20 Jun 2011

Sock Elephant Tutorial

 How to make a sock elephant...

The green lines represent sewing, the pink lines represent cutting, the dotted red lines are where to do hand running stitch and pull tight and yellow lines are where to attach something.

Please refer to the photos below regularly.

You will need 2 gents socks and 1 plain ladies sock, 2 buttons, good quality thread, toy stuffing and a needle. It will be alot quicker with a sewing machine!

Step 1. Ears - Sew (green line) zigzag across the toe of each sock as shown in the first picture. Cut (pink line) as close to the zigzag sewing as you can. You now have 2 ears - put to one side for later.

Step 2. Body - Turn sock inside out. Using straight stitch sew across the elasticated opening of one of the socks and then up and down as shown in the first picture to form the separate legs. Carefully cut between the legs to separate. Turn sock right way again and stuff legs and body. The heel will form the elephants bottom. (It will take a while to get a good form when stuffing socks and it really is worth spending the time over as can't be sorted out later if its lumpy.) Hand sew a loose running stitch around the opening of the sock about 1cm down from the edge, pull it tight (I use top stitching thread for this bit to ensure strength, or you could use your thread doubled) poke the frill that forms down inside the sock, pull abit tighter and tie off very securely.

Step 3. Arms - Get the other sock, turn it inside out, sew across the elasticated part of the sock and then sew parallel lines to separate the arms. Cut across the top as shown in the first picture and cut between the parallel stitched lines to separate each arm - sorry I forgot to put that bit in the photo! Turn each arm the right way around, stuff, sew across the opening with zigzag a little way down from the edge and trim neatly.

Step 4. Head - Turn sock inside out and use straight stitch to sew on the green line in the picture below to form the trunk and forehead. Cut on the pink line. Turn the right way round again. Turn up a little bit of the trunk and hand stitch around it to form a nice neat edge - N.B. You are NOT closing up the trunk just hemming it.

Step 5. Now get the ladies sock. Stuff a good sized firm ball of stuffing into the toe, about the size you want the elephant's head to be. Tie a knot in the sock next to the stuffing to close off the ball (- this stops stuffing escaping down the elephants nose and allows secure attachment of buttons for eyes.) You will have a long bit of sock with no stuffing in it - tuck this down the trunk you have sewn in the gents sock and pull the head of the gents sock over the ball in the ladies sock. Using hand running stitch sew approximately 1cm down from the edge of the opening in the gents sock, pull tight and repeat the closing up procedure as you did with the body.

You are now ready to start assembling your elephant which needs to be done by hand with good quality thread, doubled.

Step 6. Sew a button on for each eye - as shown in the picture above by the yellow circle -N.B. The seam coming up from the trunk will form the shape of the forehead so you need a button each side of the seam. Then sew on the ears - as represented in the picture above by the yellow curved line.

Step 7. Sew the arms onto the body in the position you want them.

Step 8. Position the head on the body. The sock heel on the head will be the neck bit so rest this on the gathered bit of the body. Hold carefully in position whilst sewing around the neck (taking fabric from both the head and the body) in a circle attaching the head and body together. Sew around twice or three times until happy the head is securely on. Tie off securely.

Love, Love, LOVE.

Oh and give him a name :)

Hope you enjoy making your elephant. If you decide to have a go please do send me a photo! I will upload a good sized photo of a finished elephant once I've found my camera (the photos on this post were taken with my phone.) as I've had it pointed out to my that the group of elephants in my last elephant post wouldn't enlarge for some reason.

Pop over to Wendy's 1st Unique Gifts Handmade Monday blog to see what other crafters are upto :)

23 May 2011

Changing Bag - At Last!

A week later than originally planned, due to matters beyond my control, my changing bag is ready for public viewing. It's been a massive learning curve and I've really enjoyed making it. The front has 2 birds on a blossom tree branch appliqued on it. A pale blue bird for my eldest boy and an even paler blue bird for my youngest boy. I've used glittery flower buttons for the blossom. There are loads of pockets and it's big enough for everything I need for a full day out with my boys including a change of clothing and a few toys! 

up close detail

bottle holder
under the flap
round the back
inside empty - nearly

inside full

I'm really very pleased with it and am so glad I treated  myself to making something for myself! It turned out exactly as I'd imagined. I've included this blog post on Wendy's Handmade Monday Blog, if you've enjoyed reading this then pop over there and see what other talented crafty types have been making this week.

4 May 2011

And a tiny bit more.

That's the last little glimpse you're getting until the grand unveiling which I'll be keeping for Wendy's 1st Unique Gifts Handmade Monday feature - assuming it's done by then of course - which it will be!
I am so unbelievably pleased with how my bag is going and it's even more special as it's the first bag I've actually made for myself. I have got the inside fully constructed and the outside fully constructed I basically need to just line it with 'special squidgy stiffening stuff' and then sew the liner to the outer and attach an adjustable strap. Two maybe three days and it'll be finished. I'm having to make it in fits and starts as can only sew when the boys are both asleep. I don't mind though as it really has been a labour of love and I see it as a bit of a heirloom in the making to be honest.

I think I can positively confirm that my mojo is back :¬D WooooooooHoooooooo!!!!

2 May 2011

More Mojo

 and some more ...

Making Mojo

Well it's about time that my 'making mojo' returned for good... and I think it may have! We had a big family Easter break at the seaside on the East Coast. It was a relative's birthday and the sun shone the whole time we were there :) I came home refreshed, did a bit of housework and a tiny bit of sewing, got the washing done and before I knew it I was watching the royal wedding and another bank holiday was upon us! Yesterday we went up to show off LB to his great grandma in the Lakes. We had a walk along the promenade and it was unbelievably windy - I do believe it blew the remaining cobwebs right out of me! My making mojo seems to have returned! Yay!
So without further ado here are a few teasers of the changing bag that I'm making ...

13 Apr 2011

Bits of bag

I have eventually managed to get all the parts for my new changing bag cut out. Cutting out takes me an age and it's now my least favourite part of sewing. I used to hate pinning pattern pieces with a passion but have now ditched the pins in favour of sewing weights. I'll be ditching scissors aswell shortly in favour of a rotary cutter. Happy sewing will soon commence!!!

You might recognise the red lining fabric, I made my sewing machine cover out of it which you can see here. The brown fabric looks like cord but isn't. It's like cord in that its velvety and arranged in stripes but it's flat with no grooves. It's got a grey stripe running through the fabric too. Apparently it's Italian. Very lovely indeedy!
I hadn't checked my stash and was going to buy some plain or polkadot red fabric for the lining but made a pledge with  Lynsey of SwirlyArts/SwirlyThoughts/Cuteable that for 2 months I wouldn't buy any more craft materials. Think these fabrics go really well together though so it's worked in my favour this time!

6 Mar 2011


So last week for Handmade Monday I was a bit rubbish. I was part way through making things and didn't have photos! This week I know the score :) So here are the last 2 weeks makes ...Grey swirl bucket bag - the black swirls are lovely and velvety. The flower is a brooch made mostly from leather and ribbon and can be repositioned or worn on a jacket.
Pink romance bucket bag - again a lovely velvety feel! The brooch is made from leather, cloth and ribbon and again can be repositoned etc.
This bag I'm especially pleased with as I made the handles too! They are brown leather piped and I just love them!

The top two bags are commissions and are off to live with their lovely new owner tomorrow. The bottom bag will be added to my shop shortly!

Hope you like my latest work!

26 Feb 2011

Sophie Ellis-Bextor!!!!!

Something rather exciting has happened to me recently and I've been dying to tell you. And now that it's official I can! Woooooo!

Sophie Ellis-Bextor owns one of my clutch bags!!!

She was pretty big when I was at university. I have fond memories of dancing to 'Murder on the Dancefloor' and now the beautiful woman herself owns one of my bags ... and not only that she has one of my necklaces too!!! There's something very satisfying about someone so stylish owning something I made.

20 Feb 2011

Tweed Messenger Bag

It's been a while since I last blogged and this is the reason why ...I've been making this for my sister. It looks fairly straight forward for the picture but believe me it's got so many fancy pockets inside it's nearly untrue. She had quite a specific list of requirements ... it had to look right with each and every coat she owns, it had to hold her laptop and keep it in a snug position yet not look like it contained a laptop, she needed an internal pocket for this, that and the other and even more this and thats, it needed a zip to keep everything in, it needed a flap and it needed to be able to be worn on the shoulder and across the body too. She also wanted a separate pouch for her laptop to stop it getting scratched whilst not in use or in the bag.

So... I picked the tweed check as it has the colours she normally wears to work and I managed to find a really cute lining fabric with little flowers on it. I measured up her laptop and made it a pouch and a special harness inside the bag to keep it in position. On the harness is a pocket for her phone and memory stick. There is another pocket the same size on the otherside for her keys and purse and also a pocket with dividers for her hundreds of pens. The zip top was a learning curve but a very valuable one, I normally avoid zips but was determined to overcome my fear of them ... and I have. The strap is adjustable too.

She is well chuffed with it, so am I. I find working with tweed really satisfying. I love it!

5 Feb 2011

Grey clutch

Here, as promised, is another project that has been half finished since before the birth of LB. I finished it the other day and finally had chance to get the flower brooch made last night and today. I used my new bigshot die cutting machine to get the shape for the flowers. It gives a really crisp neat cut and is alot quicker than cutting out by hand. What I like about putting brooches as embellishments on bags is that the customer can place it wherever they like on the bag or can remove it completely and wear it on their favourite jacket.The clutch is a gorgeous grey woollen tweed with a scarlet lining. I love this colour combination, infact I do seem to having a bit of a thing about red at the moment don't I? The brooch is made from black felt, scarlet leatherette and a lovely oversized shiney black button.

Hope you like it!

2 Feb 2011

Busy Bee

I've been trying to finish off a few half finished projects the last week or so. Here is my first offering. It's a knotted shoulder bag in a cream fabric with a black velvety flocked brocade pattern. I just love this fabric teamed with the scarlet lining and grosgrain ribbon. I'm tempted to make a little heart brooch to affix to it in honor of Valentine's Day which is fast approaching! Just like all my other bags it has an internal pocket made from the same fabric as the outer.
Please let me know what you think ...