Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tutorial: Sweetheart Sheep Plush Sock Toy


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I’ve been talking on and on about this toy for weeks now I think. It definitely took me longer to make then I expected. I’m happy to say that it is complete!

Wee Rose is very happy to hear that too. It is now her sheep to play with. Though half the time she calls it a cow.

A bit of a background: This sheep starts out as a sock and does involve some machine sewing. It isn’t a whole lot, and I’m sure you could possibly get away either by hand sewing or working around it. You be the judge though if machine sewing is not up your alley.

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The tutorial is broken into a few sections for ease.


What You Will Need

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Making the Body

First things first is we need to make the body.

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I started with a sock like the one on the top. I cut off the foot of the sock to be the body and about two inches worth of the upper part. This small section will become the legs.

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Now I stuffed the sock with the Polyfill. I made sure the filling was even and that the head area was a bit more stuffed then the rest. Do not close off the end.

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I marked where the eyes were going to be and made Tiny wholes to put the eyes through. By tiny I mean tiny, in the order of 1 mm. This is a sock so it stretches.

If you cut too much just stick the hole back up a bit with thread. I honestly had to do it because I didn’t realize how much it would stretch.

Add on your eyes using the open side of the sock to put them in.

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Then taking a piece of white thread I tied off the neck so we have a separate head from the body. Then stitch up the back of the sock. Nothing special, it will be hidden by the Sheep’s fleece.

Note how the body is shaped. I added and formed the stuffing to make the body a bit more “rectangular.” The stockiness was a common trait I saw in all pictures of Sheep.

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Legtastic

First step for the legs is taking the 2 inch piece of sock and I cut it so I had two equal sized pieces.

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I think folded over each piece sewing along to the longest sides to make a tube.

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Now it’s time to stuff the legs. I didn’t worry if there was a bit of stuffing hanging out the sides because I still needed to put on the hooves.

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Now that the tubes are stuffed it’s time to makes the hooves. For this I used the black felt and first cut 4 rectangles about 3 inches long and an inch or so wide, and 4, 1in circles.

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With everything cut out I went on to make the long pieces into a cylinder by sewing the short ends together. I did this by hand stitching using a ladder stitch.

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The hoof is almost done. I turned the cylinder so the right side was in and placed a circle on top. I then stitched around the circle securing it to the cylinder. When I was done I flipped it back right side out. Repeat this for the other 3 hooves.

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Now it was time to stitch the hoof onto the end of each leg. This was done just by fitting the hoof slightly over the end of the leg and hand stitching it on.

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Once all 4 hooves are complete you have two oddly straight legs. It’s time I made them into V shapes so that the Sheep doesn’t look like a Flintstone's Car. I folded each set of legs in the middle and began stitching the sock together. I went down about an inch or so. Repeat with the other legs.

*Really this is done to appearance. How far is going to matter on how full you stuffed the legs.

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Time to stitch the legs to the body. First, decide on your placement. You don’t want them to be too close together.

I hand stitched the legs on for only a small area from the center of the legs. This makes them just look like you just tacked them on.

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I then went back and while pressing the legs into the body I stitched along where the legs met the body. Comparing the two pictures of the legs you can see the difference.

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Time to Get some Fleece

It’s time to now do something about our naked sheep. This is the step that by far took me the longest.

The fleece is made from long strips of felt folded over and cut to make loops.

I cut about 8 yards worth of 2 inch wide strips of white felt. It does not need to be one continuous piece.

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I folded over each strip so it was one inch wide. I used my sewing machine to make a straight stitch along the open side.

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Now the important part. I took a pair of sharp scissors and cut notches into the strip making sure to stop before the stitching.

*I learned that if the notches are too close together the resulting loops are in danger of easily being ripped off by small hands. I kept them between 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch.

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Once all the loops are done or once a good amount it done, I underestimated how much I would need and kept having to make more as I went. It’s time to attach them to the naked sheep.

I started at the neck and using a Hot Glue Gun I spiraled the strips around the sheeps body. I first worked from the Neck to the Tail.

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When I got to the area that the legs are I just went from wrapping in front of them to a wrap behind the legs, leaving a triangle of bald body.

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Tail Time

I kept going around and around until I got to the back side of the Sheep. To finish it off a left a very small bald spot at the end of my spiral. This is where I am later attached the tail.

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The tail itself was made using a pom pom of white yarn. I have a trusty clover pom pom maker to do mine but if you don’t here is a tutorial.

I then glued it in place. It did take a lot of glue and pressing to make sure enough of the pom pom had caught to be secure.

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Back to the those leg bald spots

I needed to fill in those spots. This was done by cutting smaller sections of the fleece strips and gluing them in. It took about 3 –4 pieces for each area. Just eyeball the length you need and then fluff everything together when it’s all in.

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Don’t forget the Head

To finish the fleece on the head I just started from the place I began the body and following the same process of gluing and spiraling the fleece out.

The toughest part is determining where to stop. I figuring out my place by determining where the ears would look best. Sheep don’t normally have fleece on their face, it stops right behind their ears.

I tend added the ears. They are made from two pieces of white felt, 2 1/2 inches long by 1 1/2 inches wide cut into the shape. The ears were then hot glued in place. You could also sew them.

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The Nose Smells All

In honor of it being Valentine’s Day I had the inspiration to make the nose a heart shape. I just freehand cut one from black felt. The I placed a small dot in the very center of the nose to adhere it in place.

*I made sure to not get any glue towards the edges because in a later step I need to get a needle through there.

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Embroider the Details

I first embroidered the mouth using the black embroidery thread. This was done with only a running stitch, I just did two passes.

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Pull out the Pink embroidery thread and it’s time to finish off the last details.

I first stitched around the nose.

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I then did a running stitch around the ears.

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Now the Sheep is complete. It was time to let him Frolic!


Frolicking Sheep Picture Gallery

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Then after he had frolicked for a bit. Wee Rose nabbed him up and hasn’t let him go since.

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I hope everyone wants to go forth and make a multitude of sheep!

If you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments I will answer any and update the tutorial if needed.

Disclaimer: If this gift is for a child under the age of 3 do not leave them unintended with it if you use the plastic eyes. They can be a chocking hazard.

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36 comments:

  1. Wow! Those are sooooo awesome! I never was a "crafty" one and admire those who are! Absolutely LOVE that last pic! :)

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  2. Wow! I simply adore the sheep! Although I'm not much of a sewing person, I guess I'm going to give it a try; little brother will hopefully appreciate it.

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    Replies
    1. There isn't too much sewing so I hope it works out well. :)

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  3. Adorable! Sewing is NOT one of my "strengths" so I appreciate seeing the work of others even more.

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    1. Thank you Polly. I try to mix up my tutorials for non sewing, or similar crafts amongst the others.

      This guy turned out to be one of my most involved yet.

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  4. Oh my gosh, he's adorable!! I would love for you to link up to It's a Party on Thursday (starts tonight)! I know my readers would love him as much as I do!
    www.acreativeprincess.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, I did stop by and put it up in the party. I found some other really great posts too! :)

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  5. This is really cute! What a great toy for a little one!

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  6. Oh my gosh, how cute is that! I want one for me :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. :) I am considering making a few for my Etsy shop because I've been asked if I'll be selling any a few times now.

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  7. Velody (love your name!), I hope you won't mind me hijacking your comments here to let you know that I've personally chosen you and your blog to receive the Wonderful Web Witches (WWW) Award! Details here: http://paganbydesign.blogspot.com/2012/02/wonderful-web-witches-january-and.html

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  8. wow!! she's so cute! and the owner too ;)
    I love how you 'dress up' the sheep! Very clever!
    I saw you on the creative princess!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, I'm glad you stopped by.

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  9. We just got a new puppy and this would be cute for her! Although I will not let such a precious toy get overly chewed.

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    1. Yes it would though I fear all the loops would quickly become victims to puppy tooth snags. But maybe something similar.

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  10. It's ADORABLE! Great project to re-purpose those missing socks.

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    1. Thank you Yes it is great for those lost socks! I love doing things from socks. At Halloween I made a black widow spider from a mate-less sock.

      I'm planning before the equinox to have a Sock bunny tutorial up also.

      http://treegoldandbeegold.blogspot.com/2011/10/pagan-culture-blog-party-mate-less-sock.html

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  11. So cute, but man, that looks like a lot of work!

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    1. Thank you!

      The most work is getting the fleece but one you get into the flow it moves along pretty well. I'm thinking of making a few more.

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  12. Love this! We just posted our 2nd Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday Link Party and would love for you to share this! http://kitchenfunwithmy3sons.blogspot.com/2012/02/kitchen-fun-and-crafty-friday-link_16.html

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by, I went over and added to the link part and started following. :)

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  13. OMG this is adorable! My daughter loves sheep(since she likes Shawn the Sheep lol) Great job! Hey can I ask what photo editing you use? You pictures look great too!
    I would love it if you stopped by My Favorite Things Party & linked this up! The Party runs all week so I hope to see you there! Stopping by from the I Heart Nap Time Party.
    XoXo
    Iffy
    aka Cameron
    www.StayAtHomeNation.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Sure I'll stop by, thank you for coming by and thank you for liking my little sheep :)

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    2. Oh and about the pictures, thank you it's taken a lot of practice. I use Corel Paintshop Photo Pro for my editing, but in the past I've used GIMP.

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  14. Sorry I was logged into my ebay account for gmail. This is my email for blogging =D
    Iffy

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  15. So cute!! And such a great tutorial. I would like to invite you to share at our Sharing Saturday at http://craftymomsshare.blogspot.com/2012/02/sharing-saturday-7.html. This week's closes on Wednesday and a new one starts Friday night. Thank you!!

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    Replies
    1. I'll make sure to stop by on Friday. Thank you for coming by and leaving a comment.

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  16. Positively darling. I've always wanted to try my hand at plush. I'm still very green at sewing...

    I'll be featuring you this evening at Creative Juice. Thanks so much for sharing last week. I'm also pinning, tweeting, and facebooking this project...

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    1. :) Thank you! I've been following your blog for a bit and love it. I'm ecstatic my little guy will make it up there.

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  17. What a great idea. This is so nice. Thank you for sharing this creative idea.

    Car Trailers For Sale

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