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
- Making the Body
- Time to Get some Fleece
- Tail Time
- Back to those Leg’s Bald Spots
- Don’t Forget the Head
- The Nose Smells All
- Embroider the Details
- Frolicking Sheep Picture Gallery
- A white sock
- white fleece
- black fleece
- pink embroidery floss
- black embroidery floss
- white thread/embroidery floss
- Black 9mm safety eyes (these can be found online or at many craft stores)
- Polyfill stuffing
- White Yarn
- Pom Pom Maker
First things first is we need to make the body.
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.
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.
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.
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.
First step for the legs is taking the 2 inch piece of sock and I cut it so I had two equal sized pieces.
I think folded over each piece sewing along to the longest sides to make a tube.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I first embroidered the mouth using the black embroidery thread. This was done with only a running stitch, I just did two passes.
Pull out the Pink embroidery thread and it’s time to finish off the last details.
I first stitched around the nose.
I then did a running stitch around the ears.
Now the Sheep is complete. It was time to let him Frolic!
Then after he had frolicked for a bit. Wee Rose nabbed him up and hasn’t let him go since.
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.