Tips for making sock toys

I get lots of questions at markets and online about making sock toys so I thought I’d compile them all in one big post. Here’s what I’ve figured out along the way through trial and plenty of error making sock toys.

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Buy good quality socks.
Like all sewing the material you start with makes a big difference to the end result. They don’t have to be really expensive socks just look out for a pair that aren’t flimsy – you want firm elasticity. This helps in avoiding a lumpy sock toy as it holds a good shape over the stuffing. If you’re not confident on the sewing a patterned sock hides a multitude of sins! I buy my socks from all over the place – department stores, online and specialty stores.

Here are a few online resources:

Happy Socks – super cool socks in great colours (international delivery)

Ashi Dashi – Awesome socks with out there patterns like intestines and wood (international delivery)

Pumpkin Patch – Great baby socks for owls and mobiles, but you do have to go in store.

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If in doubt, draw a line.
If you don’t feel confident taking scissors to your beautiful socks you might want to try drawing a line on them before you cut. This can help ease the sock-cut freak out and mean you get the right shape first time.

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Keep your stitching tight
If you’re sewing by hand keep your stitches close together – I find backstitch is the best. If I’m making a toy for a little one I’ll often stitch a double seam, just to be sure.

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Stuff and Massage
Kinda sounds rude but you really want to get a good amount of stuffing in there – you’re aiming for firm but not bulging. Make sure you push the stuffing right to the edges of the seams with your fingers. Once the stuffing is all in give your little toy a massage to help even out any lumps.

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Don’t Panic
There’s a stage in making sock toys where they just look terrible! It’s usually when you’ve stuffed the body but there’s no face, ears or arms on. Don’t give up at this point, I promise it will get better.

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So there it is – I hope this helps and if you have any more questions just leave a comment below and I’ll add the answer to this post.

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6 thoughts on “Tips for making sock toys

    • awww thanks Jodi! Hey I sent you a sunshine award cause your softies really do brighten up my day (feel free to pass it on or not). See you at stitches and craft! eeek… only 6 weeks to go!

  1. Hi Claire, thanks for this. This is great, I was actually going to ask you a question last weekend when I was sewing up a G-raf but got distracted with other stuff. So here it is. Is it better to handstitch the seams than using the machine? My hand sewing skills aren’t very good so I have been using the machine for the “big” bits but found that it is quite hard to control the stretchy material. I have avoided working with anything not cotton/ stretchy in the past. Do you have any tips for sewing sock toys with a sewing machine? Or I just have to practise? Thanks again!

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