christmas issues a few years back, and had been wanting to try to make one ever since. There are several different adjustments that you can make to the original pattern to customize the dog's features. I made this little guy as a stocking stuffer for my mom. She loves schnauzers, so this is my stuffed version of the breed. Here's what you'll need before you get started...
* A pair of socks - neutral colored if you want a traditional looking dog, or you can funk it up with something more colorful (*new* clean ones, please... nobody wants to receive an adorable stuffie that stinks of toe jam)
* Poly fill or some other sort of stuffing
* Needle, thread, scissors.
* To give you pup some personality, you might want some buttons for eyes, pipe cleaners if you want to make the ears stand up, a pom-pom or button for the nose, ribbons for a collar, another patterned sock to make a sweater for your doggie, or anything else to doll your stuffed pal up.
Step 1: Cut the elastic top edge off of one sock.
Step 2: Turn the sock inside-out, and lie it flat with the heel facing up. Cut the top portion of the sock up the middle, to the heel. This will create the back legs of your dog.
Step 3: Trim the legs to the desired length for the breed of dog you are trying to create.
Step 4: Stitch the legs together, but leave a gap between the legs so that the dog can be stuffed. Here's where I would do something a little different than the article suggested. Go ahead and stitch the feet closed too. Turn the sock back to right-side-out. They have you stitching the feet closed after you turn the sock right-side-out, and it looks kind of funny. So, just do it before. Then, stuff your dog.
Step 5: After you're done stuffing, stitch the hole in the middle of the legs together.
Step 6: Bend the front of the sock "body" upwards to create a neck. Stitch in place.
Step 7: Now, it's time to start working with the 2nd sock. Cut it up to match the pieces pictured below. The toe of the sock will be the ears. The heel will be the head. The ankle will be the front legs. And, the top elastic band will be the tail.
Step 8: Start by working with the heel portion of the sock to form the head. Pull the shorter end of the sock over the neck of the stuffed dog; stitch in place.
Step 9: Stuff the head, and stitch it closed. Here's where you start to build the personality of your dog. To create the look of a schnauzer, I sewed the head together vertically. To create a dog with a longer "muzzle" and more rounded features, stitch it together horizontally.
Step 10: Now for the ears! Cut the toe portion of the sock in half vertically. Then, trim each half to the desired look of the ears... long and floppy, short and pointy. I opted for short and pointy since most schnauzers have docked ears. Turn each ear inside-out; stitch together leaving the bottom of the ear open.
Step 11: Turn the ears back right-side-out. If you want your dogs ears to stick up, like mine, insert a pipe cleaner into the unsewn opening. Trim it to just inside the ear. If you want floppy ears, skip to step 12.
Step 12: Sew ears to the head of the dog.
Step 13: Onto the legs... turn each leg piece inside-out. Stitch together, leaving the top open for stuffing.
Step 14: Turn the legs back right-side-out. Stuff each leg; stitch on the front of the dog body.
Step 15: To create the tail, use the same procedure from steps 10 & 11 with the top elastic band piece from the sock. First, cut the sock to resemble the type of tail you want. Again, if you want it to stick up like mine, insert a pipe cleaner. Attach tail to dog's body.
Step 16: Now you're done sewing the dog together, and it's time to add some personality. To give it a little sweater to wear, cut the top portion off a patterned sock.
Step 17: Cut tiny little holes for the legs. Be careful not to cut them too big because they do stretch.
Step 18: Add all the little touches that give your dog some personality. I used black buttons for the eyes, and a black pom-pom for the nose. Then, to create a Christmasy collar, I used some ribbon, a paper poinsettia, and button. And, I wanted my dog in a sitting position, so I carefully stitched the lower legs to the body.
Some other things you might try...
* Add some beans or pellets to weight the feet down. Or, if you want it to sit, add some beans to the bottom. I didn't do this. But, looking back, I wish that I had.
* Add some dried lavender to the stuffing to make the pup all pretty-smelling.
* Use children's socks to make these smaller. That would make a great Christmas ornament!
The possibilities are endless. Just use your imagination! Thanks for joining me on this project. I will post February's project in a couple of days along with a little RAK to go with it. In the meantime, check out the Label Tulip blog to see how you can win this nice little set of BRAND NEW goodies just off the showroom floor at CHA!